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Tango with Mango: WP7 update plans outlined in time for CES keynote

by Howard Wolinsky

Windows Phone 7 may have arrived last fall, but an update is just around the corner, potentially appearing in “going gold” form this week in time for Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer’s Consumer Electronics Show keynote.

Paul Thurott reports in Windows Phone Secrets how the Redmond, Wash. crew will tackle updates for WP7: It won’t ship updates for individual problems. Rather, it will do updates in service packs as is done in the desktop Windows world.

He said the first update, codenamed “NoDo,” won’t ship for consumers until early February after carriers sign-off. NoDo -- an obscure pun on an Android update called “No Donuts” -- includes the much anticipated copy-and-paste function and software fixes.

Alex Wagner at PhoneDog said this update will be “pretty important” because it will include devices for Verizon (VZ) and Sprint (S). “[A] fresh new update and a couple of new updates are exactly what Microsoft's OS needs to keep up with the competition,” he said.

A major update, now referred to at MSFT as ‘Mango,’ possibly ultimately called Windows Phone 7.5m “will add Internet Explorer 9 with the Trident 5 rendering engine, HTML 5 and Silverlight, and gesture support,” Thurott said. Some entertainment enhancements may be up Microsoft’s sleeve as well.

Chris Ziegler at Engadget: “An exciting 2011 for Microsoft on the mobile side? Looks like.”

On the tab front: continued Apple iPad domination

Meanwhile, Sarah Rotman Epps, in her Forrester blog, reports the research firm revised its consumer tablet forecast for 2010 to 10.3 million units and doubling to 24.1 million units sold in 2011.

“Of those sales, the lion's share will be iPads, and despite many would-be competitors that will be released at CES, we see Apple (AAPL) commanding the vast majority of the tablet market through 2012,” she said.

A major factor in the revision is Forrester suggesting the iPad replacement rate will  “be closer to that of MP3 players or iPhones than to that of PCs,” as consumers with the original recipe switch to iPad 2s that are FaceTime compatible.

Epps said: “By 2015, 82 million US consumers -- one-third of US online consumers -- will be using a tablet, and not all of them will be iPads.”