Two Windows Phone 7 Updates Coming in 2011?

Microsoft is keeping mum but the rumor mill is turning full-speed over apparent leaks that say the company's newly-released Windows Phone 7 will get two updates after the first of the year -- not just one.

While the information is still unverified rumors, there may be a little truth to stories spreading on the Web about Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) latest bid for the mobile phone market.

Instead of launching a "massive" update for Windows Phone 7 as the grapevine was saying two weeks ago, two tech rumor sites are saying that Microsoft is looking at having two updates early next year.

For instance, Winrumors said Friday that a source told the site that Microsoft would have a small update to the phone operating system perhaps in January, followed by a more comprehensive update in mid-February at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

"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," Winrumors editor Tom Warren said in a story on the Winrumors site.

"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," the Winrumors post said.

Two weeks ago other reports pointed to Microsoft planning a single large update.

On the early arrivals list, will be copy and paste functionality. In fact, that's an area that Microsoft has said will be updated earlier rather than later. The company reportedly has started sending copies of that update to developers.

"Our first update will be to make copy & paste available in early 2011," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com two weeks ago.

"In addition to this first update, all Windows Phone 7 users should expect to see additional updates delivered in the future as part of Microsoft’s ongoing update process," the spokesperson added.

According to Winrumors, Microsoft plans to announce the first update at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in early January in Las Vegas.

The "massive" update that may include multitasking support, would be announced by Ballmer at MWC in mid-February.

That was partially corroborated by Matt Rosoff, Silicon Alley Insider's West Coast editor. "The head of a company that develops mobile apps is expecting a significant update to Windows Phone 7 in February," he said in a story online regarding his source about the updates.

"We don't comment on rumors and speculation," a Microsoft spokesperson told InternetNews.com in an e-mail on Friday.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.


steve ballmer, mobile apps, Windows Phone 7, Mobile World Congress