Microsoft has started to distribute its first full Windows Phone 7 update.
The company began pushing out “NoDo” to devices on Tuesday after a number of device ROMs leaked to the Internet early. Microsoft’s first Windows Phone 7 platform update features copy and paste and a whole lot more. Windows Phone users who received the “NoDo” update early on Tuesday have confirmed that Microsoft is pushing out build 7390 under the “Windows Phone Update – March 2011″ push.
Microsoft is slowly distributing the update to a number of unbranded devices worldwide and owners should see the update notification shortly. Carrier branded devices are a whole different story. A number of mobile operators, Orange, O2 and AT&T blocked the first Windows Phone 7 patch update when it was originally released. It’s not yet clear when carrier branded devices will receive update notifications. WinRumors understands that O2 UK should be pushing the update to its range of devices
on March 24 in early April.
In the mean time, here’s a quick look at what’s available in “NoDo”:
Copy and Paste
Microsoft describes its implementation of copy and paste as simple and intuitive:
“In many cases you just tap a word, slide your finger to highlight any additional text, then tap the Copy icon. To insert this text in a message or app, just tap the spot where it should go, then tap the Paste icon.”
If you’re interesting in seeing it then here’s a video showing how copy and paste works in Windows Phone 7.
Faster apps and games
Microsoft has also included several performance improvements in its first Windows Phone 7 update:
“Nobody likes to wait. That’s why we’ve whittled down the time it takes for apps and games to start up and resume. It’s all part of our focus on getting you to the things you love, easier and faster.”
One of the main criticisms of third party applications is speed and performance. Microsoft has significantly improved the amount of time that it takes to open applications and resume them. The update doesn’t include full multi-tasking functionality but it will improve the experience of switching between applications. Microsoft will ship multi-tasking with its “Mango” update later in the year.
Better Marketplace search
Microsoft has made improvements to the Marketplace. Users are now able to search the Windows Phone Marketplace and find the games and applications they require more quickly than before:
“We’ve streamlined Marketplace search to make it easier to find specific apps, games, or music. Press the Search button in the apps or games section of Marketplace and you’ll see only apps or games in the results.”
Microsoft has now responded to criticisms of its wireless networking implementation:
We now display your phone’s Media Access Control (MAC) address in Settings. (You might need this info if you try to connect to a Wi-Fi network that uses MAC address filtering. To learn more, see Connect to a Wi-Fi network.) We’ve also removed the limit on the number of Wi-Fi profiles that you can store and reduced the time it takes to start your phone if you’ve stored lots of Wi-Fi profiles.
Microsoft says it has made several Outlook mail improvements too:
We’ve improved the experience of viewing iPhone photo attachments you receive from a non-Exchange-based email account (such as a Google Mail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail account), using the Global Address List (GAL) when connecting to Exchange Server 2003 using Exchange ActiveSync, and working with email display names that contain brackets (for example, “David Alexander [Contoso]“).
We’ve improved the experience of receiving Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages if your phone uses a PIN-locked SIM
Microsoft has improved the experience of syncing Facebook accounts and the stability of switching between camera and video modes in the camera application. The company has also improved the use of Bluetooth headsets during calls or playing music and videos.
Microsoft is now hard at work on “Mango”, its next major release of Windows Phone. The software giant is expected to ship “Mango” later in the year. “Mango”, the codename for what will likely be named Windows Phone 7.5, is currently in the early beta stages at Microsoft. The software giant revealed a number of new features in February that will ship as part of its Windows Phone point release later this year. Nokia is also reportedly waiting for the next release of Windows Phone before it unveils its first Windows Phone device.
Microsoft is planning to mark Windows Phone 7′s first birthday with a platform release to upgrade functionality and rebrand the platform. WinRumors spoke to Achim Berg, Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone Marketing, at Mobile World Congress and he confirmed that the forthcoming changes are part of a platform release. Berg would not confirm the final branding for the release but did suggest that the changes are big enough to warrant a new release and point increment. Although Microsoft is still working on the release, codenamed “Mango”, the software giant is expected to brand it as Windows Phone 7.5 as an interim before the platform is aligned neatly into Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
“Mango” currently contains multitasking, Internet Explorer 9 mobile and Twitter integration. Microsoft’s unveiling in Mobile World Congress ties up some of the unknowns with “Mango” but only scrapes the surface of what the release will contain. Berg confirmed that the company is currently working on when and how they will unveil more information about “Mango”. Microsoft will unveil further information about the Internet Explorer 9 mobile component at MIX11 in April but Berg says the company will also offer more tid-bits after that. Berg hinted that this could be around the May timeframe and that Microsoft didn’t want to unveil too much too soon in case “competitors copied us”.