Yesterday I attended the Swedish Microsoft conference titled Windows Phone 7 Developer Mania. The main focus of the conference was of course to discuss the new release of the WP7 OS, entitled Mango but also to give some hands-on demonstrations of Silverlight and XNA.
The list of new features are quite impressive, and according to Microsoft there are over 500 of them. Some of the key features, in my opinion are:
- Finally an upgraded browser. The OS now has a HTML5 enabled browser with IE9.
- Access to more of the phone data from code, like addresses, contacts and so on.
- Easy access to Bing maps.
- Multitasking and the ability to implement background tasks.
- New version of SQL compact featuring a new code-first tool with basic CRUD.
- And finally. Support for internal marketplaces for business applications as well as support for beta-test deployment to certain groups within these marketplaces.
All in all, these features and extended ways of deployment really puts WP7 on the map as a potent candidate for business applications.
The home screen, and the OS in general is now more than ever integrated with all of the different social feeds available on the internet. Demonstrations showed impressive integration with facebook, twitter along with several other third-party content suppliers. This of course raises an interesting thought.
Now that the core functionality in the WP7 is so dependent on the content from third-party suppliers Microsoft must really have signed them on some massive Service Level Agreements. One can only wonder how this will affect these third-party developers in the way the extend and develop their services in the future.