The Midweek Download: May 18th Edition–Microsoft Reveals a Glimpse of the New “Mango” Windows Phone Update at TechEd

Windows Phone fans will be excited by the top item in this week’s edition of the Midweek Download. Earlier this week, Microsoft gave IT pros and developers a glimpse of some of the features included in the next major update for Windows Phone. Read on for that and a few bits and pieces of Microsoft news.

The sweet taste of Mango. This week at the TechEd North America 2011 conference for developers and IT pros, the Windows Phone team is showing off some of the more notable features of the next major Windows Phone 7 update, dubbed Mango. Some of those features include pinnable e-mail folders, conversation view in e-mail, Server search and Lync, just to name a few. To find out what else the Mango update will bring, check out this Monday post on the Windows Phone Blog. Geekwire’s Todd Bishop also covered the Mango story.

Speaking of TechEd…On Monday, Microsoft Corporate Vice Presidents Robert Wahbe and Jason Zander delivered a keynote that focused on the benefits customers and partners are getting from Microsoft Corp.’s cloud and development platforms. Zander also announced a key pillar of the next version of Microsoft Visual Studio, the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) technologies that will help organizations ease application development and management. Read this press release on the Microsoft News Center for more detail on this story.

Calling all Exchange Server 2010 rock stars. Every field has its rock stars. From painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir to writers Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf, the world has long celebrated the masters. IT professionals, too, have an elite class in the form of Microsoft Certified Master, or MCM. The MCM credential for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 has been exclusively available through a three-week intensive training in Redmond — until now. Starting in summer 2011, IT engineers and consultants all over the world will have an opportunity to earn MCM status on Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 by passing the required exams at one of many international testing centers.

Introducing the Dev Unplugged Contest Finalists. Back on March 1st, Microsoft launched Dev Unplugged, a contest for Web developers to push the boundaries of HTML5 and the limits of modern browsers. The finalists below hail from 21 different countries around the world. Read this May 12th post on the Exploring IE Blog to find out more about the contest and the finalists.

Office & SharePoint 2010 service pack on its way. We’re almost there: Service Pack 1 for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 is on track for release in all language versions at the end of June. When the time comes, Microsoft will help announce the release and steer you to TechNet and the Sustained Engineering Team blog for the downloads and details. Check out this Monday post on the Microsoft Office Blog for more detail about the service pack.

Greetings, Professor Falken. Shall we play a game? In this Monday post on the Next at Microsoft Blog, editor Steve Clayton profiles Ross Smith, director of test for the Microsoft Office Lync Client team. In 2003, Clayton writes, Ross’ Windows Defect Prevention team noticed a fall-off in employee participation for stress testing, which requires a high volume of participation to “stress” the system. And the more people who participate, the higher the quality of the test results. In response, they decided to incorporate a simple game of hangman – spell “B E T A” – to motivate more participation. After all, everyone loves playing games, right? Read the rest of the post to see how Ross’ team is doing today.

Unlocking the audio power of HTML5. Today, the HTML5 <audio> element enables Web developers to embed sounds in their applications. The flexibility of the control coupled with the integration with the rest of the platform allows several scenarios, from simple sound effects to background audio to gaming experiences to more sophisticated audio engines. This May 13th post on the IEBlog walks through some of the best practices for using the <audio> tag in your Web applications, and includes useful tips from real-world sites.

Silverlight TV: Windows Phone tips for loading images. Want to optimize how a list of images loads and scrolls in your Windows Phone application? Jobi Joy, UX Architect with IdentityMine and key contributor to the IRC chat app in the MIX11 Day 2 keynote, returns to discuss how he handles image scenarios such as this, as well as how he ekes out extra performance. Jobi has a blog post that explains how such optimization works by using virtualization, caching via Isolated Storage, and working with both preview and full size images. Watch the video below:

Hopefully, these stories will tide Microsoft news junkies over until this Friday’s edition of Weekend Reading. See you back here then!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog