Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced several new features for Windows Phone today in a keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. One feature is a "dramatically enhanced" version of Internet Explorer 9, which will become available for the mobile operating system in the second half of this year.
We don’t know exactly when we’ll see the fruits of the company’s partnership with Nokia, but that could be an indication right there. While nothing has been officially announced in terms of dates, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop did suggest that Nokia Windows Phones would come out this year.
Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President of Internet Explorer said, "We’ve worked closely across the Windows Phone and IE teams over the last few months to deliver the same IE9 browsing engine—the same code, the same standards support, the same hardware acceleration, the same security and privacy protections—for Windows Phone as we’ve delivered on the desktop."
"As a result, when you compare different browsers side by side using official W3C standards tests, for example here, you can expect very similar results for IE9 on Windows Phone and the Windows desktop," he added. "When you compare side by side browser performance, for example here or here, or running the FishIE Tank demo, you can still expect very similar results. You can also expect similar results comparing the security and privacy protections, for example here and here."
Coming to Windows Phone in 2011: Twitter in the People Hub, additional SkyDrive support, Internet Explorer 9, and expanded multi-tasking. Visit Microsoft News Center for the full details, then come back here and share your thoughts.
Other things announced by Ballmer:
First Major Update
A free customer update will be made available for all Windows Phones in the first two weeks of March, which includes new capabilities such as copy & paste and faster application performance.
Availability on CDMA Networks
With added support for CDMA networks, Windows Phone will be available to even more customers on mobile operators such as Verizon and Sprint in the first half of 2011.
Twitter Integration in the People Hub
The popular social networking service Twitter will be integrated into the People Hub in the second half of 2011.
Office Document Storage in the Cloud
Document sharing and storage in the cloud via Windows Live SkyDrive will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011.
Additional Multi-tasking Capabilities
We will add the ability to switch quickly between applications, run applications in the background (such as listening to music), along with a number of other capabilities in the second half of 2011. Developers will learn much more about this during April’s MIXconference.
According to a recent report, Microsoft outbid Google for the Nokia deal, and is paying billions for it.