The Truth About WP7 Updates and The NoDo Mess


Eric Hautala, General Manager Customer Experience Engineering for Windows Phone has posted a lengthy note on the Windows Team Blog about the Windows Phone update process and timing. Eric also admits that the February update which was supposed to make the NoDo update go more smoothly, ended up being a bit of a mess, but in reality only very few devices were affected. Microsoft also clears up the issue about carriers blocking updates and assures us that ultimately you should recieve all the updates. It’s just that some carriers may request that they be released at a specific time.

Here’s what happens with the update process just so you know:

First, the engineering team here makes and thoroughly tests changes to our Windows Phone operating system software, adding new and improved features or making fixes.

But that’s typically just part of what we send you. The companies that make your Windows Phone handset—or even the chips inside them—also frequently provide us updated firmware that they’ve written, tested, and want us to include.

This combination makes up our update, which we dispatch to the cellular carriers around the world that sell Windows Phones. The carriers then conduct their own tests to help ensure that the new software works correctly both on their networks and the Windows Phone models they sell.

We work closely with our carrier partners, and encourage them to test our software as swiftly as possible. But it’s still their network, and the reality is that some carriers require more time than others. By the way, this carrier testing is a common industry practice that all of our competitors must also undergo. No exceptions.

After a carrier has had an opportunity to test, we schedule an update delivery to its customers through Windows Update, the same system that Microsoft uses to update your desktop PC. You see a message on your phone saying an update is available, plug your phone into your computer and—voila—a few clicks later you have the latest and greatest version of Windows Phone.

One important point worth highlighting: Our update technology allows us to precisely target which phones receive an update. Since some updates are hardware-specific, we don’t send every update to every device. We also don’t send new software updates to everyone at once. This staggered approach is deliberate, and helps us pinpoint and fix any problems quickly.

Source: Windows Team Blog


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About The Author
Adam Z. Lein
Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for since they first appeared on the market in 2002. Read more about Adam Lein!