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Tech-Ed Keynote Highlights Windows Phone 7

Today's keynote speech at the TechEd North America conference in Atlanta shed some light on Microsoft's plans for the next release of Windows Phone 7, code-named "Mango". Robert Wahbe, Microsoft corporate vice president of Server and Tools Marketing, talked about plans for Mango as well as for Microsoft's business intelligence tools. (For more on Jason Zander's keynote and news about the next version of Visual Studio, go here.)

Mango will offer access to Microsoft's Lync Server, the company's platform for unified communications, Wahbe announced at the show today. Users will be able to manipulate, share and save documents in Windows Phone 7 via Office 365, giving mobile and non-mobile users access to the latest version of each document. Mango will also feature pinnable e-mail folders, an e-mail conversation view and a host of other features, including complex password support and Information Rights Management, Microsoft officials said today.

Microsoft's planned $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype seems aimed, in part, at giving the company a mature video client for Lync server, but the word "Skype" never came up in this morning's keynote. Microsoft Senior Product Manager Augusto Valdez did demonstrate Mango's Lync interaction, though, as well as some of the more significant upcoming upgrades to the mobile operating system's interface.

Wahbe also discussed enhanced business intelligence capabilities forthcoming from Microsoft, including Project Crescent, a set of self-service reporting capabilities that use PowerPivot for Excel to allow users to quickly and easily create reports based on Excel data. Project Crescent will ship as part of the next version of SQL Server, code-named "Denali," for which Microsoft has not specified a release date. Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Amir Netz demonstrated Project Crescent at this morning's keynote.

System Center 2012 also got a demo workout, and Wahbe confirmed that the forthcoming version of Microsoft's popular management suite will support competitive mobile platforms iOS, Android and Symbian. Microsoft also demonstrated how it has worked with NASA and used its Kinect gesture-based gaming tool to build a spectacular telescope navigable by a user's hand gestures.

Other announcements at TechEd included additional virtualization support for Exchange 2010 and improved Linux interoperability.

A crowd of about 10,000 IT and development professionals is in Atlanta this week for TechEd; this morning's keynote began with an overflow audience that seemed interested in talking about Windows Phone 7 but thinned a bit during the Visual Studio demonstrations. The show continues through Thursday.

You can read more about development focused news at the Tech-Ed keynote here.

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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