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.