Microsoft reveals Windows Phone 7.5 business features, email conversation view on tap

By Tom Warren, on 16th May 11 1:21 pm with 51 Comments

Microsoft revealed a number of new Windows Phone “Mango” features on Monday.

The software giant unveiled specific business features for “Mango”, its next Windows Phone release believed to be named 7.5:

  • Pinnable email folders: Pin a folder to the start screen for quick access. This could be an email folder for a specific project, from a specific group or person (like your boss), or an RSS feed you’ve set up in Outlook.
  • Conversation view in email: Emails in your inbox are organized by conversation, bringing replies to a thread into a consolidated view so it’s faster and easier to stay on top of the conversation.
  • Server search: Search your email server (e.g. Exchange Server) for older emails no longer stored on your phone, giving you ready access to all of your mail.
  • Lync: Lync Mobile brings the Lync experience to Windows Phone customers by delivering Unified Communications capabilities, including instant messaging and the ability to see the presence of your co-workers. The Lync app will be a free download from Windows Phone Marketplace and will be enabled with support from your business organization.
  • Security: Complex (alpha-numeric) password support
  • Rights management: Information Rights Management support for protecting e-mails and Office documents
  • Wireless improvements: Support for access to hidden corporate Wi-Fi networks

Windows Phone 7.5 business features

“We’re also excited about the thriving ecosystem of developers writing apps for Windows Phone,” said Paul Bryan, Senior Director of Business Experience for the Windows Phone team. “This week, we expect to exceed 16,000 apps available in the Windows Phone Marketplace. With new capabilities for developers in Mango (e.g., HTML5 support, Targeted Distribution of apps) we expect an even larger number and wider range of apps for Windows Phone in the future.”

Microsoft is currently hard at work on “Mango”, its next major release of Windows Phone. Microsoft has promised to ship “Mango” later in the year. “Mango” is currently in the beta stages at Microsoft, built as 7.1 currently. The company revealed a number of new features in February that will ship as part of its Windows Phone point release later this year. Nokia is also reportedly waiting for the next release of Windows Phone before it unveils its first Windows Phone device.

“Mango” currently contains multitasking, Internet Explorer 9 mobile and Twitter integration. Microsoft unveiled a number of key developer enhancements at its MIX11 conference last month. Developers will have access to the Motion Sensor library and the camera, enabling augmented reality experiences. Phone integration has also been greatly improved for developers wanting to do more with their apps. The Live Tiles functionality has been expanded to give developers more flexibility and engage with their customers better. Microsoft is also planning to expand on developer opportunities for Windows Phone. The company will expand its Marketplace to 35 countries soon.

Microsoft will preview its new consumer Windows Phone 7.5 features on May 24.

  • Anonymous

    I just don’t understand that anyone would ever want to buy an Android of iOS phone after the release of Mango.

  • Anonymous

    I just don’t understand that anyone would ever want to buy an Android of iOS phone after the release of Mango.

    • Anonymous

       Because not all of us live in the US (even though MS seems to think so). 

      Until I am able to repeat a single song without creating a separate playlist, why would I buy a Windows Phone?

    • Anonymous

       Because not all of us live in the US (even though MS seems to think so). 

      Until I am able to repeat a single song without creating a separate playlist, why would I buy a Windows Phone?

    • http://twitter.com/matt_nologo Matt

       Why exactly would you want to repeat a single song? This is the exact reason I listen to music on my phone and not on the radio!

    • Anonymous

      Probably because one would assume you are intelligent enough to base your purchase on more meaningful features.

    • ironnmetal

       Because a phone is about more than looping a single song over and over and over and over and over. This might be the worst reason ever to NOT get something.

    • Anonymous

       I can repeat a single song without creating a seperate playlist. Just choose the song from the list, and set to “Repeat”. 

    • Anonymous

       http://twitter.com/#!/e7daniel/status/60257956322754561
      http://twitter.com/#!/ZuneSupport/status/60381103176957952
      http://twitter.com/#!/e7daniel/status/60400328817905665
      http://twitter.com/#!/ZuneSupport/status/60401869465464832

      Not being able to repeat a single song, well guys that basic functionality you come to expect in any media player. 

    • Calum

      It’s a phone, not a media player, which is why people are suggesting it’s better to base your opinion on more meaningful features. Yes, a media player is one small feature of the phone, but it’s a Smartphone with a hell of a lot more over the competition and a beautiful user interface. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mitch-Foster/100000527225418 Mitch Foster

       I always felt as if the Media player was a really big part of wp7, no?  I agree with him, that is one of those stupid features that should have been included, but for whatever reason was not.  Now, my love for all the other features of the OS isn’t going to hold me back from getting the phone, but contemplating how consumers actually think about the things they buy I would suggest that he is not the only person in the world thinking this!

      People are picky, get over it!

    • FatSon

      You can repeat a single song. When the song is playing, tocuh the pic of the album a touch the pic of the circle with the arrow in it. Sheehs! 

    • Anonymous

       Because not all of us live in the US (even though MS seems to think so). 

      Until I am able to repeat a single song without creating a separate playlist, why would I buy a Windows Phone?

    • Test1ngi23

       Because oversized text thats hanging over the end of the screen looks kinda stupid to a lot of people.

    • Anonymous

       Well, if you aren’t smart enough to figure out why that is the case, then you’ll always be ignorant and clueless.

      You want to know what I think is stupid and egregious? The fact that Android is ugly as hell. The fact that it’s performance is choppy and laggy, even on the most powerful hardware. The fact that it is a pain in the ass to use, with simple features buried under layers. The fact that it’s market is a disaster, as well as the hideous fragmentation.

    • Test1ngi23

       I was stating an opinion that me and millions of other people who aren’t buying WP7 phones share. I just don’t think big oversized letters look good as an art form. I’ll admit that many of the apps for Android are ugly like the market app. But I’d rather have an ugly features than missing features (e.g. Youtube).

    • http://twitter.com/purevibz jack frost

      Dude lazytube youtube player is better than the one on android

    • Anonymous

       LOL! Thank you for helping me make my point.

    • Anonymous

       Irony at it’s finest is an Android fan talking about something not looking good. The entire Android OS doesn’t look good and is one giant turd. I know, because it was my first phone. But as I said, I’ll see if you’re smart enough to figure it out. As for features, Mango will solve that, and those features will be far superior to their Android equivalent.

      If you aren’t even interested in a WP7 device, why would you even comment, or should I say troll? Why are you even on this site?

  • GP007

    Good stuff, always nice to see business features as well, that helps in the end since it not only pushes WP but other MS tech which enterprises are already probably using, like Exchange.   It’ll just make sense in the future to go with WP over some other mobile OS if your backend is already using MS software.   Also you might as well Office 365 support as a key business feature also.

  • GP007

    Good stuff, always nice to see business features as well, that helps in the end since it not only pushes WP but other MS tech which enterprises are already probably using, like Exchange.   It’ll just make sense in the future to go with WP over some other mobile OS if your backend is already using MS software.   Also you might as well Office 365 support as a key business feature also.

  • Anonymous

    why is the presence status in the contact list kinda aero style? i hope this isnt final…although it s just an app

    • http://profiles.google.com/rene.brandel Rene Brandel

      because windows live messenger on the PC is the prerequisite for this and that is practically based on it.

    • http://www.andrew-stockdale.co.uk Andrew Stockdale

       Could you clarify that? Lync has nothing to do with Windows Live Messenger, or WLM on the PC. Parts of its instant messaging protocol are remarkably similar to WLM, but that’s more about not reinventing the wheel. I don’t see how the PC version of WLM is a prerequisite, at all.

    • http://twitter.com/AsTh11 Alessandro Grua

      They took the same look as the Lync desktop application. I hope they will also change it to Metro in the end! 

    • Calum

      How is it not Metro? There has never been any online indicator used in other official Metro applications (the Windows Live Messenger application for Windows Phone 7 is not official, and the one for Zune just uses the current Windows Live online indicator, so you could also say that isn’t Metro.) 

  • http://twitter.com/moobycow Bobby McGhee

    Encryption?  For many of us there are no business features until it supports whole device encryption.

  • Rigouh

    I have one wish: Integrated VPN client… pls! That is very important for me

    • Anonymous

       With true socket support in mango SDK, hopefully we will see the SSL vpn vendors offer their sofwtare on WP7 soon.

  • http://twitter.com/alanfeekery Alan Feekery

    IE9 better let you define your default search engine yourself, stuck with Yahoo thanks to O2. Also a rotation lock is a must.

    • Anonymous

      Rotation in general has to improve.  I don’t need absolutely everything to be landscape-ready, but the omission of basic navigation buttons from landscape mode in IE is uber-lame and really pisses in the WP7 pool.

    • Anonymous

       Why would they? You don’t give your competition a leg up. Of course Microsoft’s own platform will have it’s search and map apps integrated into the OS.

    • Anonymous

       Why would they? You don’t give your competition a leg up. Of course Microsoft’s own platform will have it’s search and map apps integrated into the OS.

    • Anonymous

      …which is why I said I doubt they will.

      My point is that of course they’d rather expand Bing, even at the expense of user experience in the short term.  I’m willing to wait for a bit, but I hope they broaden Bing pretty aggressively.  But UX does suffer for it; integration with Google franchises like Voice via browser stinks and is not really compensated by the (rather decent) 3rd party apps available on WP7 (I use this example because here is one for which neither MS nor anyone else has an equivalent service).  As a user, all I know is that when voicemail comes into my inbox, I can’t listen to it whereas I could even two years ago on WebOS v1.0.  

      So MS should at least feign humility and THINK about what competitor’s products they are going to cripple (or fail to  support).

  • Anonymous

    security: of what? Documents, like office docs?
    Wireless improvements: hidden corporate Wi-Fi networks or hidden wi-fi networks in general?
    Conversation view in email: all kind of emails, yahoo, hotmai, gmail or only outlook exchange?

  • http://profiles.google.com/carlosrfonseca Carlos Ribeiro da Fonseca

     ”Security: Complex (alpha-numeric) password support”

    What does that mean? Does it refer to the phone lock password?

    • http://www.andrew-stockdale.co.uk Andrew Stockdale

      I’d imagine that refers to the phone lock password, yes. There’s an exchange policy about this. 

  • http://twitter.com/AsTh11 Alessandro Grua

    I’m really exited about Mango! :D 

    • Anonymous

      Me too!  A lot of negative blogging about MS lately, which is probably justified, but WP7 keeps truckin – it seems.  

      Yes, MS was a little late to the party, but with Mango I feel like they are going to be all caught up and breaking ahead in some areas of strength (as described here).  If Mango is what I think it will be, I’m wondering why, by early 2012, enterprise and a good chunk of small business would look seriously at anything else.

  • http://twitter.com/newshaggy Michael Sanchez

     I am really excited about Mango – now I just need to stay excited for 6 months or pray that they release it earlier for devs.  Thankfully I fall in that category!

  • http://twitter.com/abhi1manyu Abhimanyu Jamwal

    they could have updated the OS in a slow and phased out manner instead of making the users who actually bought a half baked OS wait for one year to get the OS that should have been launched this year..microsoft has screwed up with the devices, they are making the customers wait for the updates in the hope of a better OS, but in truth no prospective customer will wait for 6 months to get a phone..they could have slowly updated the OS in phased manner with new phones constantly hitting the market.

    • Anonymous

      There is always someone saying that “Company X is 6 months too late and therefore must be counted out forever.”  Also, no mobile OS has ever released an update to their whole field of devices uniformly and all at once.  WP7 was a very good version 1 – not complete but stable and useful enough to attract some early fans.

      Do I wish we had Mango now?  Sure.  But I (and many other users) will gladly deal with 7.0/7.1 for a few more months without jumping ship.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mitch-Foster/100000527225418 Mitch Foster

       ”Company X is 6 months too late and therefore must be counted out forever.” 

      I don’t think that’s what he was saying, lol.  He’s suggesting that there are many people who are holding off on windows phone for Mango, as they did for NoDo.  But the flaw he sees in this is that a lot of people aren’t going to wait the extra six months just for the phone, and will likely go to Android or iOS (this means fanbase declines, duh!). 

      Since Microsoft is doing several large updates it is harder to keep those interested; however, if the company pulled out a decently sized update every month or so it would make users anticipation for new  features go through the roof.  And like someone said in another thread, with the update being so large there will be more room for failure (as seen with NoDo) and if Microsoft screws this update up then it is going to be hard to establish a reputable OS.

      So lets get things straight, WP7 is without a doubt an elegant and feature-packed OS.  A lot of these features that are stock on a windows phone are features that you would have to download seperately on the other OSes, and some of them you can’t even get (Xbox live). Yet, it is my understanding that we are not the general public! It may be surprising to some, but it turns out that most people don’t read up of mobile phones and tech like we do, therefore a lot of the awesome features that we may LOVE are things that others don’t care for, don’t realise are there, or they just figure you would have to download an app for it (like you would for Android or iOS). 

      So heres the thing, Microsoft is progressing through leaps and bounds with this OS and the usability of the phone is skyrocketing! But the simple fact is, to maintain a good image, you MUST HAVE a good image to start with! You might say: “Oh, but the OS is beautiful and elegant and all this other BS.” But that’s not the point, people want the best stuff. And the establish that something is “the best,” you must have that good image!  And how do you maintain this image?

      Simply, by not screwing things up.

      Bare with me here guys, I’m thinking objectively okay? I love the OS and it definately suits me.  But just because I can be patient and accepting doesn’t mean everyone else is going to be

  • Mikee

    OH YA!  Can’t wait.  Love WP7 

  • BI1000

     I feel like if all the recently named updates are included in mango- that it deserves more than windows phone 7.5 – this is huge in regards to the amount features it will be bringing

  • Anonymous

    I view WP7 like I did the iPhone 1, not quite ready.  7.5 will be a step closer, but I’m afraid it will be 8.0 before I’m really interested.  I am interested, just now I can’t give up killer features on the iPhone yet.  Apps that are available is one, there are some apps on the iPhone that I just don’t see getting the WP7 for a while yet. Multitasking? To hell with that, it’s just not needed and completely RUINED my iPhone experience.

  • Anonymous

    Wow! 16,000 apps! What a cornucopia of choices! Why would ANYONE want to buy Android or IOS with SO many apps available on WinPhone?

    • http://www.facebook.com/williambunce William Bunce

      How many apps do you have installed? I’m willing to bet it’s less than 16,000. 

    • Anonymous

       LOL! Considering 95% of the apps on Android are crap, your post is hilarious. Not to mention the fact that WP7 marketplace is growing faster than Android ever did. Let me ask you a question? How many apps do you think a reasonable person has on his phone? Hint: It’s not even a hundred. So who gives a toss how many apps a platform has, especially when 9 out of suck. Quality beats quantity every day.

      This whole app count nonsense is nothing more than dick measuring. So take your trolling elsewhere idiot.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mitch-Foster/100000527225418 Mitch Foster

      Hahaha! The app argument is becoming all too redundant and will inevitably remain inconclusive.  Get over it people!

      Plus, I’m sure WP7 comes out of the box with nearly 1000 native features that you would otherwise have to download in the marketplace for Android or iOS as…. “apps”  ;) 

  • http://www.vkvraju.com vkvraju

    I am sort of glad that it would be called Windows Phone 7.5 even with so many new features added/introduced to the platform. This leaves one to imagine what the possibilities could be in store for Windows Phone 8!

    Btw, any news on NFC support for Windows Phone 7.5 (aka “Mango”)?It would be interesting to find out if Nokia will go ahead with 7.5 or wait till 8. All these new “Mango” features with Ovi Maps (soon to be Nokia Maps) & Navigation is gonna be a huge thing. Nokia has always included some of the latest & greatest h/w features in its phones, namely, Bluetooth 3.0, FM Receiver (RDS) and Transmitter, Dolby Surround Sound, Legendary Cameras, Xenon Flash, microSDHC slot, microUSB 2.0 charging, USB OTG, microHDMI TV OUT.I just wish they continue doing the same with their Windows Phone line too. Else, it would be extremely disappointing…