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CNET First Look
Windows Phone Mango Part 1: CommunicationsThe upcoming Windows Phone Mango update will bring more than 500 new features to the mobile operating system. Senior editor Bonnie Cha shows off some of the new communication features in our preview video here.
Back in November, Microsoft launched its new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, and it's about to get a big ol' update. Hey everyone, I'm Bonnie Cha, senior editor at CNET.com and I'm here to bring you a First Look at some of the new features of Windows Phone Mango which will officially be called Windows Phone 7.5 when it's released this fall. The update will bring more than 500 new features but a lot of it focuses on 3 key areas: communications, apps, and internet. Since there's a lot to cover, I'm going to show off some of the new communications features in this video, while my colleague, Jessica Dolcourt, will take a look at the apps and the internet portion, so be sure to check out her video as well as our full technical preview on CNET.com. So, what are the new communications features? Well, first, in terms of messaging, you can now link multiple e-mail accounts into a single inbox. It's easy to set up and I like that Microsoft gives you the option to pick and choose which accounts to link because I like to keep my work e-mail separate from my personal e-mail. It's also easier to keep track of messages, thanks to new conversation view. E-mail threads are now grouped together and marked for quick identification in your inbox, so you no longer have to scroll through every single message trying to find a response. In the People Hub, you can now create group contacts. Once you've set up a group, you can text or e-mail everyone at once and view the latest updates and photos of just those group members instead of having to sort through your entire contacts feed. Windows Phone 7.5 also makes it easier for you to post to your social networks with an enhanced Live Tile. Currently, the Me Tile only lets you post to Facebook and see what's new in your profile, but with the Mango update, you'll be able to post a message, check into places, see notifications, and set your chat status. And last but not least, Mango is going to add support for Twitter and LinkedIn account in the People Hub. Unfortunately, since we didn't have final software, this feature wasn't activated on our review unit, but we're told that it will act the same way as Facebook does, so you'll see your friends' tweets and LinkedIn updates right in the What's New section. Now, I know none of these features are new to other platforms but what I like about Windows Phone is how they integrated it all. A lot of the time, with competing OSes, to do the same things like checking Facebook, you have to open a separate app, but with Windows Phone, it's integrated with your contacts, the Picture Hub, and other areas of the phone. Relevant content shows up in relevant places, and you don't have to think about it or do extra work. It's a smarter approach and I think it's where Windows Phone really succeeds, but the challenge for Microsoft is to make everyone else understand that. Like I said earlier, there's a lot more to the Windows Phone Mango update and this is just the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to check out our full preview for more. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your First Look at the communication features of Windows Phone Mango update.