Mobile OS Alert: 'Massive' Update Coming for Windows Phone 7

A member of the programming team that created the first "jailbreak" tool for unlocking Windows Phone 7 applications tweeted this week that Microsoft is readying a "massive" update to the phone's operating system for release early next year.

How massive?

"Let's just say they could have called it Windows Phone 8," said one of the tweets by Chris Walsh, who along with two other well-known bloggers recently released the ChevronWP7 jailbreaking tool.

Windows Phone enthusiast site WPcentral said that atop the list of updates will be features that the iPhone has had for some time -- notably, copy and paste functions and "some form" of multi-tasking.

Other new features coming with the update include custom ringer support and improvements to Bing's driving directions, the site said.

The company confirmed part of the rumors.

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

"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.

Meanwhile, the ChevronWP7 jailbreaking tool was released onto the Web late last week.

"Today we have an exciting breakthrough for the Windows Phone 7 homebrew community -- the ability for anyone to unlock a WP7 device without a Marketplace developer account," said a blog post at the time by Walsh and his co-developers.

The other two bloggers and developers who worked on ChevronWP7 are Long Zheng and Rafael Rivera.

The ChevronWP7 tool is available for download here.

Additionally, Microsoft announced Monday that it is shipping the final version of Visual Basic (VB) for the Windows Phone developer tools, giving VB users the ability to write Windows Phone 7 apps. "The big news is that you can now build and release Silverlight applications and games for Windows Phone built in Visual Basic to the Windows Phone Marketplace," Larry Lieberman, product manager for Windows Phone developer experience, said in a post to the Windows Phone Developer blog. Windows Phone 7 was officially rolled out on Oct. 11, and the first batch of smartphones to run on it began shipping on Nov. 8.

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.


Microsoft, mobile, Windows Phone 7, mobile operating system, mobile os