The mango juice has started pouring! Today’s the day when Microsoft starts pushing the 7.5 “Mango” update to original Windows Phones that were released over the past year. Not everybody is going to get the update pushed to their device right away today, but we can expect the process to go a lot more smoothly than it has in the past. Microsoft has done a lot of work to get all the ducks in a row this time, and here’s how things are going to work.
Today, a small percentage of devices will receive the update first. Microsoft will monitor the telemetry, make sure everything’s going smoothly, and then open the throttle some more and release a higher percentage of updates, then some more later on and so on. The “Where’s My Update” table will be updated of course, but the release schedule is not going to be based on specific devices for specific carriers this time. Just about all of them seem to be ready to go.
You’re probably wondering why doesn’t Microsoft just release the update to everyone at the same time just like Apple does? Well, Windows Phone 7 is certainly a locked-down operating system similar to Apple’s iPhone, however it is not THAT locked-down. Apple only has one phone to test an update on and they made it themselves. Apple takes ownership of the entire process. Microsoft on the other hand has about 9 different types of devices running Windows Phone 7 right now. The operating system is also available in 5 different languages and is available on around 90 different mobile operators. Each combination of device type, language, and mobile operator requires a different ROM image to be pushed out. To make matters worse, some devices have shipped with slightly different hardware/firmware versions which also need to be taken into account with separate ROM images. So that turns out to be a pretty large number of upgrades that all need to be sent out to each very specific individual device. By throttling the release, Microsoft can keep an eye on what’s going on and make sure if something goes wrong they can fix it before too many people are affected.
It’s worth mentioning that Google’s Android has a similar issue with updates and an even larger number of devices to support, but they don’t even try to manage that. With Android it’s up to the manufacturer to work with the carrier to release updates for each of their phones. It’s the same model that the old classic versions of Windows Mobile had and you really can’t expect to see any upgrades come along in a timely manner with that model.
By the way, if you’ve upgraded your Windows Phone 7 to any of the Developer Preview builds of Windows Phone 7.5, we original thought you would need to restore that device to its previous “NoDo” build before you will be able to upgrade to the final build 7720 of Windows Phone 7.5. If you used an unofficial method you should have created a separate backup. For more help on how to restore NoDo, check out this video. There is also news that an upgrade path from the Developer Beta to the full Mango upgrade will be available in case you want to see how that turns out.
If you’ve still got a pre-Mango official build of Windows Phone 7.0 on your device, you can look for updates by plugging it into your PC, opening Zune, then going to Settings > Phone > Update or you can wait for a message to pop-up on your screen letting you know that an update is available. If you don’t see an update available right away, be patient and know that it’s on its way.