Microsoft is packing a ton of stuff into the next Windows Phone version, in areas including business communications, search, games, web browsing and underlying support for third-party apps.

That much is clear after the company this morning announced a series of new business features planned for the next major upgrade of Windows Phone, known by the code name “Mango,” set for release later this year. The news follows recent reports on the Windows Phone Dev Podcast disclosing some of the consumer features planned for the Mango release.

What’s not clear is whether Mango will also deliver the type of attention-grabbing new features that would help the company wrestle users away from the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. The leaks and confirmed features so far are interesting, and there are a lot, but they’re mostly in the realm of incremental improvements and catch-ups.

The real test will come next week, when Microsoft is set to “lift the curtain” on the Mango release during a special event in New York City. In the meantime, here’s some of what has been reported (official, unofficial and rumored).

  • Bing Audio: Shazam-style audio track recognition
  • Multitasking for third-party apps, deeper integration with live tiles
  • An overhauled Live Tile system (Details)
  • Internet Explorer 9, support for HTML 5
  • Bing Vision: Integrated scanning for barcodes, tags, text, etc.
  • Voice recognition for drafting text messages
  • Email folders pinnable to the start screen for quick access
  • Facebook Chat and Windows Live Messenger integration
  • New conversation view for email exchanges
  • Ability to search email servers for archived messages
  • New Lync app for Windows Phone (IM and presence), a likely first step toward Skype integration
  • Support for complex passwords (alphanumeric)
  • Information rights management support for protected emails and documents
  • Ability to access hidden corporate WiFi networks
  • Native podcast search and download in the Windows Phone Marketplace
  • Integrated turn-by-turn directions
  • The ability to send SMS text messages to preset groups of contacts
  • Integration of Office 365 and SkyDrive in the Office hub
  • Overhaul of the Games hub, with an auto-sync feature
  • Twitter integration into the Windows Phone People hub
  • The ability to quickly search for installed apps by keyword
  • Access to motion sensor and camera by third-party apps

Updated at 11 a.m. with a few more bullet points based on feedback in comments and on Twitter. Thanks for the help.

Sources: Microsoft Mix (video), Microsoft Windows Phone Blog, Microsoft at Mobile World CongressPaul Thurrott’s Windows Phone SecretsWindows Phone Dev PodcastWM Power UserMary Jo Foley’s All About Microsoft, WinRumorsWPCentral.

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  • Pradeep

    You completely left out the features that were announced by Microsoft at MIX. Twitter support, improved Application discovery, new Tile format,etc, 

    • Anonymous

      Pradeep, thanks for the help, I had included some of the other details from Mix but overlooked those in compiling this morning. Added them above.

      • Pradeep

        No problem. Wat about application deep linking? For example searching for a movie name in Bing will have IMDB app link. 

      • Pradeep

        Also support for many new languages. 

      • Pradeep

        Also support for many new languages. 

  • Anonymous

    Helpful info but if you write completely about micro software new introduced features regarding twitter and the MIX so it would be more interesting although thanks for this info dallmeierwttttfor

  • Frank

     Any news if this update will support device encryption

    • Brother

      Mango will not support device based encryption. Only the removable media stays encrypted. Device encryption is on the roll for a version after Mango. 

  • Pradeeplive

     “The ability to send SMS text messages to preset groups of contacts” Not just SMS, email too.The ability to send SMS text messages to preset groups of contacts” Not just SMS, email too.

  • Leslies

    it might be silly, it might be totally unecessary, but i want customized ringtones… 

    • Theredsamurai

      Don’t worry it’s in… they even demoed it on stage!
      I advise you to watch the 2nd Keynote in MIX 11 to get more info about Mango than the ones listed here ;)

  • Brian L Peterson

    Having 30 live tiles seems pointless if I have to scroll down through 4 pages worth of tiles.  Why not allow me to add multiple pages off to the left.

     Apple refused to do this as well at first but its a huge improvement over iphone 1.

    • RedSamurai

      If it bothers you that much, you should probably get an iPhone 5 :)

  • Pradeep

    Improved Copy and paste support. 

    • RedSamurai

       Improved? If it’s selecting word fragments and maybe ‘select all’, then I second that

  • Ben

    still no downloadable ringtones 

    • TheRedSamurai

      Rejoice :)

  • GamuhGuy

    but the real question is when can we use our own ringtones?

  • James

    can you personalize your ringtone to a song you want?

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