Word on the street from Microsoft savant Paul Thurrott is that Windows Phone 7's first update might go gold as early as this week -- in time for Ballmer's CES keynote, in fact, which means he might give it a mention and / or spend a few minutes showing it off. It's said to be codenamed "NoDo," short for "No Donuts" -- a pretty obscure (and odd) reference to the fact that Redmond doesn't want to release incremental, minor updates like Google did with Android 1.6 Donut. We're not sure why they'd bother taking a swipe at an Android build that happened... oh, four versions ago, but Microsoft works in mysterious ways. Anyhow, it'll apparently add copy / paste, CDMA location support (which might be the only thing holding up Verizon and Sprint from launching at this point), support for additional Qualcomm chipsets, and miscellaneous bug fixes.
Moving on, Thurrott says that the rumored Mango update isn't the next update after NoDo, but it's real -- and it's big. It'll add Internet Explorer 9 with HTML 5 and Silverlight support, but notably, its code line is being referred to internally as the "entertainment branch," so there might be some other magic in store. Current version numbers for Mango are in the 7.2 range, but builds are in the 7500 range, suggesting Windows Phone 7.5 branding is a possibility. An exciting 2011 for Microsoft on the mobile side? Looks like.