Windows Phone "Mango" arrives for developers with IE 9 and multi-tasking

It’s been a big release day for Windows Phone 7 – not just because Angry Birds landed on the platform.

Developers registered on the Windows Phone dev programme are now available to download and install the latest major update to the platform, code-named “Mango”. This update has a significant bunch of new features: IE9, multi-tasking, and social networking integration. While this release is not yet ready for the prime time – users are expected to get it later in the year – there are a lot of previews of what should be expected.

The social networking integration is interesting because it seems to out-do Apple’s much-celebrated upcoming Twitter integration with support for LinkedIn and Facebook on top of that. The Facebook live tile now features updates, comments and notifications on the tile, as well as the ability to check in to Facebook Places. The Facebook WP7 app now also supports push notifications (no need for Mango).

For on-the-go work junkies, unified inboxes and message threading will be welcome additions for dealing with large volumes of e-mail, which was previously a difficult accomplishment. Through the addition of multi-tasking, not only is switching between apps faster but the usefulness of the live tiles is increased, as they can be more interactive and flexible. Finally, support for Office 365 has arrived. (Lots more in the Engadget review)

For developers, there is a new release of the WP7 Tools Beta, which allows developers to build upon the new features inside the Mango OS such as the motion sensor API, raw sockets, background audio and raw camera feeds. While developers were previously told that they could only update one device to Mango, this has now been retracted, with official support provided for only one device (you can do any others at your own risk!) There’s also an update to the Advertising SDK, for Silverlight and XNA-based applications on WP7.

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