Windows Phone updates give devs new opportunities

Microsoft will be adding literally hundreds of new features to the Windows Phone 7 “Mango” update this fall, including several that will be of use to game developers, Gamasutra reports.

New APIs will give devs access to the phone’s other features in development. In other words, games could now take advantage of the camera, compass and gyroscope, and the phone’s stored data of contacts and dates.

Internet Explorer 5 will let users visit/play HTML5 websites and games while¬†apps written for Microsoft’s Silverlight 4 plugin will be supported as well. Other useful features include multitasking and background processing (as in downloading features while doing other things) will also be included.

The update will be free to all current phone-holders and built into any new phones sold. It will also bring the Windows Phone Marketplace to 18 new countries including Japan and Russia. A beta version of the dev tools can be grabbed here.