Microsoft is set to unveil a major upgrade to Windows Phone 7 at an event later today. The new release, version 7.5, will include improved web browsing, updated Microsoft Office support and better gaming options.
Rumours suggest that it will also offer improved voice support, turn-by-turn navigation, visual voicemail and automatic Facebook check-ins.
Only the last of these, however, would be a feature not currently on offer on both Apple and Google’s operating systems, either free or via a paid-for app.
Some rumours have also suggested that new devices and WiFi tethering, allowing users to share their phone’s data connection with other devices, could also be included.
Although tethering too is now also offered by the Apple iPhone and has been a part of Google devices for some time, Microsoft has previously said however that it has no plans to include it.
Analysts have remained sceptical at Windows Phone 7’s ability to crack a market dominated by Apple and Android.
Google recently reported that 100 million Android devices had been activated. Microsoft’s deal with Nokia, however, may give it a new advantage.
Eldar Murtazin, an analyst who was among the first to identify Microsoft’s intention to do a deal with Nokia, has said that although Microsoft has shipped 1.5 million phones to partners, approximately 900,000 of those remain unsold so far.
Murtazin says that Microsoft is being outpaced by its competitors’ faster development but believes that there are weaknesses in rival operating systems that the Windows-maker could exploit.
Microsoft has previously said that it is happy with Windows Phone 7’s sales performance.