updated 08:35 am EDT, Thu August 25, 2011
Microsoft says Mango has front camera support
Ending exploration and other speculation, Microsoft during a Tech Ed New Zealand session Thursday confirmed that Windows Phone 7 Mango has front camera support. While it had been suspected given digs into the SDK and very early reference hardware, it will now be available to any device that has the option. Microsoft's buyout of Skype will also pay off quickly as the WP7 app will support the front camera for video chat, the company said.
It's not clear which if any of the first batch of Mango-based phones will have front cameras. The first shipping phone, the Toshiba-Fujitsu IS12T, doesn't have a front camera. More are expected next week at the IFA show in Berlin as well as at HTC's special event the same day. Acer, LG, Samsung, and ZTE are also known to be lining up their hardware for the same month, if not the same week.
Microsoft's acquisition of Skype will effectively turn the VoIP and video chat service into Windows Phone's direct equivalent to FaceTime. Although it will have to run as a stand-alone app like with other platforms in the current release, it should eventually be woven into the OS and provide not just video chat like Apple's platform but voice and possibly messaging. With Skype also poised to work into Microsoft's enterprise communication apps and other tools, it could provide a unique advantage for companies that want mobile users involved in video calls.
Skype is still expected to get support on competing platforms, including iOS, but is now unlikely to ever integrate as deeply as it will on Windows Phone. [via Neowin]