Windows Phone 7 in 2012: What should we expect?

We all know by now that Mango is most probably going to be the only major Windows Phone 7 update coming out this year (and that’s if it isn’t delayed until early 2012) and the changes it brings have for the most part already been announced. But there are still a few surprises that Microsoft hasn’t talked about yet that should be unveiled in a week during the MIX11 opening Keynote. It’s highly probable that there’s going to some talk about the upcoming NFC support and also new APIs for developers but I’m personally not expecting anything major in terms of new features.

February 2012 will mark the second anniversary of Windows Phone 7 ‘s unveiling and if assume that we know most of the features that will come with Mango it is safe to say that Microsoft didn’t really impress anybody since the operating systems official launch in October 2010. Sure, Multi-Tasking and an HTML5 compliant browser are great additions but they are also just helping the platform to play catch-up with the competition that already supports these features. What Microsoft needs to do is to introduce things that are new and not seen anywhere else. One can argue that the Metro UI is already a big differentiator but that’s already something of the past. The UI/UX wow factor is now gone. Microsoft has also yet to fix many of the shortcomings of the current implementation of its services in the platform shipping today.  I’ve already discussed most of them in my Windows Phone 7 review but it should be noted again and again that Bing Maps is light years behind Google Maps and Google Navigation and that even Bing Search on WP7 is way behind its iPhone version in terms of features. The quick integration of Nokia’s Ovi Maps into Bing Maps is going to be one of the most important tasks that Microsoft will have to accomplish if it hopes to compete with Android. Redmond has no time to waste in this department especially when you consider the fact that WP7 users outside of the US have an even worst mapping and search experience.

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