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 handsetor even the chips inside themalso 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 andvoilaa 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.