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CES: Windows Phone 7 Updates Due in Coming Months, Steve Ballmer

At CES, Steve Ballmer announced that Microsoft will release a series of Windows Phone 7 updates over the next few months, including adding the copy-and-paste feature and improving the phone’s performance when loading or switching between applications.

Microsoft also is working to make WinP7 available from Sprint and Verizon in the first half of 2011, and more languages will become available later this year.

Ballmer said that high satisfaction rating bodes well for the future of the phone.

Official WP7 homepage has been updated with a page detailing what’s coming in the “January Update” (as the page is titled):

Copy and paste: Soon you’ll be able to copy text from emails, text messages, web pages, and Office Mobile documents, and paste it anywhere you can type.

Using copy and paste is easy and intuitive. In many cases you just tap a word, slide your finger to highlight any additional text, then tap the Copy icon. To insert this text in a message or app, just tap the spot where it should go, then tap the Paste icon.

Copy and paste is a handy way to quickly send someone’s latest Facebook update, turn-by-turn directions from Maps, or a must-see link from Internet Explorer Mobile. Once you’ve copied something, you can paste it again and again.

The new feature adds to the list of time-saving shortcuts already built into Windows Phone, like the ability to tap an address on a webpage to map it (US only).

Faster apps and games: Nobody likes to wait. That’s why we’ve whittled down the time it takes for apps and games to start up and resume. It’s all part of our focus on getting you to the things you love, easier and faster.

Better Marketplace search: We’ve streamlined Marketplace search to make it easier to find specific apps, games, or music. Press the Search button in the apps or games section of Marketplace and you’ll see only apps or games in the results.

Press Search in the music section of Marketplace to search just the music catalog.

Liz Sloan from Windows Phone team now up to do some demoing:

  1. Camera, see something you want to shoot, but by time you get the app gone, the moment is gone. Microsoft set out to solve that. Every WP7 has a dedicated camera button, which works even if screen is locked. Press and hold and take the picture. That’s pretty clever, actually. Then you can share it, of course. Pocket to picture to post in a few seconds.
  2. Glance and Go, “lock” screen and “start” screens both give you a rundown on key things. Start screen has live tiles that change, say your friends update status, you can see that on the tile [the tiles still kind of freak me out, but I haven’t played much with it].
  3. Voice Search. She says “in n out burger.” there’re the results coming up from bing, shows those closest to her and can then see what else is nearby where she wants to go.
  4. Bing is part of the phone. Dedicated search button. Instant answers from Bing provide direct answers without having to click to sites.
  5. 5) Hubs which organize things. Going into Office, and how she can keep notes in OneNote and sync across PC and the web. Any note can be pinned to the start screen.
  6. Apps: BofA, Fandango, Amazon.com are some of them. She’s copying a note she made to buy an Xbox and pasting into the Amazon app [I thought there was no copy and paste yet].
  7. Now showing games, shouting out a variety of them, saying next update will make games play even faster.

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