Microsoft Rolls Out First WP7 Update

Microsoft confirmed it has started distributing its first significant update to Windows Phone 7 (WP7).

The update, which some observers refer to as NoDo, provides WP7 phones with a copy and paste function, as well as simpler navigation of Microsoft's apps marketplace, and improved app performance.

"We've begun to gradually roll out the Copy & Paste update, starting small with customers with open market phones this week. More to come," a Microsoft spokesperson told InternetNews.com.

The NoDo update had been expected for some time, but may have been slightly delayed by problems last month with the first ever update for WP7 that, for some Samsung phones resulted in unrepairable damage to the devices.

While the problems with the initial update were cleared up, there was little to see in terms of what the update itself does -- it was primarily meant to make installation of future updates easier.

When Windows Phone 7 made its debut, developers and users complained that the mobile operating system lacked multi-tasking for apps as well as not having a cut and paste function.

Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer said last month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that at least two updates are planned.

Now, the first -- NoDo -- will be rolled out to users over the next several weeks.

A second update, codenamed Mango, that adds multi-tasking and a mobile version of Internet Explorer 9, is planned for the second half of the year. The second update will also include tight integration with Twitter, and support for Office documents in the cloud.

Additionally, Microsoft is apparently generating some momentum behind its Marketplace Browser app store. The site currently lists more than 11,000 registered apps. In mid-February, the company only claimed 8,000 apps.

WP7 devices began shipping in the U.S. in early November.

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