Front-Facing Cameras Coming With WP7 Mango

Microsoft has announced that up-coming handsets pre-loaded

with the Mango update to its Windows Phone 7 software will feature front-facing

cameras and will support video calling.

The news was announced at the TechEd event in New Zealand

and confirmed by a tweet from the @WindowsPhoneNZ account.

As well as announcing support for video-calling with the

Mango update, Microsoft also hinted that a Skype app (or at least support for

Skype) would be coming in the near future too.

It is not like the announcement was unexpected however. Last

July, leaked images of the WP7-touting Samsung SGH-i937 (below) showed a front facing

camera sitting on the top left of the handset.

Windows Phone Mango Front Facing Camera

The representatives from Microsoft at the event in New

Zealand reassured the audience that Skype integration was coming but didn’t

make it clear if it was going to be in the form of an app or more deeply

integrated in a future update.

Of course iOS device users have been enjoying Skype video-calling since late last year, while some Android handset owners have been gazing

at each other over Skype for a couple of months or so.

The ability to make video calls and the presence of

front-facing cameras are two elements which Microsoft will have to bring to WP7

sooner rather than later, if it is to grow its rather minuscule percentage of

the smartphone market.

Source: @WindowPhoneNZ (Twitter) via Engadget