Microsoft has unveiled its latest Windows 7 phone operating system, code-named Mango, which will include augmented reality and multitasking features.
Speaking at its annual MIX developer conference, the company claimed the tools to let developers create applications for the new operating system will be available in May. The next version of Windows Phone will be out later in 2011.
"We believe the model should be one that serves the developer, not the other way around," said Matt Bencke, head of developer and marketplace for Windows Phone 7, in a company blog post.
New features will include hardware-accelerated IE9 with HTML5, enhanced multitasking capabilities and better support for Office documents in SkyDrive, Microsoft said.
"Today, we're telling developers about the set of Windows Phone Developer Tools coming next month for Mango. We're also talking about steps we've taken to extend the reach that developers will have with the next version of Windows Phone. What we aren't doing is demonstrating UI or end user features and capabilities. Today is about preparing developers for the next opportunity," he said.
In February Microsoft teamed up with Nokia in a strategic partnership that will see the phone company adopt to Windows Phone. Nokia expects the transition to Windows Phone 7 to take two years.
Microsoft said nearly 13,000 apps, 38,000 registered developers and more than 1.5 million tools have already been downloaded.
However, it still has a long way to go to compete with Apple's 350,000 apps currently available.