What to expect from the Windows Phone 7.5 VIP event?

It’s not long until Microsoft reveals to the world what’s under the hood in its upcoming Windows Phone 7.5 update, codenamed "Mango". On May 24th at 10am EDT, Microsoft will be holding a VIP Preview party in New York and London concurrently, said to "lift the curtain on the next major release of Windows Phone". But what should we expect from this announcement? We will summarise here what had been officially unveiled during the Mobile World Congress, MIX 2011, and TechEd 2011 events, as well as what was leaked during the past few weeks. We’ll also add in a few speculations of our own, just to keep things interesting. So here we go:

Officially Announced Features

Multitasking_thumb Featured Mobile Twitter-Integration_thumb Featured Mobile SkyDrive-Support_thumb Featured Mobile
Third-party Multi-tasking Twitter integration in People Hub Office 365 and SkyDrive support in Office Hub
IE9-Mobile_thumb Featured Mobile Improved-application-discovery_thumb Featured Mobile Custom-Ringtones_thumb Featured Mobile
Internet Explorer 9 Mobile Improved application discovery Custom ringtones support
Podcast-Download_thumb Featured Mobile Improved-marketplace-navigation_thumb Featured Mobile Bing-Search-Extras_thumb Featured Mobile
Over-the-air Podcasts Download Better marketplace navigation Bing Search "Extras"
Multiple-Tiles-per-app_thumb Featured Mobile Revamped-Games-Hub_thumb Featured Mobile Expanded-Language-Support_thumb Featured Mobile
Multiple Live Tiles per app Revamped Games Hub Expanded language support
Background-Task Featured Mobile Conversation-View_thumb Featured Mobile Lync-Mobile_thumb Featured Mobile
Configurable background services Pinnable email folders and conversation view Microsoft Lync Mobile app
Developer-APIs Featured Mobile Marketplace Featured Mobile Enterprise-IT-Support Featured Mobile
1500+ New APIs (Motion Sensor, Gyro, Sockets, Database and more) Private and Beta Marketplace and Parental Controls Exchange Server email search, enhanced security and information rights management, and support for hidden WiFi networks

Rumored and Leaked Features

Bing-Vision-and-Bing-Audio_thumb Featured Mobile Turn-By-Turn-Navigation_thumb Featured Mobile SMS-Dictation_thumb Featured Mobile
Bing Vision and Bing Audio Turn-by-turn Navigation SMS Dictation
Messenger-and-Facebook-Chat_thumb Featured Mobile Automatic-Sync-on-Xbox-LIVE_thumb Featured Mobile Group-Messaging_thumb Featured Mobile
Built-in Messenger and Facebook Chat in Messaging and People Hub Automatic Games Sync via Xbox LIVE Group Messaging
Artist-Art-on-Lock-Screen_thumb Featured Mobile Smart-DJ-Mix_thumb Featured Mobile Camera-shutter-sound-toggle_thumb Featured Mobile
Artist Art on Lock Screen Smart DJ Mix support Camera shutter sound toggle
Linked-Inbox_thumb Featured Mobile Exchange-Tasks-Sync_thumb Featured Mobile Voicemail Featured Mobile
Linked Inbox Microsoft Exchange Tasks sync support Visual Voicemail
Facebook Featured Mobile    
Built-in Facebook check-in and video upload support    

What else might be coming?

On the hardware side, it is widely speculated that Microsoft will be announcing their Chassis-2 specifications, particularly given the fact that Nokia is set to manufacture a variety of different hardware which could potentially target lower-priced markets (perhaps maybe a glimpse at the new Nokia Windows Phones coming at the end of this year?). In addition, besides the already-announced gyroscope support, it is also speculated that Windows Phone 7.5 might support front-facing cameras and NFC integration.

On the software side, one thing that comes up to our mind would be Skype integration. Given the acquisition has not yet been finalised yet (pending regulatory approval), we do not expect Microsoft to be natively integrating Skype into the phone. However, Microsoft already announced that the Skype app will be coming to Windows Phone 7.5 during MIX 2011, but given that they pulled the demo of the app last-minute during the keynote, it’d be interesting to see if something else might be in store for Skype.

Of course, we certainly hope Microsoft has more surprises for us on the day. Will we see finally multiple Windows Live Calendar support? Or perhaps Windows Live Mesh integration? Or will we have to wait until Windows Phone 8 (codenamed "Apollo")? There’s always room for that extra nice-to-have feature to be added to the Windows Phone feature list. We only hope that Microsoft will bring us the update sooner rather than later. What else would you like to see in the coming updates? Leave us a comment below!