Windows Phone 7.1 Mango bakes plenty of functionality directly into the OS rather than relying on third-party apps, and one such example is the visual search. Users will be able to trigger Bing searches and pull up other details on items with regular or 2D barcodes, or Microsoft's own Tags glyph system. Check out our hands-on demo after the cut.
In the demo, Microsoft shows how a Mango device can recognize a barcode on the back of a book and instantly pull in reviews and other information. That data can be passed over to an app running on the phone, for instance taking you to Amazon to buy the physical copy of a book or a CD, or to the Kindle app to buy the ebook.
Microsoft may have been late to the market with Windows Phone, but the company is obviously looking to catch up on some of the third-party software shortfall by integrating common functionality directly into the platform itself rather than waiting for other developers to deliver it. In a similar way, WP7.1 Mango will also include Twitter and LinkedIn integration.