Microsoft and its Windows Phone 7 have a big year ahead of themselves. Google and Apple currently have the mobile space all-but sewn up, and even old stalwarts like BlackBerry are struggling to compete with the new hotness that is iOS and Android.

Microsoft has been in the mobile game for some considerable time now, but with Windows Phone 7 the company took a dramatic turn in the way it does things, leveraging all the best bits of Android and iOS and merging them into one giant amalgamation of loveliness with an aim of establishing a third horse in the smartphone race.

With that aim firmly in its collective mind, Microsoft is already hard at work on Windows Phone 7.6, codenamed "Tango.’

WP Tango Apollo

A Russian website, PocketPC.ch has gotten hold of what it claims to be a screenshot of the aforementioned version of Windows Phone, and it shows a couple of interesting features indeed.

Firstly there is the much anticipated, and much rumored integration of Skype. Since Microsoft bought the VoIP firm last year it has been expected that Skype would be heavily integrated into Windows Phone, but as yet it hasn’t materialized. The screenshot leaked by PocketPC.ch shows Skype in attendance, but it’s what appears alongside it that really intrigues us.

If this screenshot is to be believed – and we’re really not sure whether it is or not yet – then Microsoft is playing around with the idea of bringing Google+ integration to its next release of Windows Phone.

We’re not at all sure whether this screenshot is entirely above board for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we’re just not sure why Microsoft would integrate a fledgling social network into its operating system when there are bigger fish to fry, and secondly the screenshot itself isn’t quite as convincing as it could be.

Windows Phone 7.6 Tango

If you check out the spacing between the two "O" characters in the words "Facebook" and Google" you’ll notice they are slightly different. It’s entirely possible there is no foul play going on here, but it’s also possible it’s a fake. PocketPC.ch for its part denies any alterations on its part, but we’re going to go ahead and say that we’re not convinced by the screenshot at all.

But hey, it’s an interesting story regardless!

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(via WPCentral)

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