Microsoft had a great opportunity with Windows Phone 7 to show how a company with tight control over its operating system can coordinate update releases amongst multiple smartphones without falling into a fractured, fragmented mess, as Android is often described. That expectation has fallen short of reality, with the release of NoDo subject to geographical and carrier limitations. To its credit, Microsoft realizes that it’s let users down, and has been publicly apologetic. After seeing how WP7 users have reacted to the update process, Microsoft is ready to make some tweaks to hopefully get things right next time, announcing plans to distribute new updates first to users who have been the most publicly vocal with their dissatisfaction.
By the time Mango rolls around, Microsoft will be crawling Twitter, Facebook, and the comments on sites like Pocketnow to gather statistics on how impatient phone owners are getting. Working with carriers to identify users, the company will be indexing how often and to what extent you post angrily about having to wait too long for your WP7 phone to get its update. If you’ve been particularly obstreperous with your complaints, expect to get on the short list for priority update service.
While it’s great that Microsoft recognizes that changes need to be made, do we really want to award this kind of behavior? Sure, it will help cut down on the public perception of a failed update, but it kind of feels like happy, patient users will be punished for being such nice WP7 fans. Then again, we suppose they could always get upset, post about it, and boom: problem solved.