Overview of New Business Capabilities for Windows Phone Mango announced at TechEd 2011

What a great week in Atlanta at TechEd 2011. As you made have heard, we disclosed a number of new capabilities this week that will become available in next version of Windows Phone, codenamed Mango. Of the new capabilities and enhancements that were announced, I think the integration with Microsoft cloud platforms and services, specifically Office 365, is important news. If you have not considered Office 365, I encourage you to sign up for a beta account and give it a try at www.office365.com.


Here is an overview of what we disclosed at TechEd. I will be updating the technical articles on the Download Center in the next month to reflect some of the new functionality.

  • Outlook Mobile will support conversation views and the ability to organize email automatically by conversation, using the real conversation ID from Exchange Server. Doing it this way, and not just simply sorting on the subject line, has the advantage that conversation rules in Outlook on the PC also apply to Outlook Mobile  on Windows Phone. You cannot set them on the phone, though; you need a version of Exchange Server that supports this, either Exchange 2010 or Exchange Online in Office 365. This capability will make reading and managing conversations a lot easier.
  • Individual Outlook folders will be pinnable to the Start screen for quick access. So if you have a folder for a specific project that stores all email related to that project, you can easily access it directly from the Start screen. If new email arrives, the Start screen tile will let you know at a glance.  🙂
  • Server search will also be available so users will be able to search in the server for email messages that are no longer in their phones.
  • There will be Information Rights Management (IRM) support for both email and documents in Outlook Mobile and Office Mobile. This is a big subject, so I will write a separate blog on this and an article, too.
  • We have added complex password support, with associated Exchange ActiveSync policies, so organizations can implement this if they choose to.  
  • We’ve also added built-in Office 365 auto discovery and auto provisioning capabilities, which will make it simple and easy to connect to Office 365 Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync services. We demonstrated Lync Mobile for Windows Phone for the first time. This Lync client will enhance Unified Communications with instant messaging and presence on the phone later this year. And did you know you can manage all the EAS policies in Office 365?


There were lots of Windows Phone activities at the conference. The Windows Phone booth in the expo received a lot of traffic, and there were demos and all the latest Windows Phone devices so attendees could give them a try. The Windows Phone educational sessions were well attended, and there were also many developer workshops. If you wanted to give app development a try, “From 0 to a Windows Phone App in Two Hours” was the best option. Windows Phone session information can be downloaded from the Microsoft TechEd North America website.


On the application platform side of Mango we also introduced “targeted distribution,” which will allow a developer to submit a Windows Phone app as “hidden.” As a result, the app will not be discoverable in Windows Phone Marketplace. The developer can then distribute a deep link to a targeted group of users, say employees of a company, and have them install the app using the deep link. This approach will give organizations the option to upload business-focused apps and get them to their employees.


Windows Phone is the smart choice for businesses. It integrates with existing Windows infrastructures and Office 365, apps can be developed quickly, and the most recent announcements lay a foundation for new productivity and collaboration possibilities powered by Office 365.


For more information, check out the following links:



Comments (28)

  1. DJ Moz says:

    hi – looking forward to this, but keen to hear about deploying Phone OS updates centrally – would prefer to keep the users upgrade process as easy as possible instead of them all calling IT at the same time to help upgrade them..  ie. sending updates via SCCM would be ideal

  2. Alan Meeus says:


    Syncing the Drafts folder won’t be available in Mango, but as a workaround you can reconfigure Outlook on the desktop to save drafts to your Inbox. It’s an easy reconfiguration – File, Options, and then Mail. Then your drafts will sync to your Windows Phone.

  3. Alan Meeus says:

    @ Jim Kay – Asian language support is comming in Mango.

  4. Alan Meeus says:

    @eric le pic – We already do. Al Windows Phone have the same user interface, manufacturers do not need to add interface enhencements.

  5. Alan Meeus says:


    Thanks for your question. The Mango release extends the Windows Phone manageability options through newly supported Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) policies, which include the ability to require complex (alphanumeric) passwords as well as the degree of password complexity. EAS policies are configured and administered through Exchange Server.

    A white paper that was published in May provides an overview of how Microsoft IT deployed more than 50,000 Windows Phones to its employees from October 2010 to May 2011; some manageability information is also included. download.microsoft.com/…/0468_Windows_Phone_Article.docx

    Hope this helps.

    Alan Meeus  

  6. Alan Meeus says:

    @ Everyone

    We appreciate all the great suggestions and feedback – keep it coming. We can’t make feature announcements in this forum, but I can say that the development team is listening to users, including you, and we are committed to continuously improving the features and capabilities of Windows Phone.

    This post addresses a few outstanding questions and comments.

    To those of you who asked about Remote Desktop functionality, did you know that there’s a "Remote Desktop" app available for purchase in the Marketplace? Just search for Remote Desktop on your phone or with the Zune software on your PC. This is just one of the thousands of great apps for Windows Phone. See more at WindowsPhone.com

  7. Anonymous says:

    We must have direct synchronization from the Phone to the computer!!!!!!! Using an insecure wireless connection is not a good option. Nor is loading information on a webpage somewhere. We need options to put office documents directly on the phone, and pull them off the phone. This should be restricted to objects not connected to Exchange, SkyDrive, or SharePoint. And NO COMPANY should dictate what I do with my personal files, it is NON of their business what documents that I have on my phone. If I am synchronizing files with my deskop computer (like Live Mesh), then it MUST be hands off to the company.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I upgraded my dev device to build 7712, the "almost-RC" build of Mango, and ran a couple of tests:

    – Device Encryption; still not supported. Anything you can share about the availability of this? (I know you can't tell us everything, but on the level "it's planned for a later version than Mango".)

    – IRM; I have IRM configured, it works in OWA, and I can pull down the policies programmatically through the EAS protocol. But when I try to open it on the device it tells me that the message is protected and can't be opened on the phone. Is it something obvious I'm missing, or are there a bunch of configuration steps needed server side to make it work? (If so I await you guide of course.)

    I know this isn't the RTM build, and that there might be bugs in it, but it is said to be API complete.

  9. Alan Meeus says:

    @ Conversation Views. This is the default with Mango, but you can easely switch to the date sorted view and make that the default view.  

  10. Anonymous says:

    I hope in Mango we can sync our Drafts in Outlook. That would be helpful.

    This week I left work with a half drafted email. I assumed I can get to it thru my WP7.

    I foun out that I couldn't…. fingers crossed that this little feature and folder becomes avail to Sync

  11. Alan Meeus says:


    The Mango release will provide the ability to sync Tasks between Outlook and Windows Phone, and it’s already possible to sync contact and calendar information in the current release. For Notes we rely on OneNote and you have the ability to sync OneNote through SharePoint or Windows Live SkyDrive.

  12. PC.G says:

    Any RDP client release plans?  Mobile 6 was nice since you don't have to lug a laptop everywhere to perform server administration tasks…

  13. Internet Tethering says:

    I think more important than all of the above is internet tethering or WIFI router options.

    I used to use this all the time on my HTC HD2 (Windows Mobile 6.5).

    video calls would be nice too.

    there's no option to divert if busy.  need to use codes to enable them.

    There's a long way to go for Windows phone to go before it's as good as the competition.

  14. dissatified ex user says:

    This is a step to far away from wm 6.1

    i can not know

                               load and use app like sprintdb ( database )

                               download my music from a P.c.

                               use active sync to link outlook to P.c. Now only one way plus if know costs (data useage )  

    this is just a start but i am now going to use some other system

  15. Conversation Views says:

    I don't like conversation views. That is one thing why I prefer Hotmail over GMail. I understand other people like it, though. ¿Will it be optional, just like in Hotmail? Thanks.

  16. Eric le pic says:

    Will they prevent hardware manufacturer from putting software layers over making mango work bad ?

    HTC is a prime exemple of this…

  17. Brian says:

    I still need VPN / RDP and 100% Outlook syncing…must have's…stuck with my Android Samsung Infuse until I see these options in WP7…I can sync Contacts, Calendars, Notes and Tasks via Companionlink/DejaOffice on my Droid…was very sad not to see this on WP7.

  18. Brian says:

    One more note…I am a fan and supporter of WP7 and I want it to succeed. I was on Windows Mobile since my PocketPC days with my Dell Axim. I am on Android for 2 reasons…I had to replace my aging HTC Fuse and WP7 wasn't out yet, and to me, Android is like Windows Mobile 6.6 in a sense…it wasn't hard to make the move…I love having file system access, VPN/Remote Desktop, 100% Outlook syncing…I really like Metro and WP7 but the true enterprise and power user usefulness of it are still lacking.

  19. Jim Kay says:

    I very much wish someone would address the question of Asian language support. I bought my HTC HD7 from Taiwan Mobile and then discovered it has no support for Asian languages (Chinese.) When copy/paste came out, I thought that would solve my problem by using an app to enter Chinese, BUT copy/paste doesn't support Asian Languages either. <sigh>

  20. LT says:

    Please, please, please. Bring back the Remote Desktop Connection in WP7 which was present in WM 6.1… It was very useful to me having access to my server anywhere I am… especially when I'm stuck in traffic and the server needs immediate attention. I love the zooming capabilities in WP7, I just hope if ever RDC is made available, it can allow same zooming capabilities in the remote desktop of the server being accessed.

  21. Beredan says:

    Can we please please please! improve the ability to connect to corporate networks. I wanted a windows 7 phone for work but it will not connect to EAP-ttls PAP wireless network so no dice 🙁

  22. AndresP says:

    Sorry, but at moment WP7 is not smart choice for business.

    Lacking many business and enterprice functions. And missing marketplace in many regions. At momet it is great consumer device with all this social and networking funtions.

    Lets hope Mango will fix at least some shortcomings.

  23. KevD says:

    I don't get the wall of silence from MS regarding RDP (built in and free) and VPN. Is Windows Phone 7 simply going to be nothing more than a consumer product with nice little games?

    I'm starting to think I've made a mistake with this phone

  24. CoPA DPH says:

    I just need the ability do device encryption.  That feature and the fact that our cert server does not "support" WM7 is the only thing my new HTC Trophy cannot do.

  25. CoPA DPH says:

    Also would like the option of "Leave messages on server" in my POP mail accounts like it was in WM 6.1

  26. moz says:

    any more news on centrally managing Mango in an enterprise environment? we're looking at getting either a large amount of smartphones in the next few months – so far the contenders are Blackberry, iPhone and Windows Phone 7.5.

    Manageability is paramount – Mango is attractive with built in Office and SharePoint but if it lacks Manageability we're going to to have to look at the other remaining options.

    please could anyone give us any feedback on the above – information on this close to non existant

  27. Joe Burton says:

    RDP is a necessary feature for <a href="http://www.thetechinfogroup.com/…/it-consulting-los-angeles.html">IT support</a> staff on the go. Not as glamorous as some other big name features ,like WIFI, but a working man's tool

  28. California Corporation says:

    They stand to gain more from their pairing with Windows Phone 8. Rather than pinning their hopes on a single OS, HTC are in the enviable position of being able to see which one is more likely to fly and then pin their hopes on that.


    California Corporation : bilder-suchmaschine.com/…/joan-california-cooper

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