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Windows Phone 7.5 brings multi-tasking and more, but no new phones

Microsoft claims Windows Phone is adding more than 500 new features in today's 7.5 update -- but still no new phones.

Microsoft takes the wraps off the new Windows Phone 7.5 today. Microsoft claims its mobile phone software is adding more than 500 new features in the update, codenamed Mango, ready to appear on phones such as the Dell Venue Pro and forthcoming Windows phones from HTC, Sony Ericsson and Nokia -- but still no new phones.

Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE will also make Windows Phone handsets, Microsoft said today. But with no new phones announced, we're still waiting for Windows Phone 7 to make a decisive stand against Android and the iPhone -- which have a huge headstart and are showing no signs of slowing down.

Windows Phone now includes multi-tasking. Other features include messages focused on people instead of apps, so you can see texts, IMs, emails and social network posts from the same person in one place, or from groups of people. A combined inbox shows email from all your email accounts in one place.

You can also talk to your phone with speech-to-text features. Internet Explorer 9 and Bing will add more ways to surf and search the Web, borrowed from the desktop versions.

WP7's live tiles will be souped up in 7.5, showing more information on the large bright squares on the home screen.

Our crack team of mobile commandos is at the launch of the Windows Phone update as you read this, so stay tuned for full details and an in-depth preview of the resprayed OS.

Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer revealed earlier that Mango would have more than 500 new features. In the same speech he also blurted out that Microsoft's next desktop OS Windows 8 would arrive in 2012, quickly refuted by a Microsoft spokesman as a "mis-statement". Glad to see everyone at Redmond knows what they're doing.

The Mango update will be free to everybody with a Windows Phone -- all four of you. Are you looking forward to the new-look Windows Phone? What features would tempt you away from Android or iPhone? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.