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Microsoft: 500 new features in Windows Phone 7.5 update

Microsoft says the next Windows Phone 7 OS update will bring more than 500 new features to the handset

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the next Windows Phone OS update codenamed Mango will bring more than 500 new features. Speaking at a developers' forum in Japan on Monday, Ballmer didn't give away too many details about the update but promised to unveil more on Tuesday at a scheduled event in New York. Until then, we have a clue or two about what's coming.

Ahead of a scheduled preview of Windows Phone 7 Mango in New York, Ballmer also teased about an announcement regarding several new devices. The WMPowerUser blog says it has received a tip saying that we can expect up to nine new WP7 devices from HTC, Acer, Dell and Samsung-but they won't be on sale until the holiday season.

What's coming up in Mango (Windows Phone 7.5)

Microsoft pre-announced several much-needed improvements to Windows Phone 7 to keep people's minds off some troubles with software updates earlier this year. Third-party app multitasking is probably one of the biggest drawbacks in WP7, and Mango should fix that.

Also coming up in Mango is a new version of Internet Explorer 9 Mobile, support for Office 365 and SkyDrive in the Office Hub, Twitter integration in the People Hub, a revamped Games Hub and custom ringtones support. Mango will also allow users to configure services running in the background and bring pinnable email folders and conversation view.

There are also a bunch of features Microsoft didn't announce but were leaked in a developers' podcast last week. These include Windows Live Messenger, Facebook Chat and AIM integration in the Messaging Hub, as well as group messaging. Turn-by-turn navigation is also on the table, along with SMS dictation and iPhone-like visual voicemail.

The Windows Phone 7 Mango update is expected to arrive later this year.

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