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Microsoft Japan’s Windows Phone “Mango” Homepage Revealed Some New Concepts

Microsoft revealed over 500 features to the world the next iteration of their Windows Phone OS codenamed “Mango” just last week at the VIP press conference. But, there were many more features, that were not shown or dicscussed.

Recently, Microsoft Japan Windows Phone “Mango” homepage posted a few screenshots which looked somewhat “different” from what we’ve seen:

Group Calendar Event Invitation
The screenshot on the left shows the new contact groups feature in the People hub. On the bottom of the screenshot, we can clearly see an action item for “schedule an event”.

If you look back at the “Mango” demos shown during the VIP press conference, you would’ve noticed that only the items “send email” or “send message” are available. What happened to allowing users to send a group calendar invite?

Messaging Hub – Location Context
As you may have already noticed on the left, which shows the new Messaging “threads” feature in Mango, the “switch” icon was originally designed to be placed on the left of the text input field. The newer builds we’ve seen in demos shows that the “switch” icon is now placed on the bottom tasks bar.

The screenshot also reveals that the original design seems to let the user know which PC/device the contact is currently logged into on Windows Live Messenger, giving the user more context as to where the contact is at or what is he or she doing. As shown in the screenshot, this particular contact is currently logged into Messenger on the PC, rather than on a mobile device or Xbox 360 (for example).

Messaging Hub – Switch to phone?
There’s probably a good reason why they made this change. The screenshot on the left shows that you can switch messaging mediums to “home phone” and “work phone”, something not seen in the newer builds demoed at the VIP events. But given that you can’t exactly message a landline phone, it was probably a good idea to drop these two items from the “Switch To” menu.
Email Conversation View
The screenshot on the left seems to suggest that the original design was to use the “+” symbol to indicate that an email is part of a conversation and can be further expanded. In the newer implementation, this symbol is now indicated by three vertical dots, which in our opinion works a bit better and seems more intuitive. What do you think?
Pinned Tiles on Start Screen
Last but not least, the screenshot of the Start Screen also shows something quite interesting. From the screenshot, it looks like things like Smart DJ playlists and “Places” from Bing Maps can be pinned as a Live Tile too. The “Places” tile will also show how far you’re away from that particular location.

[Thanks, dmaster]

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