At the opening day of its TechEd 2011 conference, Microsoft officials shared some new business-focused features that the company will be adding to the "Mango" Windows Phone operating system udpate due later this year.
In a May 16 Windows Phone blog post, officials reconfirmed earlier promises that Windows Phone will get support for Windows Live SkyDrive from inside the Office Hub. With Mango, users will have the ability to save and share Office documents through Office 365. (Right now, there is good OneNote/SkyDrive integration on Windows Phones, but not a lot of support for other Office Web Apps.)
Officials also said Mango will provide pinnable e-mail folders, providing users with quick access to project folders or an RSS feed set up inside Outlook. Microsoft also will support conversation view in e-mail with Mango, officials said. (I'm not a fan of conversation view, but I know some folks are.) Mango also will allow users to search for their older e-mail on their back-end e-mail server, not just the mail stored on phones.
Microsoft also shared more about its plans for Lync, its unified communications product, on Windows Phone 7, noting that a Lync Mobile client -- which will provide presence information, instant messaging, and video/audio conferencing -- will be available in the Mango timeframe. The Lync Mobile app will be a free download from the Windows Phone Marketplace.
The Softies also said Mango will add support for complex, alpha-numeric passwords, information-rights management for protecting e-mail and Office documents, and support for access to hidden Wi-Fi networks.
Microsoft is expected to finish coding on the Mango update later this summer and to get it to handset makers and carriers in time for them to deliver it on new and existing phones by holiday 2011. Microsoft is holding a VIP Preview for Windows Phone for press and analysts on May 24, when the company is expected to share more details about Mango.