Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 is getting a few improvements later this year designed to give developers more incentive to create apps for the platform as well as one big one for consumers that involves a perturbed avian.
Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president at Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and head of the Windows Phone 7 program, announced at Microsoft’s Mix conference in Las Vegas that the “Mango” release of Windows Phone 7 will give developers access to parts of the phone hardware that they previously lacked, such as the camera and the motion sensor. It will also allow them to work more closely with Windows Phone 7’s signature feature-Live Tiles-and bring on the ability to multitask.
It’s only been about six months since Windows Phone 7 has been out in front of consumers, and it’s tough to tell how they have responded. Microsoft hasn’t released official numbers, and declined an opportunity to do so on Wednesday, but mainstream mobile companies like Google’s AdMob have indicated that there is demand for the platform, and certainly Microsoft’s deal with Nokia (NYSE: NOK) will intrigue those looking for volume.
Belfiore spent a few minutes apologizing for the slow pace of Windows Phone 7 updates, notably the copy-and-paste feature. Like Google’s Android, Windows Phone 7 updates must be approved by the various carriers and in some cases, users have been waiting a long time for promised updates. Microsoft promised to be more transparent about how and when new updates will roll out.
It’s not all bad, though: Windows Phone 7 users are getting Angry Birds in May.