Developer tool updates Windows Phone 7 devices

While Microsoft continues to struggle to push out the update, the unauthorized tool reportedly works well

Developer Chris Walsh has apparently done what software giant Microsoft has failed to accomplish: let anyone with a Windows Phone 7 device install the first two operating system updates.

On Monday, Walsh released code that appears to let WP7 users download the so-called No-Do update, which adds the capability to cut and paste as well as other performance enhancements. If users haven't yet gotten the first update, they can download that too. Users are reporting that the updates work well.

Walsh notes that there is no process for reverting the phone and that users should try it at their own risk. Via Twitter, he also said that using his update method won't prevent users from getting future official updates from Microsoft.

Microsoft did not immediately reply to a request for comment about Walsh's method for installing the updates.

The company's effort to roll out two updates has been riddled with problems. The first issues started with an update that was designed to make the update process smoother. That software made some Samsung phones unusable.

It has also struggled to push out the update known as No-Do, with the cut-and-paste capability. According to a status page the company maintains, just two of five phones eligible for the updates in the U.S. are getting it now. Microsoft started trying to roll out the first update in late February.

Walsh and two other developers became known in the Windows Phone 7 community when they released a tool that would let users upload applications to the phones that aren't approved in the Windows Marketplace. But Microsoft approached the trio, promising to do more to let developers test applications on their phones and noting that its update would close the hole that allowed the unlocking tool to work.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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