That's according to Paul Thurrott over at Windows Phone Secrets, who says that the update is being released to manufacturers this month, with users getting it in the form of a software update pending carrier approval shortly thereafter. Furthermore, Thurrott says the update will bring support for Qualcomm's 7x30 smartphone chipset and a CDMA location stack, which could put the OS onto a more diverse set of hardware.
What about the more meaty update, though--the one that brings things like an upgraded Web browser and support for Microsoft's Silverlight? Reports of that cropped up last month with an expected release around August of this year. Thurrott weighs in, saying that he's unsure about the timing, but adds that the update will also bring support for gestures and the Trudent 5 rendering engine, the latter of which can currently be found in the desktop version of Internet Explorer 9.
Microsoft is expected to unveil details about the timing and possible additions to the smaller update later today at CES. You can stay up-to-date with both of the company's news briefings by tuning in to CNET's live coverage. Links for those events can be found below, where you can sign up for an e-mail reminder right before it starts:
CES: Microsoft's 2011 CES keynote (live blog) at 1 p.m. PT
CES: Microsoft press event Wednesday at CES 2011 (live blog) at 6:30 p.m. PT