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Windows 7 Phone: “Mango” 7.5 Top Business Features

By:Christine Fettinger

Microsoft just announced that its wireless partners in the U.S. began rolling out the new 7.5 “Mango” Operating System on Tuesday. The software update provides over 500 new enhancements and features. Many of these won’t integrate with existing Windows Phone 7 devices, others will target consumer uses. There are, however, a few highlights for the business community. These top productivity focused enhancements are enumerated below.

(1) New App Switcher for Device Navigation Optimization: The new 7.5 Phone has an option which allows the user to quickly jump between recently used apps. For example, while in meeting which has a powerpoint going, you might jump to other screens to check email, pull documents off SharePoint, or take notes. During this, you’d like to be able to instantly jump back to the slideshow when they change slide or topics. The WP7.5 app switcher allows you do achive this type of versitility during your meeting. Simply hold the back button and the last five accessed applications will appear, enabling more nimble navigation on your phone.

(2) Simplified Office 365 Integration: Specifically, the new OS supports ‘auto-discovery’ and ‘auto-provisioning’ for Office 365 accounts. WP7.5 will be the only smartphone to come with SharePoint mobile built into it’s infrastructure, allowing users to easily sync SharePoint site information and edit/access vital company data. Also, via WP7.5 users can configure Exchange and SharePoint access more quickly and easily. The device’s ‘Office Hub’ will allow a direct point for entering in associated usernames and passwords. Learn more about Office 365 Products.

(3) Improved Conversations Views: The new Windows 7.5 OS pulls conversation IDs directly from Exchange, ensuring you see the full set of e-mails in a chain. This will include replies from you in other folers, all of which can be navigated and accessed by a single click.

(4) Support for IRM via Exchange: Previously messages with Exchange Information Rights Management restrictions could not be viewed at all. Windows Phone 7.5 OS will allow support for rights protected messages to be viewed when they are sent and viewed through Exchange based accounts.

(5) ‘Bing Vision’: This app will allow users to scan QR codes, Microsoft Tags, or book covers to instantly access more information online.

(6) New Targeted Enterprise Class App Distribution The new 7.5 Phone will support an app distribution method which allows large numbers of employees to access apps seperately from the Marketplace via a ‘deep link’. This allows employees to directly access apps from anywhere and without accessing the Marketplace at all. This also allows security measures such as user authentication to be directly managed by the app itself.

(7) Support for Alphanumeric Passwords: Not extremely exciting, but this was an important feature left out of the Windows 7 phone release. Oranizations can now employ more secure passwords and IT admins can push enforcement policies that require end users to meet certain standards of complexity.

(8) App Connect: Windows Phone 7.5 will allow developers to create applications that can be tied to various additional phone functionalities. App Connect will alos allow developers to create ‘live tiles’ which are designed to serve up more dynamic and customizable UI experiences.