Paul Thurrott has spilled the beans on the Windows Phone 7 upgrade path. I wish it were quicker but he’s an insider and seems to have been permitted to reveal inside information (you know, facts and not just conjecture) so let’s take a deep breath and get ready for it. Here are his words and I agree with his conclusion:

I can finally reveal a number of details about the first Windows Phone 7 update, a future major update, and how Microsoft intends to roll out updates generally. It’s not necessarily great news. But here’s what’s happening.

The first update: “No Donuts”

The first Windows Phone 7 software update, codenamed “NoDo,” will RTM in January, possibly this very week and in time for the CES keynote. But it won’t ship to users until early February, once the carriers sign off on it. This update will include the famed copy and paste functional addition, support for the Qualcomm 7×30 smart phone chipset, a CDMA location stack, and a number of software fixes.

Fun fact: “NoDo” stands for “No Donuts” and could be so named because the a minor Android update was called “Donut.”

Major update: “Mango” … Sort of

While I’m not sure on the timing, the first major Windows Phone 7 update contains a piece called “Mango” internally; this will add Internet Explorer 9 with with the Trident 5 rendering engine, HTML 5 and Silverlight, and gesture support. This is the “75xx” code branch, which suggests that it could be called Windows Phone 7.5. (But probably won’t be … It actually calls itself Windows Phone 7.2 at this time.). Internally, this code branch is referred to as the “entertainment” branch, which suggests other, non-IE functionality as well.

Note that Mango isn’t the “next” Windows Phone update after NoDo. It’s part of a future major update, and there could be other updates between NoDo and Mango.

Updating paradigm

In case it’s not obvious, the first update above, combined with previous information about carriers’ abilities to stop updates for “one cycle” only, suggests very strongly that Microsoft will never (or at least not normally) ship fixes for individual issues. Instead, it appears to be handling WP updates as it does with services packs in the desktop Windows world. This is, in my opinion, a huge mistake. Microsoft has plenty to fix in Windows Phone, and it should be doing so as quickly as possible, one fix at a time if necessary.

Anyway. That’s what I got.

9 COMMENTS

  1. MS moving at their usual glacial pace, I would wager WP7 will never be competivie with android and apple at this rate.

  2. I’m glad I went to Android. WP7 owners (lab rats) will be apart of many experiments for Microsoft to screw up. Good luck with all of that.

  3. I have no qualms with saying that MS has failed with a product but in general I like to wait and see how it pans out. It’s way too early 2-3 months after release and most major apps ported (exept for the upset fouls flying at swine game). Most importantly as a user, I’m quite enjoying my Windows experience on my Mozart.

  4. Wow we are getting copy and paste after only a few months, how long was it for the IPhone? Andriods! You’ll never be as smooth, Boom Roasted!

  5. Geezz. An update schedule gets published and all of a sudden Windows Phone and Microsoft suck again. So much for standing behind your convictions. I will welcome cut & paste and still hopeful for custom ringtones (but there is always Chevron), along with some identifed bug fixes, but everything else is really icing for me. Thoroughly pleased with the way my phone works and absolutely no regrets, even if the first update is not until 11/8/11.

    And I don’t want anything pushed to my phone that is not, a.) absolutely necessary, and b.) thoroughly tested and bug free.

  6. This is just bad. I left Iphone for Samsung Focus and like the experience so far but this is does not make me feel good about my decision to jump ship. What doesn’t MS get about this? Does it not realize how small of a window they have to get this right and they go and do what they always fb do; act like MS. Guess I will just hop back on IOS in a year and tell MS they can find a new rat to chase the cheese.

  7. @jimski:

    There are a myriad of feattures more worthwhile than copy and paste, that is being added to shut up the doomsayers (and shouldnt have been left out in the first place). How about turn by turn nav, as since there is no multitasking a regular gps program will be compromised, how about task switching, support for multiple windows live calendars (which the iphone supports btw), sorting options in email, an official MSN client…I’m sure there are others. Wil we have to wait months for this functionality to be released in dribs and drabs? Will android and apple be sitting on their duffs while MS is playing catch up?

    Look at CES, you could basically call it the android show, advancing everyday while MS plods along. Look at Palm WebOS, highly regarded yet hardly what you would call a runaway success, is it? Dont know about you but I had hoped MS was playing for keeps, but it seems they will be content to be a follower rather than a leader.

  8. @efjay: I hear you and understand where you are coming from, but for how I personally use WP7, nothing on your list applies, except maybe some limited multitasking. Yes, maybe Microsoft is dragging their feet or maybe they are being overly cautious to keep 100 miles of code from turning in 10,000 miles of code which was a paramount problem with WM. Just keep adding on new stuff without every straghtening out the stuff that already didn’t work. You can only push so much crap up into your attic before the ceiling caves in.

    I don’t have the answer. I am not an insider. But I think Microsoft’s primary demographic right now is the new smartphone user, who thinks anything better than a flip phone is brilliant and hard core music lovers, gamers and facebook fanatics. These users can look at your list and not see anything as a show stopper. They probably wouldn’t know what most of it means. So yes, Microsoft may lose some hard core smartphone users to Android or iOS5, but I think they are willing to take that risk in order to keep WP on the straight and narrow.

    That, or they are just a bunch of dumb asses that still don’t get it. Either way, I am going to continue to enjoy my phone as long as the Microsoft servers stay connected.

  9. I very nearly went to WP7 – if the Dell Venue would’ve been in stock when I was upgrading I would’ve been sitting here with one of those. Instead I went with the Desire HD and from what I’ve seen from WP7, I’m *so* glad I did!

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