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Next Windows Phone 7 update gets small delay

The first major update to Windows Phone 7 devices has been delayed so that Microsoft can make sure it doesn't run into the same problems it did with a smaller update in February.

A Windows Phone 7 device
Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Citing hiccups following the rollout of last month's Windows Phone 7 software update, Microsoft is pushing back the release date of the update that will bring Windows Phone users new features.

"I believe it's important that we learn all we can from the February update," wrote Eric Hautala, Microsoft's general manager of Customer Experience Engineering, in a post on the Windows Phone blog. "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."

The news is likely to be unwelcome to those who were looking forward to finally getting their hands on the copy-and-paste feature Microsoft first unveiled all the way back in October, as well as some of the speed improvements the company detailed at CES in January. That update had originally been destined to reach users in the first two weeks of March, leaving just four days from now for Microsoft to deliver.

Even with the changes, Hautala said that this does not change the launch time frame of the much larger update, due sometime in the next three months.

"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.

The now infamous February update Hautala had been referring to was meant to prepare phones for this first update that will bring copy and paste, among other additions. It ended up leaving some users with Samsung devices unable to update their system software, with the process hanging just beyond the halfway point. In some cases this left users with an unusable device. Microsoft then pulled the update to make fixes, before re-releasing it. Even then, however, a handful of users still ran into problems.

All told, Microsoft had said that about 10 percent of customers were running into problems with the update. That includes other problems such as not being able to download the software due to Internet connectivity issues, as well as not having enough onboard storage, the company had said.

"Let me be crystal clear: We're not satisfied when problems prevent you from enjoying the latest Windows Phone updates," Hautala wrote. "When we find an issue, we study and fix it. To that end, we're carefully studying the current update process and will apply the lessons learned from it to all future ones. This is how we get better."