Microsoft Delays Windows Phone 7 Update With Cut-And-Paste Capabilities

Stung by a problem in a minor update in February that caused some Samsung phones to "brick" or be rendered inoperable, Microsoft is taking additional time to test the cut-and-paste update the company had promised for the first half of March, according to a blog posting by Eric Hautala, Microsoft general manager of customer experience engineering.

"We have the next update waiting in the wings," Hautala wrote. "It delivers copy and paste, better Marketplace [Microsoft's online app store] search, and other key improvements.

"But I believe it's important that we learn all we can from the February update," Hautala said, "So I've decided to take some extra time to ensure the update process meets our standards, your standards, and the standards of our partners. As a result, our plan is to start delivering the copy-and-paste update in the latter half of March.

"This short pause should in no way impact the timing of future updates, including the one announced recently at Mobile World Congress featuring multitasking, a Twitter feature, and a new HTML 5-friendly version of Internet Explorer Mobile," Hautala said.

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Microsoft is counting on Windows Phone 7, which debuted last fall, to help it establish a beachhead in the smartphone arena and catch up with Apple's iPhone and devices that run Google's Android mobile OS.

There are currently nine handsets sold by 60 mobile service operators in 30 countries that use Windows Phone 7. Microsoft executives said in January that manufacturers had shipped 2 million Windows Phone 7 devices, but the company hasn't offered an update since then or provided detailed sales figures.

Microsoft Marketplace now has more than 9,000 applications that run on Windows Phone 7.

Last month Microsoft delivered an update designed to improve the update process itself. While most devices that use Windows Phone 7 successfully accepted the update, it created problems for owners of Samsung Omnia 7 and Focus smartphones.

Microsoft is also hoping that a much ballyhooed alliance with Nokia, under which the world's largest handset manufacturer will develop a new mobile device ecosystem around Windows Phone 7, will help boost the Mobile operating system's fortunes. But it leaked out this week that Microsoft will pay Nokia $1 billionunder an undisclosed part of the deal.