May 16, 2011 at 11:24 AM ET
Microsoft's Windows 7 phones may be getting some extra juice by adding Facebook Chat as part of the Windows 7.5 upgrade, which could be available to consumers late this year.
Some of the improvements to 7.5 — also known as "Mango" — have already been shared, such as Twitter integration, motion-sensor and camera integration with apps, and increased SkyDrive functionality for cloud-based storage. But the guys at the Windows Phone Developers Podcast said Sunday that the social networking site's instant messaging program will be baked into Mango, as will AOL Instant Messenger.
The addition of Facebook Chat won't be a moment too soon; it's already available on the iPhone, Android phones and BlackBerrys.
Ryan and Travis Lowdermilk told their audience that Microsoft's Games Hub will also be given a complete overhaul, as well as a new "Auto Sync" feature in the Settings area.
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
The lack of Twitter integration in Windows Phone 7 was a glaring oversight by Microsoft, wrote msnbc.com's Wilson Rothman recently. "A massive absence was felt (among Twitter users at least) when WP7 shipped with Facebook integration but no Twitter. There is a Twitter app, of course, but this would let you roll your Twitter friends in, and choose the best way to communicate with them and your social group.
Having Facebook Chat will add more beef to the phones, as well. And of course, there is Skype, which Microsoft announced last week it is buying.
— Via WinRumors