Microsoft's Steve Ballmer spoke this morning at Mobile World Congress in Spain and announced several upcoming improvements for the Windows Phone platform. He also confirmed that the first free update will be coming in the first two weeks of March that includes copy & paste and faster application performance.
Other news regarding updates and new features includes:
- Availability on CDMA Networks - With added support for CDMA networks, Windows Phone will be available to even more customers on mobile operators such as Verizon and Sprint in the first half of 2011.
- Twitter in the People Hub - The popular social networking service Twitter will be integrated into the People Hub in the second half of 2011.
- Office Document Storage in the Cloud - Document sharing and storage in the cloud via Windows Live SkyDrive will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011.
- Next Generation Browsing with Internet Explorer Mobile - A dramatically enhanced Internet Explorer Mobile web browser will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011. It will feature the same standards support (HTML5, etc.) and hardware accelerated graphics as the PC version.
- Additional Multi-tasking Capabilities - We will add the ability to switch quickly between applications, run applications in the background (such as listening to music), along with a number of other capabilities in the second half of 2011. Developers will learn much more about this during April’s MIX conference.
The Twitter integration is not that important to me as there are some great 3rd party Twitter apps, but it is still good to see them acknowledge Twitter as an important social network to include. I like the Office document storage feature and hope that the additional multi-tasking works with the BringCast podcast app. Even better would be to see the Zune software improved with better podcast support.
I am also hoping that this first update includes some manufacturer specific fixes, such as improved camera software on both the HTC HD7 and Dell Venue Pro.