Microsoft details March 2011 software update contents

Microsoft hasn’t actually shipped the March 2011 software update to existing Windows Phone users, but it has finally documented exactly what’s changing. As promised, it’s not much, but it is certainly more than the three big features (copy and paste, performance, and Marketplace search improvements) that the company previous described. That many of haven’t even receive the so-called February 2011 update yet—you know, the “pre-update”—is of course besides the point.

Here’s what’s new.

Copy & paste. You asked for it—now it’s here. Just tap a word and drag the arrows to copy and paste it on your phone. You can copy text from emails, text messages, web pages, and Office Mobile documents, and paste it anywhere you can type. To learn more, see Copy & paste.

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.

Other Marketplace improvements. We’ve improved the stability of Marketplace while you download apps. We’ve also improved the experience of downloading apps larger than 20 megabytes, upgrading from trial apps to paid apps, using a credit card with an address outside the United States, sharing links to apps via email, sorting Xbox LIVE games by release date, and creating an Xbox LIVE account from within the Games Hub.

Wi-Fi improvements. We now display your phone’s Media Access Control (MAC) address in Settings. (You might need this info if you try to connect to a Wi-Fi network that uses MAC address filtering. To learn more, see Connect to a Wi-Fi network.) We’ve also removed the limit on the number of Wi-Fi profiles that you can store and reduced the time it takes to start your phone if you’ve stored lots of Wi-Fi profiles.

Outlook improvements. We’ve improved the experience of viewing iPhone photo attachments you receive from a non-Exchange-based email account (such as a Google Mail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail account), using the Global Address List (GAL) when connecting to Exchange Server 2003 using Exchange ActiveSync, and working with email display names that contain brackets (for example, “David Alexander [Contoso]”).

Messaging improvements. We’ve improved the experience of receiving Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages if your phone uses a PIN-locked SIM.

Facebook integration. We’ve improved the experience of syncing Facebook accounts.

Camera improvements. We’ve improved the stability of switching between camera and video modes.

Audio improvements. We’ve improved the experience of using a Bluetooth headset to make calls when you’re playing music or videos.

Other performance improvements. This month’s update also includes software from several phone manufacturers that improves the performance of specific models. Naturally, if you don’t have one of the affected models, we won’t install this portion of the update on your phone.

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39 Responses to Microsoft details March 2011 software update contents

  1. Omega Ra says:

    hey Paul, do you have any info about a Verizon phone release? Because I really want a WP7 but I am stuck with Verizon until December…ETF too high to switch to AT&T at the moment.

  2. mlethbridge says:

    I actually just got my February update about 20 minutes ago (I’m using a HTC Surround on the Telus network in Canada), but I now have a concern. If the carriers are allowed to block an update for 1 update cycle, does this mean that I possibly won’t get the NoDo update until the Mango update hits?

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Yep. It does mean that.

      • mlethbridge says:

        Well considering it took my carrier this long to give me the February update, I guess I won’t hold my breath for NoDo.

      • nicholas1029 says:

        So then does that mean that AT&T users may only be getting pre-NoDo, and not the actual update at this time (since no one seems to have gotten anything in the past)? If this is the case, Microsoft better release a post-NoDo to move things along (although I doubt they would do that).

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        No, AT&T users will get both: NoDo includes the February update too (they’re cumulative).

  3. jeffdalydose says:

    I can’t wait to get this update!

    Notable exclusions from the listed updates:

    1. Camera improvements – still no option to keep video at 720P or to save camera settings?
    2. Audio improvements – no seperation of volume controls?
    3. Messaging – no inclusion of video in MMS?

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      With regards to #1, that may never be fixed. Microsoft says this is working “by design.”

      • Ian says:

        I bet Microsoft is going to pull an Apple, continually saying “you don’t need/want that” or “it is by design” and then fix it and say “we listened to you!”

      • Karthik says:

        Meh. That’s like the only feature I miss on WP7. I have an Omnia, and it’s tiresome to set ‘Anti-shake’ on each time a click a photo. Wp7 rocks, but Microsoft, this is so lame…

  4. Pingback: Miracle in March? Microsoft apparently delivers NoDo | Windows Phone Secrets

  5. mikea311 says:

    c’mon were tired of waiting, get it out!

  6. roberthleeii says:

    i am glad to know what is in the update, but i would love to know when i am going to get it!

  7. pastorwelker says:

    It is always good to read about what is coming as far as updates are concerned. However, I’m starting to think I will never see any of them. My new slogan for Windows Phone . . .”Windows Phone 7.0 – it just can’t get any better.”

  8. tblowdermilk says:

    Arghh..WiFi improvements, but no mention of hidden SSID support!? So close…..yet….so far. Ahhh well. Microsoft is teaching me patience. I mean, who really cares about being on 3G anyway? It’s not like there are data caps or anythi….oh…wait.

  9. an8828 says:

    Hi Paul. Will the calendar get better? Right now it is not searchable and it only pulls down 3 weeks of old appointments.

    • wqwalter says:

      I have a Microsoft BPOS outlook account and I have on my WP7 appointments going back to 2009. I don’t think that is the default but somewhere I found a setting to bring in all hstory and I got multiple years of email and calendar data. I have a 32GB MicroSD card giving almost 40GB total memory so I had plenty of space. I have since fille it up with 22GB of Zune content and over 9000 photos. But maybe you are being limited by space available.

      Bill Walter

  10. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at their use of the phrase, “This month’s update…” Like they’ve been pushing out updates for a while. That said lets hope they keep coming.

  11. timnfl says:

    Hmmm….I just got my HTC Arrive 2 days ago and its version is on 7.0.7389.0 and this one is 7.0.7390.0 does this mean i am already out of date after only 2 days or does it mean that I can expect an update with everyone else this week?

  12. moshecohen says:

    Want to know how annoyed I am with this non-update? I just switched to my old G1. Will stay on that brick of a phone until WP7 releases a real update (not a pre-update).

    I bought my HTC HD7 the morning WP7 launched, and as a Silverilght developer quickly got 2 apps published in the marketplace. I’m what you could have considered a Windows Phone 7 Evangelist (perhaps even an all-around Microsoft Evangelist) but I’m sick of this and I’m done.

    No more plans to develop apps for this platform. If I don’t get impressed by Microsoft soon, and I mean soon, I’ll just buy a new Android and stay away for good. Maybe even read up on object C while I’m at it (yuck). This isn’t rational, but it’s a matter of principle at this point.

  13. advertboy says:

    I love how they go out of there way to call them “Improvements”, when clearly alot of them are fixes. But tomato , tomatoe :)

  14. dkb1898 says:

    Hey it’s a start, if they continue to roll things MONTHLY like this we will all be satisfied that the platform is progressing. I’m not holding my breath either! Now why the silence up to this point on what this first real update really includes, who knows, but it surely backfired on them up to this point.

  15. socaltrash65 says:

    Hey Paul so I have the focus too does that mean my chances are slim on getting nodo at the same time as every one else??? And what i think is the biggest flaw in the wp7 is no downloaded ringtones do you know when that update might be coming??? My friend said closer to 2012 is that true???

  16. crashfellow says:

    I’m a former iPhone user, and i swapped to the omnia 7. I’ve been EXTREMELY disappointed by the lack of updates and information from Microsoft.

    Now i’m waiting for the No-Do update, and it occures to me during my frustration over this, why am i bothering?

    I truly feel like i just want the iPhone 5 when it comes out, and ditch the terrible windows phone. I must admit to having the concern of ‘what if more updates suddenly come out’ do i have any reason to fear that?

    I was so happy to swap from my iPhone 3gs at first, but i’ve been left disappointed, saddened and let down by what’s happened.

  17. leony29 says:

    Hey Paul do you think that wp7 will ever get keyboard support for Chinese and some of the other Asian languages?

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Sure. But you have to remember that’s just 1 of 100 features Windows Phone still needs. I’m sure it’s in the queue somewhere.

    • dkb1898 says:

      Yeah it’ll be in the next update just around the corner…that update will also provide the following.

      1. Toilet support, you will no longer need toilet paper
      2. AI that can drive your car through BlueTooth
      3. Play text messages back to you in Klingon (for Star Trek Nerd)
      4. The light sensor is actually a holgraphic 3D projector, they suprised us and included that in all the phones (this was also for the Star Trek Nerds so they could be provided virtual girlfriends)

      Ohh and all this will be done with simple software update “in the coming months”

  18. canardminceblanc says:

    Someone at Microsoft has a sick sense of humour – under the Faster Apps section: “Nobody likes to wait.”

  19. vesolis says:

    @Paul and others, I was able to to use these instructions ( to force my Focus to receive both the Feb and Mar 2011 Updates.

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