Microsoft set to detail second Windows Phone update at Mobile World Congress in February

By Tom Warren, on 10th Dec 10 10:28 am with 19 Comments

Windows Phone 7 developer device

Microsoft is planning to unveil and detail a second Windows Phone 7 update in February.

The software giant has chosen the Mobile World Congress venue according to sources familiar with the plans. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is due to hold a keynote at the event and Microsoft’s press event will mark a year from when the company first unveiled Windows Phone 7 to the world. According to a source who spoke to WinRumors, Microsoft’s second update will be a significant one. The company is currently planning to unveil a first update, to introduce copy and paste functionality, in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Microsoft recently began distributing the copy and paste update to developer devices (see video here).

Microsoft’s second update will introduce enhanced developer controls for applications. Microsoft is expected to open up several new APIs that will allow for greater multi-tasking, in-app downloads and better customization for end users. Microsoft is currently compiling beta builds of the update and has shipped some early bits to external beta testers. One tester, who did not want to be named, claimed the update will excite developers. “The update includes some great new features for developers, Windows Phone 7 apps in 2011 will certainly become more interesting.”

Microsoft is also set to unveil its plans for a Silverlight update to Windows Phone 7 at Mobile World Congress. Brian Keller, Senior Technical Evangelist for Visual Studio application lifecycle management at Microsoft hinted at Microsoft’s future Silverlight plans in a recent Channel 9 interview. When questioned over any Windows Phone 7 Silverlight news Keller replied “I think we are saving those, for say another event. If only there was a massive event in Barcelona on mobile phones and or other events in the future.”

Microsoft is also working on a major overhaul of the Windows Phone 7 browser. In a job posting, listed in November, the software maker promises a “major overhaul of standard support and new approaches to make significant advances in performance, power consumption and bandwidth utilization.” It’s possible that part of the overhaul could be seen in the point release in February but most of the significant changes will be reserved for the upcoming Windows Phone 8 update.

Microsoft is officially saying that an update is due in early 2011. Windows Phone 7 is a key part of Microsoft’s long term mobile strategy and we expect the software giant to release a basic update in January followed by the unveiling of a second larger update in February.
  • GP007

    Oh please be true, how sure of this info are you Tom? Is this 2nd update in Feb deal more on the rumor side at this stage or do you feel more confident that it’s spot on? Some places are reporting this Feb update story as being the first update and not a small one in January. But if what you’re saying is true and MS gets a small update out in Jan in time for CES, and then talks up and shows this 2nd bigger update in Feb at MWC, does that mean we could be in store for a steady roll out of different size updates all through 2011?

    Whishful thinking maybe?

    • Tom W

      I am sure but they are only DETAILING the update. I don’t believe the update will actually be released in February. There’s plans for some SL update to improve performance and API access for developers.

    • GP007

      You think MiX might be a good place to release it? In April that is, I’m thinking we could get the IE9 RTM around there also.

  • Anonymous

    Everything makes sense:
    1. MS first said “compelling” update is coming “very soon”.
    2. A dev (of ChevronWP7) saw this update in beta and declares a “massive” update is coming.
    3. MS cuts in to tell people to expect something smaller for the 1st update which consists of only C&P and CDMA.
    4. Now we hear the rest is coming in a 2nd update.

    If MS executes these updates well, it will go a long way to solidify the success of this platform.

    • Seika

      Just hope it will be delivered and not “with new hardware purchase” only route.

    • Wthe6785

      it will be a software update. why else control hardware as much as they do? to ensure that future versions will run on older hardware.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, that is indeed a mighty nice loking phone!

  • Bijuishere

    I am a great WP7 fan and love my HD7 (owned a my touch 3g and iphone 3gs before). I think MSFT is already late on the first update. With so much concentration on their side on the OS the first update should have come with C&P within a month of launch. They don’t have 1000 device types to worry about like Android. A quick update would have highly increased user excitement and confidence. people like changes

    • barryb20

      Not all people like changes, esp poorly implemented ones :) Let them get the first update right as there are a lot of pretty major issues with Marketplace and Zune at the moment requiring a reboot to fix.

    • Anonymous

      Already late on the first update? WP7 has only been available for just over a month. And for the record, while geeks like updates, most users do not – it causes one to pause for thought when one opens up a brand new product to find that there’s already a mysterious “update” that needs to be applied.

      Far better that Microsoft releases regular (but not too regular) updates that are well implemented and thoroughly tested.

  • NotSoSlowFastWaitHuh

    Before they turn on multi-tasking, don’t you think it’d be more responsible of the Windows Phone team to create a “save state” for apps so that when users who want to open a different app but don’t want to lose their place/progress in a current app can do so without losing any information? That’s one spot where iOS has evolved well.

    • GP007

      The OS does this already, devs have to make sure their apps use it though, but it does happen if you leave the app in WP7.

  • Pink Canr

    its just some nonsense that try to make wp7 looks impressive. wp7 is just some under developed and released crap

    • Anonymous

      Nice joke of a comment, the world sure needs more useless trolls.

    • David

      I dont know I have the windows 7 phone and its about 3 yrs behind the the rest of the phones (for the general user…I dont know about developer they might think windows phone is advanced). This Windows 7 phone has less functionality than my very very old XDA’s that I had on windows 6. The functionality (sat nav etc) is way behind android my last phone the X10 is sooo much better. If Microsoft dont get this update right and make this rubbish phone into something that at least competes in the market I will be throwing it away….I wont sell it or pass it on to anyone else as no one should have to put up with these issues in the this day and age….to name a few things that this phone needs to get sorted to compete with Android a decent sat nav, doesn’t need rebooting every 5 mins, saves text messages that havnt been sent, allows me to change my background, allows me to select my ring tone, has copy and paste, allows me to sync to my stand alone ms outlook on my PC.

  • Anonymous2506

    This is a crap device and is the last failed attempt of Microsoft to enter Mobile market. It is so crap that MS is giving forced free gifts to its full time employee and pressurizing them to use this crap stuff and show it to the public..if they dont then they are asked to leave.. cheap tactics

  • I_am_jeff_aka_christ

    When is the ability to use custom ringtones coming? I read in the January update, but does anyone actually know for sure?

  • matt

    Had android from hero too Desire HD and Iphone 4 and would take my Omnia 7 hands down over them, its fast smooth and looks way better.

  • Brian

    Cool. But one thing that they can do to beat the competitors is to be able to customize the home screen. Background. Icons. Ext…