WP7 Mango dev tools get updated

Posted by Mark Raby

Microsoft has just released a new version of the software development kit for the updated version of its Windows Phone software, Mango.

The move would seemingly come as an assurance that Microsoft is well underway to deliver its promise of having Mango open for business by the end of the fall season.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Mango would go live in Japan before any other country, and the first Mango-powered devices would be available there in September.

The new version of development tools it called Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2 Refresh. "The phone OS and the tools are two equal parts of the developer toolkit that correspond to one another. When we took this snapshot for the refresh, we took the latest RC drops of the tools and the corresponding OS version," wrote Microsoft in a company blog.

Mango, also known as Windows Phone 7.5, will be a cataclysmic update to Microsoft's still-nascent mobile platform that launched late last year. In its brief time on the market, WP7 has managed to make significant splashes but has also suffered from bungled management and updates that were delayed an almost comical amount of time.

Here are a few more features that will be coming to WP7.5:

- Streaming video or music content from the phone's Web browser will continue even if users open up another app or put the phone in sleep mode.

- Expanded Xbox Live connectivity - voice chatting with other Xbox Live users, attending or hosting Xbox Live parties, and possibly even playing online Xbox 360 games in real-time with console players.

- Extremely deep Facebook integration, tying the user's login credentials directly to the phone, eliminating the need to log in over and over.

In other words, Mango looks to be one heck of an update. The only thing to worry about is whether or not the update will happen as scheduled. Microsoft hasn't exactly boasted a stellar record with Windows Phone software updates up to this point.