IE9, Multitasking Coming To Windows Phone 7

Mango update for Microsoft's mobile OS is next in line after "NoDo" copy & paste patch is fully released.
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Though it's only just begun to roll out its first major update for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft said it's already working on a second significant upgrade for its mobile OS.

Microsoft will distribute the so-called Mango update for Windows Phone 7 "more toward the end of the year," said Joe Belfiore, vice president of Microsoft's Windows Phone program, in a video posted over the weekend to the company's MSDN developers site.

Belfiore said Mango would bring a host of new features to Windows Phone 7, including the Internet Explorer 9 Web browser, with its full support for HTML5 video and graphics and hardware-assisted acceleration, and a multitasking capability that will allow users to keep one app open while using another.

Mango will also add seamless integration with the Twitter microblogging service, said Belfiore.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has begun the process of rolling out the NoDo update, which mainly adds a copy & paste feature to Windows Phone 7. Belfiore said the company will "throttle" the NoDo release, meaning it will introduce it to users in phases.

Belfiore said the approach was necessary to avoid the technical glitches that plagued a minor update to Windows Phone 7, introduced last month, that ironically has the main function of ensuring that future upgrades go smoothly.

Microsoft recently posted a table that roughly shows which phase the update process is in for various Windows Phone 7 models on the different carrier networks. According to the table, NoDo has completed testing on phones that run on the T-Mobile network—the Dell Venue Pro and the HTC HD7—and delivery is now being scheduled.

Testing is ongoing for AT&T's Windows Phone 7 devices—the HTC Surround, LG Quantum, and Samsung Focus. Sprint's entry in the Windows Phone 7 market, the HTC Arrive, went on sale last week and comes with NoDo preinstalled.

Belfiore, in a blog post, conceded that the vagueness of the update schedule and the phased roll out may aggravate some users. "We know it's been frustrating to wait for features/fixes and (probably worse) to hear little from us on specific dates," said Belfiore, who said Microsoft is working with its network carriers to develop a more specific update schedule.

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Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer