Great Leap Forward

Windows Phone 7 won a lot of praise when it launched last year, but sales have been underwhelming. Part of the reason is that Windows Phone 7, being nw, lacks a bunch of features we've come to expect from mobile software, like multitasking, copy-n-paste and push notifications for apps.

Well, it looks like that's about to be remedied. Microsoft has already launched one update adding copy-n-paste, though by all accounts it's taking a while for the various mobile networks to release that to their customers. But Microsoft just showed off the next update, dubbed 'Windows Phone Next' - and this, folks, is the good stuff.

Multitasking? Check. Push notifications for third-party apps? Check. But there's more: apps will also have access to WP7's funky 'Live Tiles' version, which is a bit like the little numbered badges that appear on iPhone icons, but much better. And they'll also have access to the camera, gyroscope and compass, raising the prospect of WP7 versions of nifty camera apps like Instagram.

All in all, we're pretty excited - it looks like when this update is released in a few months, WP7 will be a true competitor to the likes of Apple's iOS. Just as well, considering Nokia bet the company on it.

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