already confirmed the new developer tools will arrive in May.Microsoft is planning an official "VIP Preview" of its forthcoming Windows Phone mobile operating system update, code-named "Mango." The preview, intended for press and analysts, is scheduled for May 24th. As it turns out, we may also see the release of the Mango SDK at the same time. At least, that's what we're expecting, considering that Microsoft
ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley asked Microsoft if the 24th was the day the SDK would launch, but only got the standard non-response in return. ("We'll have have more to share on the 24th," a spokesperson said.) However, the timeframe makes sense, given what Microsoft has said. And even if the 24th is not the day of the SDK's launch, it will surely arrive soon after, if Microsoft plans to keep its earlier promise regarding Mango's timeline.
What's in the Mango SDK?
Microsoft already gave us a good look into the developer-specific features of Mango back in April at its MIX 11 developer conference. The update, while not the first for the Windows Phone platform, is certainly the most notable. This is the big one which brings the OS up to speed with its competitors by providing multi-tasking capabilities and the ability for apps (like those streaming music from the Web) to run in the background.
It will also allow developers to access the phone's hardware, like the camera and accelerometer, as well as on-device data stores, like the phone's contacts and calendar.
For improved notifications, Mango will provide developers with tools to create better and more data-rich "Live Tiles," the square-shaped informational hubs which are pinned to the phone's homescreen. Currently, support for notifications in Live Tiles is limited, but with Mango, developers will be able to do much more, including changing the tile's color or even offering multiple tiles from one app for homescreen pinning.
We also found out earlier this month that Mango will offer new consumer-focused features too, including Bing Audio, Bing Vision, Turn-by-Turn navigation, SMS dictation and on-device hardware support.
Mango is expected to launch on consumer devices sometime this fall, but no exact date is being provided at this time for its commercial release.