At the keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced several new features and capabilities that will make Windows Phone 7 an attractive option for even more people coming this year.
First Major Update
A free customer update will be made available for all Windows Phones in the first two weeks of March, which includes new capabilities such as copy & paste and faster application performance. (Details)
Availability on CDMA Networks
With added support for CDMA networks in the US, Windows Phone will be available to even more customers on mobile operators such as Verizon and Sprint in the first half of 2011.
Next Generation Browsing with Internet Explorer 9
A dramatically enhanced IE 9 browser will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011. It will feature the same standards support (HTML5, etc.) and hardware accelerated graphics as the PC version.
The popular social networking service Twitter will be natively integrated into the People Hub in the second half of 2011 similar to the way that Facebook is integrated today.
Document sharing and storage in the cloud via Windows Live SkyDrive will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011. New SkyDrive support services will offer users the ability to access cloud-based Microsoft Office programs via their phone.
Xbox LIVE Extras
One of the most downloaded Windows Phone applications is Xbox LIVE Extras, which allows users to customize their Xbox LIVE avatars from their phones, including the ability to add accessories and change styles.
Additional Multi-tasking Capabilities
Microsoft will add the ability to switch quickly between applications, run applications in the background (such as listening to music), along with a number of other capabilities in the second half of 2011. Developers will learn much more about this during April’s MIX conference.