Today at the Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, Spain Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced new features that the Windows Phone 7 platform will get this year.  Some we knew were coming and at least one was a surprise – at least it was to me anyway.

Here is a summary of some of the features he discussed:

  • Multitasking – this will provide you the ability to switch in between applications on the phone.  Looks a lot like ALT TAB on your Windows PC with app tiles to cycle through.  The resumption of the background program is quite fast compared to the current functionality.
  • Internet Explorer 9 will become part of the Windows Phone 7 OS later this year and will include graphics and other hardware acceleration.  The version on the Windows Phone will have the same browsing code as the PC version does.
  • SkyDrive – will be more heavily integrated with the Windows Phone 7 OS.  Certainly seems like it is going to be in more hubs when it hits the phone.
  • Twitter – expect full integration in all hubs on the phone similar to how Facebook is already this year.
  • Xbox Live Kinect on Windows Phone – allows another level of interaction with someone playing a Kinect game on an Xbox 360 console by an individual with a Windows Phone 7 in their hand.  The phone user can influence the play on the Kinect controlled console.

As soon as the keynote video is posted I will make sure to update this entry.  It contains the entire keynote as well as Joe Belfiore’s demo of some of the above mentioned features.