The Midweek Download: May 25th Edition–Windows Phone releases beta of “Mango” developer tools plus Windows Live Messenger, Office 365 and IE9

Yesterday, Microsoft made big news in New York City when it debuted the next version of the Windows Phone mobile platform, codenamed “Mango.” “Mango” will bring hundreds of new features to Windows Phone, including a new set of developer tools for creating applications that run on the platform. More on those new tools below.

New beta “Mango” tools now available. The beta release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools that support Mango are now available for download. Developers can use this beta release to get ready for the upcoming Windows Phone OS release. The new application platform capabilities coming in Mango deliver the top features you have asked for. Some of those features include: background processing, Silverlight 4, Internet Explorer 9 Web browser control, fast application switching and live tile enhancements, just to name a few. For the whole story on the new developer tools, read this post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog.

Windows Live Messenger and Windows Phone bring IM and texting together. In other Windows Phone news this week, Microsoft announced Monday that the next release of Windows Phone will come with a seamless, built-in texting and IM experience powered by Windows Live Messenger. Read this post on the Inside Windows Live Blog to see more of what the integrated Messenger experience will offer.

DIY hardware at Microsoft. In this May 18th post, Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton reports on the Garage Science Fair, which focused on Do It Yourself hardware. Clayton’s post includes a nine-minute video that highlights a number of DIY hardware projects, including: a handmade laser light show projector built by an engineering in the Windows SkyDrive team; a 3D Face Scanner built in a week using an stepper motor from an old floppy drive, a Microsoft LifeCam, and a customer array of LEDs; and MakeMayhem, a library that makes it easy for non-programs to rig up their own project.

TechFlash catches up with Tom Rizzo. Just one day after Microsoft nabbed the city and county of San Francisco as a cloud customer, TechFlash interviewed Tom Rizzo, senior director of Online Services. Rizzo talked with TechFlash reporter Greg Lamm about landing the deal with San Francisco, Office 365 and why Microsoft has the edge over Google in the cloud. On the latter point, Rizzo said, “We are not going to scan email like Google does and sell you an ad on the right side. At the end of the day, the customer is the customer for us. At Google, the customer is the product.”

Add pinning capabilities in 15 minutes or less. In this May 20th post on the Exploring IE Blog, Microsoft announced a new site for developers (www.buildmypinnedsite.com) to add pinning capabilities in 15 minutes or less. Build My Pinned Site is a tool for site owners and developers to see what a better web experience looks like with pinning. Build My Pinned Site has the options to use HTML and JavaScript or do everything with the pinify jQuery plugin in one step. As IE share continues to climb, the opportunity to enhance your site with pinning has never been better. 87% of users already launch apps from the Windows 7 taskbar and now they can launch your site next to Facebook, Twitter, and Ebay.

SmartScreen Application Reputation in IE9. Social-engineering attacks, like tricking a user into running a malicious program, are far more common than attacks on security vulnerabilities. Application Reputation in IE9 helps protect users from these socially engineered malware attacks. This May 17th post on the IE Blog offers details about real-world attacks and how these protections work.

Thanks for reading this edition of The Midweek Download. See you back here next Wednesday with another batch of news from Microsoft.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog