NoDo

Verizon could be preparing to announce a possible March WP7 device launch, as soon as this coming Monday (28th February). The device that will be introduced is the HTC 7 Trophy for $200 on a two-year contract. Verizon, attempting to combat Sprint with their announcement of the HTC Arrive, plans to offer their WP7 entry at around the same period of release.

Both networks will have the "NoDo' update for WP7 on their device, which will allow customers to use copy & paste amend other highly anticipated amendments. This is great news for newcomers and already established WP7 owners.

Microsoft stated back in September that no CMDA versions of Windows Phone 7 would be available until 2011 while they focused resources on prioritised tasks. The coming months will prove to be an exciting time for the community, and the addition of Verizon and Sprint can only increase market share within the industry.

Editors Note: We've received a fair number of anonymous tips this week saying the same thing. We didn't run them because there was nothing to back them up outside of "highly plausible/duh". Still, it helps in our mind to corroborate this current story.

Source: WinRumors

 

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A rumor was circulating recently that Microsoft would be pushing a mini-ROM update for Windows Phone that would precede the big 'NoDo' ROM. It was speculated that this may be a test-run for the update but in fact, it looks to be a mini bug fix to ensure that NoDo and future updates are installed correctly. In fact, it sounds analogous to the Zune Desktop update that was recently rolled out for the same reason.

MonSmartphone.net is reporting that Microsoft France themselves have confirmed that an update will be pushed out to all users within in the next few days (we're actually told "today evening or tomorrow"). It's not clear if all devices are affected by this bug, therefore we might not see everyone get this update. Stay tuned.

Update: Confirmed by Microsoft US. All the details can be found here.

This first update for Windows Phone is designed to improve the software update process itself. So while it might not sound exciting, it’s still important because it’s paving the way for all future goodie-filled updates to your phone, such as copy and paste or improved Marketplace search.

Source: MonSmartphone.net, wmpoweruser

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While we don't have any visual confirmation of this, lets just say it makes sense. We're getting a report that the Dell Venue Pro is already shipping with the NoDo update on board, ready for some copy-n-paste action---at least in India (did we just let you down a bit? Sorry.). Reader Vinod writes to tell us:

"My friend just picked up a new Dell Venue Pro in India. And it has the NoDo (copy-paste) update already applied! The moment I saw the copy icon appearing on his phone, I yelled and started trying it out! Works exactly as advertised and in the emulator"

Like we said, it makes sense. Just like how that leaked Sprint 7 Pro finalized ROM has now been confirmed to have NoDo on board, we can expect some devices rolling off the factory floors to have the update already applied, as OEMs have been working with the update for a few months already. All we know is we're getting darn close! (Interestingly enough, we tried every single WP7 device on display at Mobile World Congress, not one had the update applied--looks like MS didn't let anyone slip it there)

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Rafael Rivera of CheveronWP7 fame has tweeted that Sprint customers will be enjoying Windows Phone 7 in the first two weeks of March. And the phone of choice for Sprint shall be the HTC 7 Pro. This makes sense as we just saw the leaked, finalized ROM for the Sprint 7 Pro, which hints as near release.

To date, the official time frame for a CDMA Windows Phone 7 is sometime during the first half of 2011 (March would qualify). This time frame also mirrors the release date (early March) for the first WP7 update, "NoDo", that will contain CDMA support as well as copy/paste and performance enhancements.

There was speculation that the "NoDo" update was delayed due to carriers. Could the carrier delay have been to allow Sprint time to get ready for a Windows Phone launch? Nothing official from Sprint or Microsoft confirming this but March will be here before you know it. 

Source: Twitter; Thanks goes out to TimN for the tip!

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While we've generally tried to stray from pinning down an exact date to the Windows Phone 'NoDo' update in addition to posting unsourced rumors on the topic (well, we try), at least this latest one has some things going for it: a name, a place and some pics.

The latest rumor suggests that the Windows Phone 'NoDo' update is coming in early March. We won't say "delayed" because as far as we know, Microsoft has never set a public date. What we do know is that they will most definitely discuss the 800lb gorilla in the room next week at the Mobile World Congress (yes, we'll be there for it).

French site WindowsPhoneFR has the origin of this early March rumor: it stems from an event at TechDays 2011 ("a sort of lounge / conference dedicated to developers, to learn about the latest technology, latest techniques and recent projects" involving Microsoft). The conference was in Paris at the Palais des Congres and one of the editors of WindowsPhoneFR, Julian Vu, was there--so that's why we're posting this.

Samsung had a stand there with a representative and the question was directly asked:

Q: When will the update for Windows 7 Phone?

Samsung A: Probably early March, we will confirm at the Mobile World Congress in mid-February.

So there you go, that's where this all started. Is it true? Maybe. Either way, if you can hold for just a few more days, we're pretty sure we'll get the skinny from Micrsoft themselves, so no use getting in a twist over the exact date, m'kay? Update: The story also jives with one similar posted on WinExtra.

Udpate 2: Mary Jo Foley is confirming ealry March as well now with even more detail

Big thanks to Fabien Patou at WindowsPhoneFR for the heads up!

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We've heard that a new version of the Zune Desktop application is required for the upcoming Windows Phone 'NoDo' update and sure enough, an update just went live.

If you go to your Zune Desktop --> Settings --> Software --> General, you can force an update-check to grab v4.7.1404.0--which seems to be the same version as before, so we're unclear of any direct changes.

The new version of Zune Desktop is suppose to allow your Windows Phone to be backed up in preparation for 'NoDo', allowing you roll back if there are any problems during the flash. Of course the bigger news is this probably signifies that the actual Windows Phone update is only days, if not weeks away or that MS is gearing up for some changes in anticipation. (And call us crazy, but Zune seems to load a lot faster now).

Update: Cursory look so far reveals no significant changes besides perfomance. Find anything? Tell us in comments.

Update 2: While the overall version number is the same, two components have changed as noted by reader mparker: ZuneWmdu.dll and ZuneWmduResources.dll are both now v4.7.1407. Microsoft's support page in fact mentions these as needed for the software backup: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2498092 So this does look like a prep for the 'NoDo' update.

Thanks, David M., for the great observation!

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2498092
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If your a developer, you've probably already received word about the new "January refresh" to the Windows Phone developer tools. The main feature is of course copy and paste in the emulator, allowing devs to dry run their apps with the new function (in fact, here are the directions on copy & paste for those curious). In addition to copy and paste, the tools also include "...updated reference assemblies, a new version of the Windows Phone OS emulator image, and several minor bug fixes", which should keep devs busy poking and prodding for awhile. (Note: Microsoft is not "seeding" NoDo updates to developers as far as we know). The updated tools can be downloaded right here.

Microsoft's Brandon Watson goes on to note that most apps won't need to be recompiled/resubmitted to the Marketplace---they should be just fine with copy and paste and the other changes. For those devs whose apps are non-standard, MS has scanned the market for them and will be contacting the devs. The third bit of info is that the Windows Phone developer tools have been downloaded over one million times--quite the big win.

Finally, Microsoft has made it "easier" to get developer phones (HD7, Focus, Surround) by partnering with Zones. All this really means is they gave an outlet to buy unsubsidized Windows Phones with no carrier contract, but the phones are still locked.

So when will anyone actually get the famed NoDo update? Rumors suggest February 7th, but we're not so confident just yet...

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog; Thanks, Eric R., for the heads up

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Last night, the ChevronWP7 team posted a new blog on their upcoming meeting with Microsoft in Redmond next week. At that discussion, they plan to put forth the argument as to why the Hombrew community is important as well as the general feeling on improving the OS:

We’ll be sharing our perspective on the homebrew potentials of Windows Phone 7 and some of the wider community feedback around the platform. In addition to our homebrew focus, we will also be pushing for stronger protection of WP7 developer intellectual property (IP) on the platform as we believe both can co-exist on the platform.

Sounds pretty good. But then again, there's certainly no commitment from Microsoft to embrace or work towards a hombrew community. It seems that you can only have it all open or all closed, but in between is hard to navigate. But hey, there's some smart people around discussing this stuff so maybe a workaround can be reached?

The second big bombshell is that ChevronWP7, technically discontinued, will no longer work after the upcoming 'NoDo' update:

Although this has been subtly communicated before, we’d like to reiterate Microsoft has informed us the “coding error” used in the ChevronWP7 unlocker will no longer work after the next Windows Phone 7 update (officially announced at CES 2011).

So that's that, evidently. Of course we imagine some other young, starry eyed team will come a long and we'll repeat the whole process by say....March or April. Much like the locked-unlocked-locked cycle of the iPhone and the Cydia community, this has the potential to go on for a long time. However, if Microsoft comes up with a Homebrew solution, that would easily nip in the bud the desire for more black-hat activities amongst the community.

Maybe we're cynical, but we're just not holding our breath on the homebrew thing happening. Your thoughts?

Source: ChevronWP7; via @ChrisWalshie

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The other day, we mentioned about CNet's experience with the upcoming "NoDo" update, specifically the performance increase when loading locally stored, graphic-intensive apps.

Improvements ranged from a few to 20 seconds for something like Bejewled. Now Anadtech has posted a video basically showing the same thing described by CNet and seeing is believing. While not all apps benefit, clearly the bigger ones like Ilomilo will. Currently, some games do take awhile to load but we're not exactly complaining, so any improvement is icing for us. You?

Source: Anandtech; via: wmpoweruser

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CNET managed to get some more information from Microsoft regarding the upcoming January/February update to Windows Phone 7, described by Ballmer during his keynote. While we know about copy and paste but the other new feature quoted as a "significant improvement in performance when loading or switching between applications" was left a little vague.

Aaron Woodman, director of Microsoft's mobile communications business, went over some of the details with CNET and it turns out to be pretty interesting. In short, front-loading, graphic intensive apps will see the most, maybe even dramatic, improvement, while more text-based apps won't see as much. Basically, things like XBox games and apps with locally stored information will get a huge boost. However, apps like Flixster won't see much of an improvement, only because they pull down their data from the web and that's a different thing altogether.

When given an example like Bejewled, the comparison between an updated and non-updated device was given to CNET. Evidently, the updated device loaded Bejeweled a full 15-20 seconds faster than the non-updated version, which Woodman appropriately called "dramatic". What is nice of course is the fact that developers need not make any changes to their coding--this is all on Microsoft's memory architecture and how it allocates resources, so technically every app will see a gain, just some more than others.

Finally, you can also sense the nervousness of Microsoft regarding app-updates. While there are many "unknowns" about the whole process, the feeling from this and other interviews on the matter is Microsoft doesn't know either: they taking baby steps to make sure it all goes smoothly and they are leaving themselves wiggle room to adjust if needed.

Source: CNET

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Microsoft insider and author of Windows Phone Secrets Paul Thurrott has revealed some additional details about some of the Windows Phone 7 updates we can expect in 2011. We’ve discussed several of the rumors that have been floating around, and Thurrott confirms much of what we’ve been hearing.

The first update, rumored to be announced tomorrow night at the opening keynote at CES in Las Vegas, is entitled “NoDo” (No Donuts) reportedly in response to Android 1.6 (Donut). Thurrott reports that NoDo will RTM in January, with consumers seeing the update in the early February timeframe, after testing by carriers. NoDo will have copy and paste, CDMA support, and supports Qualcomm’s 7x30 chipset.

Thurrott also confirms what we’ve been hearing about Mango, which has been termed a “Major” update to Windows Phone 7. Mango should see HTML5 and Silverlight support within the browser, also bits of the Trident 5 rendering engine contained within Internet Explorer 9. Referred to within Microsoft as the “entertainment” branch, Mango is something we will definitely be looking forward to.

From a scheduling standpoint, Thurrott makes it clear that we should expect more updates between NoDo and Mango, though he doesn’t go into additional detail.

We’ll be on hand at CES this week to keep you up to date. For the latest and greatest news, follow us on Twitter (@wpcentral, @backlon, @philnickinson, @tferrill).

Source: WindowsPhoneSecrets

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