Microsoft is apparently working with carriers to bring more "clarity" to the Windows Phone 7 update schedule, as user complaints continue.
Windows Phone 7 damage control is reaching a new stage, with a company
executive offering what essentially amounts to a mea culpa on an official
Microsoft claimed it had begun pushing through the long-awaited NoDo update for
its new smartphone platform, which included a long-awaited cut-and-paste
feature in addition to improvements to Messaging, WiFi and Outlook. However,
some users questioned when the update would actually arrive on their smartphones,
prompting Microsoft to release two charts: one for the update status of
customers in the United States
, the other for those around the world
Microsoft's chart for the United States, three Windows Phone 7 devices are
currently in the "testing" phase for both NoDo and the previous February
update, which was supposed to pave the way for future software updates. Another
two phones were in the "scheduling" phase, with no firm date of arrival.
In theory, scheduling
should take 10 days or less, to be followed by a "delivery" stage that could
take several weeks before an actual update arrives on the user's smartphone. No
U.S. smartphones were even in the delivery stage, though, which led some online
pundits to start crying foul.
Some of those
cries increased over the weekend, when Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's corporate vice
president and director of Windows Phone program management, appeared on the
company's Channel 9 Website
to talk about the upcoming MIX11
. During the conversation, he suggested the Windows Phone
7 update process was well under way, comments that led to a flurry of angry
tide forced Belfiore to walk back his comments, in a March 27 posting
on the Channel 9 comments
officially getting it, the success rate of its deployment on real-world phones
was looking good, and we were happy that the process had started well," he
wrote. "Still-these are not the same as all of you getting it and I'm sorry
that I came across as insensitive to that fact."
apparently seeking greater engagement with the carriers over a firmer release
date for the updates. "We know the table would benefit greatly from more
detail, and we are hoping to add more to it by working with the operators who
own the -testing' phase to get more clarity," he added. "If your phone is shown
in -scheduling,' it'll be worth checking the table next week."
troubles with updates extend beyond this current brouhaha. The February update
stalled a small number of users' smartphones and led to roughly two days' worth
of drama on Microsoft's online help forums. In the wake of that, Microsoft
seemed more cautious in how it proceeded with NoDo, even pushing the release
date back from the first two weeks of March to the latter half of the month.
consultation with the team and our many partners, we've decided to briefly hold
the March update in order to ensure the update process meets our standards and
that of our customers," a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in a March 10 e-mail to
eWEEK. "As a result, we will begin delivering the update in the latter half of
That led to a
bust of anger on many online forums, including eWEEK's comments section.
Microsofft have trouble attracting competent employees?" wrote one commenter on
a Windows Phone 7 article from last week
. "Why are
they moving so slowly? I'm ashamed to be an early adopter, having been fooled
into thinking Microsoft was serious about mobile this time."
issues also threaten to counter Microsoft's earlier claim that the tightly
enforced Windows Phone 7 platform will avoid the fragmentation and inconsistent
software updating that helped wreck the now-antiquated Windows Mobile platform.
If Windows Phone 7 becomes similarly disjointed, with various devices running
different versions of its software, then Microsoft executives' attacks on rival
Android as too fragmented will become something of an irony.