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New Windows Phone 7 features coming in January

Cut-and-paste and turn-by-turn directions touted

Windows Phone 7 early adopters won't have to wait long to get some major missing features, according to the latest rumours.

Chris Walshie, who is part of the team that created Windows Phone 7's first jailbreaking tool, has tweeted about a "massive" update for Microsoft's newborn mobile OS. He said Microsoft was working on the update long before the phone launched, and that the company "could have called it Windows Phone 8".

Walshie added that "MS took three months to do what Apple did in three years." It's unclear how he got this information.

What's on the table if this rumour pans out? Copy and paste is an obvious candidate, given that Andy Lees, Microsoft's senior vice president of mobile communications, said the feature will arrive early next year.

We could also see some sort of multitasking for third-party apps, turn-by-turn directions from Bing and custom ringer support, according to an earlier rumour from WPCentral. However, this report is pretty shaky, originating from a forum post by someone who reportedly talked to an unnamed Microsoft employee.

Of course, if Microsoft adds all of those features in January, it would go a long way toward closing up all the major holes people have complained about with Windows Phone 7. Meanwhile, the platform's app marketplace is filling up nicely.

I often hear Apple-bashers complain when Microsoft is criticised for Windows Phone 7's missing features, because the iPhone didn't add the same features until two or three years after launch. That's irrelevant. What's important is the current state of all smartphone platforms, and Microsoft has some catching up to do. If these rumours pan out, it's not too late.

See also: 16 (mostly) free starter apps for Windows Phone 7

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