Microsoft has said that the latest Windows Phone 7 update will be here in just a couple of weeks, at the beginning of March, however while that version seems to have been put to bed, the company used its press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to detail a number of new features for the next version of Windows Phone 7 expected later in the year.
Leading the new features list is Twitter integration within the People tab of Windows Phone 7, allowing you to add your Twitter contacts to your contacts detail pages.
Other changes include changing the Office Hub allowing consumers to get to their documents on SkyDrive.
Elsewhere the new update will support Microsoft's new IE9 with a hardware accelerated web browsing on the phone. Microsoft says the code in IE9 on Windows Phone 7 will be the same as IE9 on the PC.
The new features mean that users will be able to stream HD video from the web on the phone, encoding on the fly, as well as bringing multitasking functionality to third-party apps.
"We will ship with a system that protects users battery life and gives great performance," says Microsoft.
Microsoft has said that the features detailed are just the start, rather than the complete package; ending the company's new features demo, with the video of the OS working with the company's Kinect gaming accessory for the Xbox 360.
Judging from the video users will be able to use their WP7 to interact with the motion sensing controller and play two player games. In fact, the demo showed one player fending off virtual balls that another player had thrown using the phone. Crazy stuff.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, has promised the new features will come “in 2011” as part of the company's annual update. Unfortunately Ballmer didn’t say when in 2011 that would be, however with Nokia's Nokia World scheduled for September and the first anniversary of the OS in October, we would expect Microsoft to launch something around this time frame.
Microsoft has been promising a number of other features since launch. The phone operating system has yet to get Cut and Paste, for example.
More details as they come.