Microsoft is expected to unveil a significant upgrade to Windows Phone 7 at a New York City event in May.
Andy Merrett has been using mobile phones since the days when they only made voice calls. Since then he has worked his way through a huge number of Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson models. Andy is a freelance writer and is not an employee of CNET.
A significant update to Windows Phone 7 will be released within a fortnight. It's widely expected to be version 7.5, code-named 'Mango'. Microsoft will hold a special event on 24 May in New York City to announce the upgrade.
Bing on Windows Phone will receive a serious makeover. Bing Audio attempts to identify any song the phone's built-in microphone can pick up. It sounds as if it works on the same principle as Shazam, with the phone accessing a music database in order to come up with the correct song.
Bing Vision turns the phone's camera into a search engine. There are obvious things to scan, such as bar codes and QR codes, but the system may also expand to real items and text, allowing you to identify that weird insect in the bathroom.
True turn-by-turn navigation should please many users, as could the ability to dictate SMS texts rather than tap them in. Foreign-language and handwriting support is also expected to be much improved.
As smart phones become more powerful, packing dual-core processors, multitasking is becoming the norm rather than the exception. Mango should improve the current experience when using several applications at once.
Developers will also receive some new toys. They'll be able to marry up the motion sensor and camera, which could lead to some interesting augmented-reality games and apps.
We're hoping that a significant upgrade to Windows Phone 7 will encourage manufacturers out of hiding. Nokia, one of Microsoft's new best friends, is expected to reveal new hardware off the back of Mango. Hopefully others will follow suit.