Windows Phone 7 update spotlights communications, search

In addition to apps, here are two more categories of changes we'll see coming to Windows phones this fall when the next update, code-named Mango, is released.

Integrated messaging in Windows Phone 7
Integrated messaging in Windows Phone 7's forthcoming Mango update. Microsoft/All Things D

Windows Phone 7 is getting a fair amount of work done. In addition to a more integrated outlook on apps, the Windows Phone update coming this fall (code-named Mango), will feature improvements in communications and better Web browsing, with search.

On the communications front, the Mango update will see a multi-network chat feature that gets conversations going among Facebook Chat, Windows Live Messenger, and text messages within the same thread. Windows Phone 7 will also natively support Twitter, which will appear within a contact record. In addition, there will be a new group messaging feature for text and e-mail. Microsoft will also adopt the unified e-mail inbox, for viewing all accounts in a central location.

CNET got to take an early look at Bing Vision, a new search feature in the Bing mobile browser, but that isn't the only change planned for the Mango update.

The new Bing search app will bring new visual, audio, and voice search functionality. There's Local Scout, which searches by locations and happenings in your current whereabouts, and support for voice-to-text and text-to-voice dictation options for hands-free texting and chatting.

Internet Explorer 9 is also onboard as the next-generation browser. Although it includes support for HTML5 and the phone's hardware acceleration, it apparently doesn't play nice with Silverlight or Flash.

Stay tuned for much more from our live coverage of Microsoft's Mango launch event.

(Via All Things D, Engadget, Microsoft)

Article updated at 7:40 am PT with more details.

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