Windows Phone 7 update news leaks ahead of CES

It now appears that previous reports around Windows Phone 7 (WP7) getting multiple updates in 2011 may have been on the mark. Paul Thurrott has the lowdown on two of these updates – codenamed 'NoDo' (minor update) and 'Mango' (component of a major update).

NoDo stands for "No Donuts", an obvious dig at Google's Android codename, and is a minor update. It should RTM within the next few weeks, be approved by carriers soon after and be available for end users in early February. This update brings copy and paste to WP7. It also features support for the new Qualcomm 7x30 chipset, a CDMA location stack and various other fixes – presumably performance and stability related. This update may be shown off at the upcoming CES keynote.

Mango, is a component of a major update. It's believed that this major update will bring the platform to Windows Phone 7.5 – although it's not clear if that name will be used officially (the current Windows Phone version is technically 7.2). Mango includes a significant browser update, akin to Internet Explorer 9 (Trident 5 rendering, HTML5 and Silverlight support). Thurrott has information that this update will also bring entertainment-related updates/features.

As for the frequency of updates, Microsoft is taking a service pack-like approach to updating WP7 (according to Thurrott's sources). This means that updates are released in bulk, rather than "one fix at a time". He, and presumably many others, would prefer that Microsoft took the latter approach.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

HP announces special webOS event for February 9

Next Story

ASUS unveils Eee Pad Slider and Eee Pad Transformer

48 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I don't know, I've tried a few devices including the focus and surround and I can't get into the tile UI. Maybe I'm just used to icons, but I will definatley try them again after these updates.

It should RTM within the next few weeks, be approved by carriers soon after and be available for end users in early February.

I don't understand why MS has to go through this process, Apple releases their new firmware regardless of what the carriers have to say, I don't see why MS must have them approve it

Unless they're talking about manufacturers (the companies making the phones) and not the carriers like ATT

Rudy said,

I don't understand why MS has to go through this process, Apple releases their new firmware regardless of what the carriers have to say, I don't see why MS must have them approve it

Unless they're talking about manufacturers (the companies making the phones) and not the carriers like ATT

I would imagine the nature of the business model makes this a requirement, win phone 7 = multiple devices, multiple carriers, multiple manufacturers, instead of iPhone = 1 device from 1 manufacturer on a smaller amount of networks (growing now I know).

Maybe apple do give the carriers access before releasing updates?

Dont forget carriers have to support the device, their call centres need to know how to help people, if the updates came direct I'd guess there would be more work for the carriers and more confusion for tech support (they at least need early access so on day one they can 'support' it).

That said I would love direct updates, day 1, as I never call for support....but its a majority rule I'm afraid...

Fritzly said,
I wonder when, or maybe if, tasks will be brought back........ Maybe WP8...........

Task sync to Windows Live you mean? I don't think we'll have to wait that long for it to be honest. It's just a minor option to add in either the email or calendar app (I'm guessing it fits better in the calender app?).

GP007 said,

Task sync to Windows Live you mean? I don't think we'll have to wait that long for it to be honest. It's just a minor option to add in either the email or calendar app (I'm guessing it fits better in the calender app?).

No sync Tasks and Categories with Outlook......... as my Motorola MX200 and WM 2002 allowed me to do back then......... :-)

Fritzly said,
No sync Tasks and Categories with Outlook......... as my Motorola MX200 and WM 2002 allowed me to do back then......... :-)

No, have them sync with Windows Live and then sync back to Outlook using the Hotmail Connector.

I think the most important bit from Thurrott's article is:

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.

Futurix said,
I think the most important bit from Thurrott's article is:

Ya, this little bit of info changes things since there could be, and probably will be, smaller updates between the two and probably some after Mango.

downhillrider said,
wait so after these few months the only thing we're getting is copy/paste?

Doubtful, bug fixes and smoother operation I'd bet are included (yes Ive had the odd slowdown and 2 restarts, so bug fixes are needed, but v1 so hey ho).

But don't forget this isn't the official list of what's included in the 1st update, also I'm really happy to hear they are updating the rendering engine of IE to a HTML5/silverlight capable jobby, happy days indeed!

downhillrider said,
wait so after these few months the only thing we're getting is copy/paste?
Sure, because one feature has been listed, nothing else is occurring. Sheesh.

dt said,
Does WP7 have multitasking yet?

Once again the core OS is WinCE 6.0 R3 which supports native multitasking. However your apps are sandbxed to the Silverlight and XNA frameworks. Those frameworks do not support native multitasking, however they can suspend execution and resume as requested. Your application still responds to external events. So this is another form of multitasking

It desn't sound so much like a traditional service pack approach (ie: if it's not XP SP2, you're just getting bugfixes), as it does like the same approach that the Xbox team conjured up for the Dashboard. It's worked pretty well for the Xbox so far, so it's not surprising that they'll take a similar approach for their newest piece of consumer gadgetry.

That said, until there's some real techy software available (at least RDP and SSH clients), I will have to stick with WM6.5, Android, or iOS.

Silverskull said,
Shhh... don't tell MS... we're way past Donut.

Not with the fragmentation issues that Android has, that's presumably why they called it NoDo.

Actually Brody, if you read Paul Thurrott's article a bit better you will find that 'Mango' is only -part- of the major update coming.. it is not the major update.

tropolite said,
Actually Brody, if you read Paul Thurrott's article a bit better you will find that 'Mango' is only -part- of the major update coming.. it is not the major update.

Yeah, obviously

tropolite said,
Actually Brody, if you read Paul Thurrott's article a bit better you will find that 'Mango' is only -part- of the major update coming.. it is not the major update.
Thanks for your feedback, tropolite. I've cleared that up.

Well I can't wait. As much as I love my wp7 phone, there are nagging issues that just shouldn't be there.

Chester0 said,
"one fix at a time" would make everything more complicated on their side

How so? Getting carriers to approve 10 updates vs 1 update will be a lot easier. Then all Windows Phones will be on the same version at the same time, instead of having some on 7.2.1, while others are on 7.2.2, and others on 7.2.6, etc.

andrewbares said,

How so? Getting carriers to approve 10 updates vs 1 update will be a lot easier. Then all Windows Phones will be on the same version at the same time, instead of having some on 7.2.1, while others are on 7.2.2, and others on 7.2.6, etc.

What about not involve the carriers as MS initially stated was going to be?

andrewbares said,
How so? Getting carriers to approve 10 updates vs 1 update will be a lot easier. Then all Windows Phones will be on the same version at the same time, instead of having some on 7.2.1, while others are on 7.2.2, and others on 7.2.6, etc.
Er, 'one fix at a time' is the idea of pushing out fixes individually. A service pack is multiple fixes at a time. You're agreeing with Chester0.

It also features support for the new Qualcomm 7x30 chipset, a CDMA location stack and various other fixes - presumably performance and stability related. This update may be shown off at the upcoming CES keynote.
Aren't the Qualcomm 7x30 chipsets only 800mhz? Yeh I know megahertz isn't everything, but the minimum specs for WP7 is 1ghz

/- Razorfold said,
Aren't the Qualcomm 7x30 chipsets only 800mhz? Yeh I know megahertz isn't everything, but the minimum specs for WP7 is 1ghz
I'd guess, as you mentioned, that it's more complex than that. If a PC application said "Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz" then we'd assume that a lower 'speed' Core i7 would be equivalent or better.

/- Razorfold said,
Aren't the Qualcomm 7x30 chipsets only 800mhz? Yeh I know megahertz isn't everything, but the minimum specs for WP7 is 1ghz

Likely for the lower-spec Chassis 2 devices that allow slightly lower specs, smaller screens, and BB style formfactors.

MS Pandya said,

Likely for the lower-spec Chassis 2 devices that allow slightly lower specs, smaller screens, and BB style formfactors.


Nope, 1Ghz is minimum across the board.

/- Razorfold said,
Aren't the Qualcomm 7x30 chipsets only 800mhz? Yeh I know megahertz isn't everything, but the minimum specs for WP7 is 1ghz

Yes, but generally on Andriod phones we've seen the 800Mhz snapdragons getting better performance than the orginial generation, and with an improved GPU we could definetly do with, so they'd be all round better performers.

~Johnny said,

Yes, but generally on Andriod phones we've seen the 800Mhz snapdragons getting better performance than the orginial generation, and with an improved GPU we could definetly do with, so they'd be all round better performers.

Even optimized GPU drivers and further OpenGL ES optimizations would make the GPU issues a non-issue, and this is without any hardware changes.

The 1ghz snapdragon in the WP7 is pushing GPU numbers several times the last published numbers by Qualcomm that were running via OpenGL ES on both a basic Linux kernel and Android.

Everyone thought the WP7 GPU speeds were going to be last year quality and subpar, yet are significantly faster than the iPhone4 and even faster than some of the higher performing new GPUs starting to appear in Android devices like the Samsung.

This could be a debate between WinCE kernel and driver technologies and the reduced complexity vs Linux and its driver model or could be a debate between the raw performance of OpenGL ES vs DirectX/XNA.

From my background, WinCE does have some advantags in the kernel driver model for raw speed, if it didn't, Microsoft would be using an NT kernel that has the same level of overhead as Linux. Also there are some good arguments that DirectX/XNA has more potential for performance than OpenGL ES.

However, I think it shows that even with WP7 having some technical advantages, there is still a lot of room for driver and OpenGL improvements on Android. There is no reason that base GPU fillrates and mil//tri sec should be several times faster just based on WinCE, its drivers, and DirectX.

The trick in this ever happening on Android is a problem, as MS GPU Engineers assisted Qualcomm with the drivers for WP7, and I don't know that Google or any entities in the OSS or Linux communities that have the same caliber of experts when it comes to GPU technologies.
- Remember MS designed the original shader code everyone uses, engineered the first VS/PS GPUs that NVidia produced and also designed and engineered the unified shader GPU technologies that all desktop GPUs today use. Etc, Etc..

But let's at least hope Google and others are paying attention to these anomolies that MS is pulling out of a hat with WP7's GPU speeds and closes this gap on new and the existing hardware out there. It would be smart to pull more of the Android GPU scores more in line to help with development issues for more consistent gaming and application performances.

Edited by thenetavenger, Jan 5 2011, 8:04am :

Owen W said,
Nope, 1Ghz is minimum across the board.

What about those processors being 800MHz dual core snapdragons, those would be faster than the 1GHz single core ones we have now.

Ently said,

Me three.

Yeah, me too. With CDMA support coming in this NoDo update, hopefully I'll be able to get one on Verizon shortly.

Quick Shot said,
I want a WP7

I just got one on the holidays (an LG Optimus 7) and it really is great. If you're thinking about getting a smart phone, I highly recommend a WP7.