Last week, Microsoft showed off many of the new features coming in the next version of Windows Phone, code named Mango.  I stumbled across a blog post by Matt Bencke, General Manager, Windows Phone Developer and Marketplace Experiences, and thought it has some great content… so why not share it with you? :)

Highlights included hardware accelerated IE9 with HTML5, increased multitasking capabilities and the addition of Twitter to the People hub at Mobile World Congress in February.

During April’s MIX11 event, developers received a deep dive into new Mango capabilities and opportunities and promised new tools in May.

The beta release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools that support Mango is now available for download.

Developers can use this beta release to get ready for the upcoming Windows Phone OS release. The new application platform capabilities coming in Mango deliver the top features you have asked for:

- Background processing

- New profiler and emulator for testing

- Use of Silverlight + XNA together

- Silverlight 4

- IE9 web browser control

- Live Tile enhancements: use of back of tiles and ability to update Live Tiles locally

- Deep linking into apps from notifications and Live Tiles

- Additional sensors; direct camera access, compass & gyro

- Fast application switching

- Networking / sockets for communications

- Local SQL database for structured storage

- Access to calendar and contacts for apps

You also asked us for new ways to keep customers engaged with your apps, so we’ve taken steps in Mango that will help keep great apps front and center. The Mango release allows you to create a new wave of apps and games that appeal to consumers by further extending the popular Windows Phone design system. Mango also helps apps remain engaged with the customer and contextually relevant through integration with the Bing Search, Pictures and Music & Video experiences, as well as added functionality for the Live Tiles that live on the Start screen. For example, with Bing Search, when searching for products, movies, events or places, the customer will see among the results a link to a “Quick Card” for that specific search. That card contains an “apps” panel (formerly known as the “extras” panel). This panel will display both installed and non-installed apps associated with that search query term. This is just one example of how the app experience is different on a Windows Phone in ways that give you a unique opportunity.

With Mango we are not only improving the way we merchandise your apps within our Marketplace, we are also exposing your apps as a part of our customers’ everyday experiences. You want more ways for consumers to find your apps; and consumers have been raving about the Windows Phone design. In short, we are listening and investing accordingly. You should expect us to continue to deliver technology and services unlike anyone else.

Below is simple graphic to help show how new tools and resources are unlocking additional developer capabilities:

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Whether you’re a new or existing Windows Phone developer, now is the perfect time to take the next step and be what’s next in mobile. The checklist is simple: