Tuesday morning Microsoft held a VIP Session in New York City to introduce the next version of the Windows Phone 7 operating system code named Mango.

So as you might imagine the tech blog scene is full of stories about all of these features.

I was unable to view the webcast of the announcement myself due to my day job but I did get home just in time to watch a live webcast from the Windows Phone 7 Facebook page and the two presenters shared the new features. 

Some of those features include:

  • Groups – organize your own social groups on the phone so you can focus on updates from that group and not your entire timeline.  I do this on Twitter using the Lists feature.  It really allows you to slow down the stream of data and keep up.
  • Visual Voicemail – I heard one of the presenters say this when talking about one of the features and never heard anything else about it.  Anyone got an idea about that? Sounds interesting.
  • Threads – think of this like a consolidated timeline that aggregates all the mediums that you use to communicate with a contact.  You get them all listed together instead of having to go to multiple programs to see the entire timeline.
  • Text to Voice and Voice to Text – listen and reply to your SMS messages by voice.  Hands free texting – great for limiting distracted driving.
  • Consolidated Inbox – my biggest complaint about Windows Phone 7 was that I had to move in and out of the different accounts to check them and see the email in each one.  This allows me to combine the inboxes of those accounts into one screen and interact with the email – not unlike Outlook does it on the PC.
  • Browse Running Apps – this is the ALT-TAB for Windows Phone 7 so you can see what screens and apps are open on the phone.

Those are just a few of the main ones I picked up on during this brief demo that I caught earlier.  By far the one I am looking forward to is the consolidated inbox.

Now let me point you to some videos and material you can read to get caught up on the whole announcement yourself:

A video summary of the new features:

Joe Belfiore Introduces Mango Features Demo