Microsoft’s first major Windows Phone 7 update will arrive preinstalled on the HTC Arrive from Sprint, according to a Phone Scoop report. The “NoDo” update includes cut-and-paste functionality, along with faster application loading.
According to that report, the HTC Arrive ships March 20. That would dovetail neatly with Microsoft’s current predictions that the update will push into the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem in the second half of March.
Sprint has confirmed with eWEEK that the HTC Arrive will feature cut-and-paste, speedier applications and games, and improved Marketplace search. “We’ve streamlined Marketplace search to make it easier to find specific apps, games or music,” read an official document forwarded by a Sprint spokesperson. “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.”
The launch of the HTC Arrive is a particularly auspicious one for Microsoft and its smartphone plans, as it is the first Windows Phone 7 device to appear on a CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) carrier. Previously, Windows Phone 7 smartphones had appeared only on GSM-based networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile.
As with Windows Phone 7 devices on other carriers, the HTC Arrive follows Microsoft’s stringently enforced minimum hardware requirements, including a 5-megapixel camera and 1GHz Snapdragon processor. It features a 3.6-inch capacitive touch-screen display (with 800 by 480 resolution), 16GB of internal memory, and advertised talk time of up to 6 hours.
Sprint will make the HTC Arrive available March 20, for $199 with a two-year contract.
Microsoft had previously shifted the NoDo update from the first half of March to the latter two weeks of the month. “After careful consultation with the team and our many partners, we’ve decided to briefly hold the March update in order to ensure the update process meets our standards and that of our customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in a March 10 e-mail to eWEEK. “As a result, we will plan to begin delivering the update in the latter half of March.”
In February, Microsoft had introduced a Windows Phone 7 update designed to help with future updates. Within a day of that update’s rollout, however, a small number of users began complaining it stalled their smartphones.
As those complaints found their way onto online forums, Microsoft shifted into full damage-control mode, claiming in a corporate blog posting that only 10 percent of users’ smartphones had stalled because of the new software. Nonetheless, the company temporarily suspended the update for Samsung phones until it could work out the underlying issues.
In the wake of that snafu, Microsoft appeared more cautious about how it proceeded with the subsequent software update. Despite the minor delay to cut-and-paste, though, the company claims there will be no delay in later updates designed to bake multitasking, Twitter, and a new HTML5-friendly version of Internet Explorer Mobile onto the platform. Those updates are slated for the second half of the year.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with a comment from Sprint.