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Who doesn’t love presents? Luckily, my new job at Microsoft is to deliver them to you. My name’s Eric, and I run the team responsible for sending software updates with new features and improvements to your phone. From time to time, I’ll be posting here to answer your questions or concerns—and tell you what useful stuff an update is bringing.
Since my team started sending out the first phone update a few weeks ago, there’s understandably been a lot of interest in how we deliver them. I also know there are concerns around Windows Phone updates, and today I want to try to address them. I’ll provide a brief behind-the-scenes look at the process and bring you the latest news on the copy-and-paste update, which I know many of you are waiting for.
Many customers have already received our February update. Others, I know, are still waiting for the message saying it’s available. This has made some of you understandably anxious, wondering: Will I ever get it? Why does it take so long?
The best way for me to answer is to briefly summarize the journey update software takes from our computers here in Redmond to Windows Phones like yours around the world. With 9 handsets on 60 mobile operators in 30 countries around the world, things can get a little complicated!
Here’s what happens:
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 Microsoft 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.
You’re probably asking yourself: If you do all that testing, how can there still occasionally be problems?
Great question. Microsoft has been making and delivering software updates long enough to know that the laboratory can simulate—but never quite equal—the experience of delivering software to thousands of real phones “in the wild,” each loaded with its own unique set of apps, pictures, songs, and other stuff.
This brings me back to our February update, which I briefly want to touch on.
As you might recall, this minor update is an important but invisible under-the-hood tweak designed to improve the phone update process itself. It results in no visible changes to your phone.
Of the customers who’ve so far tried to install it, the overwhelming majority have been successful. If you’ve been following along, you know that we did encounter a few issues, which we quickly identified and fixed or provided workarounds for.
Let me be crystal clear: We’re not satisfied when problems prevent you from enjoying the latest Windows Phone updates. When we find an issue, we study and fix it. To that end, we’re carefully studying the current update process and will apply the lessons learned from it to all future ones. This is how we get better.
There’s one more thing I want to clear up. I’ve seen a lot of speculation on blogs and forums lately about whether carriers can “block” an update. We work closely with carriers to test and schedule updates. They may ask us for a specific date to start an update. They may ask for updates to be bundled together. But you should ultimately receive all the updates we send out.
We have the next update waiting in the wings. It delivers copy and paste, better Marketplace search, and other key improvements.
But I believe it’s important that we learn all we can from the February update. So I’ve decided to take some extra time to ensure the update process meets our standards, your standards, and the standards of our partners. As a result, our plan is to start delivering the copy-and-paste update in the latter half of March.
This short pause should in no way impact the timing of future updates, including the one announced recently at Mobile World Congress featuring multitasking, a Twitter feature, and a new HTML 5-friendly version of Internet Explorer Mobile.
These are exciting times. With more than 9000 apps in Marketplace, new carriers and phones on the way, and a new strategic alliance with Nokia, we’re psyched about what we’re building and what’s ahead. Delivering regular updates to your phone is a key part of our innovation plans.
On behalf of the entire engineering team, I want to personally thank you for buying a Windows Phone, for all your enthusiasm around it, and for your suggestions about how to make it better.
We’re listening carefully, working hard to improve our software, and think you’ll love the surprises we have in store.
General Manager, Customer Experience Engineering
I just like to ask if there's any chance of releasing or integrating Windows Live Messenger with Windows Phone 7?
I want an official Live Messenger from Microsoft.
@iluvmsft The client on phones today is official. Microsoft officially outsourced the development of a Windows Live Messenger client.
Thank you Eric.
I think you'll find that the vast majority of customers can be very patient and understanding as long as they know why they are waiting.
Will you announce when we can expect to see the update on each carrier? If a carrier is blocking or delaying an update, why should we as customers not be informed of this? It is extremely frustrating sitting around waiting for an update when in reality we're not going to see it. Noone in the US has even seen the February update. Waiting with no idea if or when we'll ever get it is a horrible user experience.
I'm confused. You mentioned people are "speculating" about the carrier blocking, but yet Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president and director of Windows Phone Program, specific said it can occur. Who's right here? Do you even know?
Can you share any info if there is a plan to bring Flash to the phone's web browser? Will there be an update to allow launching Adobe Air Apps?
Thanks for the update Eric.
Frustrations with major global Carriers like AT&T in US and Telstra in Australia delaying the FEB update naturally create concerns, and affect perceptions of the MS processes for WP7.
My concerns being a Focus owner in Aus (waiting on AT&T for updates even whilst unlocking to the AUS Telstra carrier) is the lack of info detailing the issues peculiar to Samsung hardware with WP7 updates etc. Some more transparency on this would be appreciated.
Also - on a related topic (whilst you are in a sharing mood) - can you illuminate us all on whether MS are still working on a certified or approved microSD memory card list for memory expansion with WP7 and the Focus ? If so, when can we expect some news ?
Thank you for breaking the silience Eric, your informative blog and communication is much appreciated.
As both a consumer and developer I hate being kept in the dark, so I hope this trend continues ;-)
Thank you for being open regarding the update issues which Microsoft is facing. You are telling about the updates from Microsoft. But I would like Microsoft to be country specific or even carrier specific regarding the updates.
"We work closely with carriers to test and schedule updates. They may ask us for a specific date to start an update. They may ask for updates to be bundled together. But you should ultimately receive all the updates we send out." - Exactly how did that clear anything up? Sounds like more lip service to me
Thank you for the update, Eric.
Would it be possible to deliver updates to fix bugs in the OS without waiting for a major update? Users shouldn't have to suffer through things like Marketplace and Zune crashes that require them to reboot their phones for months while they wait for a feature update. You're 3 years behind iOS and Android, are you sure you can afford to let people use broken devices for several months without providing any fixes?
"By the way, this carrier testing is a common industry practice that all of our competitors must also undergo. No exceptions." - So Apple goes through this as well with carriers? Funny when they release an update it's available to every phone, that minute. Granted you have to deal with varying hardware, but they also have to deal with varying carriers! Again, call me skeptical, but it sounds like more lip service
"This short pause should in no way impact the timing of future updates,"
Uh, no. If we can't trust Microsoft to be timely on such a small update, how can we trust Microsoft to be timely on future updates.
Steve Ballmer promised this update in early March. Why was an update promised "soon" after the initial release of WP7? How many other times has the WP7 community been told updates were coming? January, February and early March. Now, it's end of March. Will that slip to April or May or ?? Frankly, Microsoft has lost a LOT of credibility - all due to extremely poor communication skills and broken promises.
All we seem to hear about is the Zune/WP7 team changing offices, time and time again.
Microsoft should be able to deliver 'bug fixes' on a rolling basis without causing such a media storm which causes bad PR, I mean seriously just on a monthly basis try and send out an update to fix bugs. Then worry on adding features to the phone.
So someone finally decides to talk and then doesn't say much.
I really don't know how you can relegate the US, Australia, part of the UK and part of Canada, 4 major markets, to the "others" who haven't received the update from a MONTH ago.
What has changed between the time when MS stated that because everything is uniform, updates will come to all phones at the same time, to now when it's "we work closely with carriers"? You say carriers can't block updates, but Belfiore said they can. Who's telling the truth?
THEN, there's the stonewalling. It was announced that NoDo was done in December, YOU GUYS called it the "January update". Then it slips to Feb, then "first 2 weeks of March", then "second half of March" and now, 3 months later, you dribble out a somewhat press release type of blog post. I guess it only takes Paul Thurrott post with over 150 comments lambasting you for you to answer. Meanwhile, Bing has been updated twice on competing OSs.
Then there's the fact that pre-production unit owners are still in the gray. I have no earthly clue whether or not my LG GW910 will be updated, along with Samsung Taylor and Asus prototype owners.
At this point, there are only 2 things I can expect out of my WP7. One, seeing "Your device is update to date 7.0 (7003)" and two, you guys announcing another delay. I have absolutely no faith in my Microsoft product.
MS needs to fix this and fix this ASAP. I look forward to seeing how often your "from time to time" post coincide with major uproar.
Thank you for finally giving us some info. There's a lot of people who love and are invested in this platform and want it to succeed. As one of those people I get frustrated when the only thing that I can see is Microsoft takling about their plans for the platform while not delivering anything for extended periods of time.
(Do note that platform updates does mean both system update, updates of bundled applications and services offered world-wide)
I would like to see more updates more offten, which would improve perception that Microsoft is actually delivering and investing into platform much more than talking about what might at some point appear on the platform:
Every month or two update one of those things - for example:
- Bing Search App on iPhone and Android has more features than the one on WP7
- Allow full features of Bing Maps to work in countries like New Zealand without changing locale to US
- Bring Zune in more forms to countried that don't have it - at least allow for podcast marketplace?
- Update existing IE with small features like form-completition, favorites synchronization across devices, etc.
- Allow deletion of Notification Services subscriptions for apps that have been un-installed
- Allow connecting to hidden wireless networks
- Fix pictures hub being unable to upload to SkyDrive and/or Facebook
- Deliver Office Hub -> SkyDrive integration
IMHO - all of these could be delivered monthly as smaller updates (maybe not in current system WP7 format) and delivering them would be seen as more agile and more consumer friendly.
This should have come 1 week back... and in general more transparency... response to customer feedbacks is necessary.. else its no secret that MS will continue to be irrelevant in the mobile space..
I personally would prefer waiting for an update service that runs smoothly rather than a half hearted attempt, so take your time and get it right. I think the press blew the first update well out of proportion and those who are too stupid to look at the stats or read around the subject exaggerated the situation further.
@iluvmsft - Although the current Messenger app is official, it is not ideal with poor connectivity and no Facebook chat. I would like to see a Messenger with a Live tile and Facebook chat seeing that most people (in my opinion) are using Facebook chat over Messenger. I have come across an app called Li' Messenger that has been removed from Marketplace; it had Facebook chat but also encountered connectivity issues.
[Note that my comments are my opinions are not facts; therefore should not be used as such]
Oh and one more question. How do I MMS a video? My friends with iPhones, Palm Pres & Pixis, BlackBerry devices and Android devices can do this, why can't the most advanced OS do this?
Will this affect the release of the new phone at Sprint? It was supposed to be released on the 21st.
Eric, thanks for the update. I'm in the software development biz myself so I understand that things usually don't go as smoothly as planned, but I'm probably the exception to the norm. Please do not let the negative comments deter you from posting further communicae or updates. In the past few weeks, I have noticed that there are 2 types of angry WP7 phone owners: those that demand the update on the "promised" date, and those that simply want to know the reasons for the delays. To mitigate the risk of alienating both types of angry owners (vs just alienating the unreasonable ones), please keep us in the loop. I can't reiterate that enough.
I know you guys take no pleasure in delaying NoDo longer than intended and I know you guys are already hard at work with Mango. Actions may speak louder than words, but words are louder than silence. :-)
Hmmmm, I thought WP7 was the perfect compromise between Android and iOS? With Android, we have hardware choice (Good) but software fragmentation because "the carriers control the updates" (Bad). With iOS, we don't have hardware choice (Bad), and the carriers don't control the updates, but rather Apple pushes the updates to everyone at the same time (Good). I though with WP7 we would have the best of both worlds: hardware choice and uniform software updates. Hearing that the carriers control the updates is VERY disappointing. Why isn't MSFT using the same update model they use for Windows? Dell doesn't approve Win7 SP1 before I can install in on my laptop. Microsoft totally controls the update process on my laptop. Why can't it be the same way with WP7? Different hardware chips and firmware is not an excuse. You have the same thing with Windows 7 and that doesn't pose a problem. As I have said, "VERY disappointing."
I don't believe Windows Updates are staggered, why should Windows Phone updates be? Staggering or rolling updates just increase the uncertainty and anxiety. How is your competitor, Apple, able to deliver their updates on a specific date that they announce to the world? You should have better infrastructure than them to make such a thing possible.
We are really tired and frustrated waiting for this update (and the pre-update). The best thing you can do is surprise us with more frequent updates in the future which *do not* need such lengthy posts to explain their delays. Can you do that?
I second the comment about this post being great but late. I remember this delayed update being said to come in January, then it was "the first 2 weeks of March" and now it's later. A failed update later, the only WinPhone7 news was coming from outside companies who had people with connections to the phone team. This is how people found out about the delayed March update. Sad.
Now, I do want to mention I don't have a WindowsPhone7 but I follow the news closely because I want it to do well and be a real iPhone competitor. It's getting there but it seems like you guys are so concerned with saving up surprises on what's coming that no other news, or smaller updates, come along. As others here have suggested, fixing bugs should be frequent. New features can wait but not long...you are behind the other major phone OSes.
Consider me impressed if we hear major news announcements from the Zune and Windows Phone teams soon. Us Microsoft fans are starving for news and all Microsoft is offering is failed updates and NoDonuts. (Pun intended)
This is all well and good, but it doesn't explain why some of us are left hanging after weeks and weeks. I have a Samsung Focus on AT&T in the USA. Are we not a big enough demographic to be worthy of your update?
When Apple releases OS updates, everyone with the same hardware gets the update at the same time. No one is left wondering if they did something wrong when they see friends with an update that has not yet reached them. Better than that, they usually give developers early access to the update.
It would be wonderful if Microsoft was this organized and engaged with their developers.
As someone that works for a Global 100 company, I know how development time and releases can be problematic. However, as both a consumer and a n00b developer, I must say that the two releases (and yes those that Mr Balmer and Mr Belifore have publically said) have missed, and those in the US haven't seen the pre-NoDo update, let alone the NoDo update itself (which is sort of expected, as we are still in the First Half of March.) Well, we then hear that is' delayed until the second half of March. What does that truly mean? Does that mean MS will have released it to Carriers? Or does that mean all 30 Carriers worldwide will stop blocking its update, and those of us that haven't recieved the pre-NoDO will also get it?
I know that others have brought up features that are badly missing or have not been comunicated properly (the MicroSD expansion in certain handsets is a primary example), I hope MS is doing something with backing up our phones. No, I'm not talking about when an update is kicked off or that Zune content is already synced. True backup that can be initiated by the end user to backup application data.
Also, someone else mentioned that Apple doesn't have this limitation, yet you explicitly called out that competitors have the very same restriction ( I would lump Apple as a comptetitor.) I do believe Apple has similar restrictions, yet not at severe as MS does. Also, they have been doing this process for well over 3 years now. I would have expected MS to learn from their mistakes, as well as Googles. You guys have 3 years of work to catch up on. Yes it took Apple 3 years to bring Copy and Paste to the iFruit. But this isn't 2007/2008 anymore, or whenever they did introduce C&P.
Please, don't take any of our responses the wrong way. I am a proud owner of my Samsung Focus. I love WP7. Are there issues that need to be fixed? Absolutely. Is it missing features? Yep. I want to see WP7 succeed and kick iFruits butt!
Carriers also need to get their support staff saying the correct message, whatever that truly is at this point. Too many times have there been people asking their Carrier "where is the update?" They say "talk tot he OEM." OEM then says "talk to the Carrier or MS." And a vicious cycle is born. Or, worse, you get a support person telling a customer "what update?"
It took WAY to long for this post to be published, but thanks for the great info.
My Mum always said that "No news is good news". The problem is that today, you hear bad news VERY quickly via the intertubes. In this online, highly interconnected world, NO NEWS IS BAD NEWS. No news indicates that the perp' is out to lunch / overwhelmed / unprepared / incapable or, perhaps worst of all, just doesn't give a damn.
PLEASE talk about bad news. Let us know that you're looking into the problem. Let us know what you find and that you're working on a fix. And give is timescales that you aim to hit. If you need to slip, as you did above, be open and honest and explain your reasoning - it might mildly annoy some, but most will appreciate your honesty and cut you a lot more slack.
What i can say is despite everybody is sad for the delay, and some people even 'angry', everybody was happy that they here something official said from Microsoft. Even if not expressed :). Keep coming.
Too little too late. As a Samsung Focus owner who hasn't even received the first update all I can say is that it is time to put up or shut up. Despite what others may tell you, this, and previous posts are not transparent. If you can't provide updates in a timely manner then you need to get out of the business. I love my Focus, but ya'll are whizzing on your feet with this whole update debacle. Get with it guys.
I waited for this long to jump on the smartphone fun and chose WP7. And MS is just screwing it up with Tortoise speed updates and features. For God sake, please decouple the OS update from the carrier and device mfg updates.
"With 9 handsets on 60 mobile operators in 30 countries around the world, things can get a little complicated!"
...compared to how many computer configurations, vendors, ISPs, languages, countries, OSs? Yet, MS can send those updates out with little consequence. You do not have my sympathy.
"There’s one more thing I want to clear up. I’ve seen a lot of speculation on blogs and forums lately about whether carriers can “block” an update. We work closely with carriers to test and schedule updates. They may ask us for a specific date to start an update. They may ask for updates to be bundled together. But you should ultimately receive all the updates we send out. "
Clear as mud. In other words carriers can block. We *should* ultimately receive an update.
It is nice that you finally came to the stage, but it should have been done long ago. I want the OS to succeed, but, quite frankly, to the casual outsider, the show looks to be run by amateurs at this point (or too many corporate suits). I view this OS as the belated offspring of the Zune. That excellent piece of hardware (all versions) was mishandled. This OS does not look to fare any better. I, for one, am still waiting for some info on the microSD debacle. I was an earlier adopter that got burned. I was told by MS customer (and a one line e-mail from Ballmer) support that MS was looking into it, etc. That was months ago. I hear crickets. Please, get this thing on track and quit with the excuses. Just do it.
PS: Eric, how about answering any of our direct complaints and/or questions head on and let us know you guys are even reading the criticism. That in itself would go a long way to make amends. I'm keen to think that once the blog post is up, its back to business as usual.
This is a ridiculously late post. Although I'm thankful that there is finally some message, let's not get all too excited here either. Obviously, you guys care somewhat about this, but it is not enough. Not when you guys have competitors with better products. There are people, many of them have left comments here, who decide to give you guys a chance. How is this support supposed to continue if we're getting pathetic service? How do you guys expect us to prove to friends that they also switch? I like showing off my Windows Phone, but there have been too many times when I'm embarassed at the stupid crashes and the silly limitations that a phone in 2011 should not have. I understand you guys wanted to build something from the bottom up (supposedly), but come on! Didn't Apple do that with the first iPhone? Hell, they had NO ONE before them to look at and say "Damn, people don't like it when there is no copy-paste, maybe, JUST MAYBE we should avoid the same disaster." You guys have Google, Apple, Palm, RIM to look at and say, "Let's not do what they are doing wrong." Instead, to everyone else outside, it looks like you guys want to follow exactly what they did wrong! Whoever is screwing this up at Microsoft needs to wake up, wake up to the fact that people gave you guys a second chance with Windows Phone 7, and that anything to fix WP after that will be one big fat joke, on you, on Microsoft, and worst of all, on us, the users who trusted the promises, the dreams, and the potential.
Carriers and their rules are a stupid excuse, if there is one word of that from now on, I would feel offended by the lack of respect toward our simple intuition. The competition gets it done (Thurrott's WP update vs. iPhone updates post is an excellent example), there's no reason you guys shouldn't. Bring up the "multiple hardware" excuse again, and further offend us. Why? Because at this point, excuses don't fly any more. You guys messed this up real bad. It's time to deliver; any "reasons" not to, reasonable or not, show that whatever happened before this failure was done in complete violation of the trust we put forth. Don't give the media and all of the Microsoft haters MORE excuses to continue their rants. I want WP to succeed, it is still a beautiful and refreshing take on the mobile experience. But why does it look like you guys are working real hard to go against our desires for success?
Nice of you to make a post about this issue. But...
I think one of the reasons so many WP7 users, including me, are upset over the strange way this first update is being handled is because when Microsoft first started talking about WP7 and how it would be different they talked about the updates. How Microsoft would be able to push updates out to every phone themselves unlike Android that is left at the whims of the manufactures and the carriers. You left the impression that you had signed deals with the carriers to be able to push out the updates yourself without having to deal with their often bizarrely long approval processes for phone updates. But with what you've just written it sounds like you've changed nothing. Manufactures are still responsible for some updates and can apparently ask you to attach their updates to yours, thus slowing down the process while you wait for them since you seem bent on doing service pack updates instead of just realizing them as they are finished. Also that the carriers still have final say in if an update can be sent out at all. This is very disappointing. I and I'm sure many others were under the impression that WP7 would be updated like Windows OS, any time Microsoft felt like it without having to wait for HP, DELL or the various corporate IT departments around the world to approve it.
So since you seem to be set on this annoying update path can you do us all a favor and make a webpage that shows every carrier and what WP7 are on them. Then indicate at what stage in the process the current and future updates are at so that we all won't have to play this stupid guessing game where you say the update is coming out in March only to find out that only T-Mobile Europe allowed it to go out in March and everyone else kept it in "testing". This would stop us from getting disappointed in Microsoft for seeming lying because while you released the update in March it doesn't mean the end user got it in March or April or May. It will clearly show where the hold up in the process is and possibly even help speed up the process by shaming the slow networks when you show that, for instance, Verizon, T-mobile and Sprint released the update last month but you AT&T are dragging your feet for no apparent reason.
You need to be proactive in dealing with this issue and winning customer approval in general. Making a blog post after the fact is reacting to a situation and gives the impression that you have no control over the situation. Letting the users know there is a problem getting something done is not a sign of weakness it is a sign of trust.
I use Win7, Win Xp, Win NT, Xbox, Kinect and WP7. Don't make it so hard for me to like you.
I have a USA T-mobile HTC HD7 WindowsPhone 7 & had it unlocked recently to use when visiting the UK with an O2 sim card. Will I be entitled/able to receive the #WindowsUpdate on the handset?
Thank you very much for the update. I don't have my Windows Phone 7 yet because I'm waiting for them to be released on Sprint's network in ten days, but I have been following this whole update discussion for months. I work in software development for a very large organization. Like Microsoft, we get accused of ignoring our customers or not providing enough details on when we will get stuff done. What most people don't understand is just how much work is involved in releasing software - be it for a PC or for a mobile phone. It's not as simple as just writing a few lines of code. They have to test all their new code, perform regression testing to make sure they didn't break anything that worked before, and they have to test it on every device and for every single carrier. These things take an enormous amount of time.
To those who complain because Apple can put out updates quicker, remember this. For all these years, Apple has had exactly ONE carrier to contend with in the US and they manufactured all their own hardware and silicon. When you don't have several OEMs, hardware vendors and carriers involved it's much easier to control the entire process and they can be more agile. Microsoft chose to partner with several OEMs, hardware vendors and carriers so that YOU the consumer will have CHOICE - something Apple never offered you.
To those who complain that Microsoft isn't being transparent enough or they are not providing you with information as quickly as you'd like, did you ever consider that they are too busy trying to make it work? It's hard to get any real work done when people hound you all the time and ask you for a million status updates. I assure you, they are getting harassed by their executive management group to get these updates out and to do so without any more problems. I believe without a doubt that the Windows Phone 7 teams are probably working tons of overtime to try to get these updates out.
One final thought: Keep in mind that this is an entirely new operating system built from the ground up. When you build things from the ground up, it normally takes much longer than you would like to get where you want to be. Had Microsoft waited until they had Copy & Paste and all these other features everyone is clamoring for, we still probably wouldn't have any Windows Phones on the market. Who knows, we might not even know Windows Phone existed yet! Be patient with Microsoft. You bought the phone because you believed in it and you believed in the work Microsoft is doing. It will pay off in the end, I'm certain of it!
Hold your heads up high, Microsofties! You're doing a great job and some of us really do appreciate it!
As you could see from the comments Eric, you can't make everyone happy with one post. And not everyone will be satisfied with what information you are able to give them.
But hopefully there will be more posts on a somewhat regular basis in the future. It will do a lot to help bring down the negativity.
Thanks a billion Eric for taking time out from your busy day to address us and try your best to keep us in the know. Please don't be discouraged by the comments of the over anxious and the angry.
To those questioning if a carrier can "Block" an update. No they can't block it like how certain carriers and OEMs wont upgrade certain devices to android froyo or gingerbread... ever. They can however skip one update date cycle. Many international carriers pushed out the pre update update. some (all US carriers AFAIK) skipped this update but when the time for NoDo comes around you will get both the pre update and the NoDo update. which is the best for both sides. carries get to manage their systems and get to know the software and how it will affect them, and customers will always get the update.
to those comparing it to windows updates its apples and oranges. In the computing world they're king of the jungle, OEMS, and ISPs bend to them. In the mobil world they lost their chance and now theyre the small fries so they have to negotiate which carriers and OEMS alot more. the roles are reversed.
I know you many of you guys are impatient and frustrated. i am too. i wish we had the update back in january, but these guys really are hard at work trying to make this successful,effecient, and enjoyable.
thx again eric and the whole wp7 team
T-mobile users have yet to see an update from what I have read. Also if I were to take this post word by word, my Dell Venue Pro may not even see an update even though all the HD7's in the US are updated. I still don't understand why carriers have to test it when it's not even being updated over-the-air. There's no network impact on their side...
I imagine you and your team are embarassed...and you SHOULD be. You have put your absolute worst foot forward again and again, failed to support your early adopters, failed to maintain any sort of enthusiasm for your fledgling OS, and failed to live up to your own promises and that of your company's president. This update situation is a fiasco and you and everyone on your team should be ashamed for the apparent incompetence. As a device owner, I'm the one who has to put up with your failures, and this pr spin of a blog post is in no way satisfactory.
I am confused I see many people quote this section
but no one has asked. If pre-nodo and nodo can be bundled then why did we need pre-nodo? Surely the point of pre-nodo was to prepare the phone and ensure nodo will install. If it installs with nodo then why did we need it?
Maybe some of this is true, but most of this guys statement is a big lie....
You know when someone is lying again, they explain too much.....
The whole carrier delay is just necessary that they can put in their stupid branding stuff and other garbage. Then they have to test the update again, even if MS and the OEMs have already tested it. I don't understand why there are branded WP's. There is no branded iPhone, every iPhone is the same, no matter from what carrier.
If MS have choosen not to allow branding, you would have to deal with just 9 different devices, instead of the many different branded phones now. Apple has to deal also with many devices (iPhone 1 - 4, iPod 1 - 4, iPad 1 - 2). Get away with branded phones, just sell these things like the iPhone without branding and you will save a ton of time and get rid of the many different versions.
Thanks for the oh-so-carefully-crafted public relations response, finally delivered at least a week too late. I have to say it's getting really offensive how Microsoft keeps congratulating itself with phrases like "exciting times" and "9000 apps" and "the overwhelming majority [of user update attempts] have been successful", etc. Given the incredible delays we've experienced and the total lack of communication from Microsoft, you should all be falling on your collective swords about now.
Your response about carriers blocking updates was clever. So they can't block them, but they can "delay" them or "bundle" them. Call it whatever you want, but combined with your 2-updates-per-year plans this means we'll be lucky to get two updates in the lifespan of our 2-year contracts. NOT acceptable for an OS that is as far behind as WP7 is, no matter how sexy or innovative it is.
And if I hear another Microsoft person say something like "you'll love the surprises we have in store", I'm just gonna lose it! All you've done so far is make promises you haven't kept. All the surprises have been bad surprises. Got a trick up your collective sleeves? Then NOW is the time to DELIVER it.
On the Carrier / Block updates bit. MS are on the record (Joe B) as saying that Carriers can choose to hold off or block one update, but must then release cumulatively at the next update. That is they can hang off on one - but not two...hence any carrier that has blocked the pre-update update means they can't block Nodo.
Expect a similar pre-update update prior to Mango.
"Delivering regular updates to your phone is a key part of our innovation plans."
Well, then clearly we're screwed.
@Rafael I think by Official Live Messenger, we mean * INTEGRATED * into the core, MS in house developed. Look at Blackberry. BBM is CORE, its why its brilliant. Live Messenger, Facebook and Xbox Live should be running, CORE in the background, with really nice TILE notifications. This, is what we want to truly live up to the promise of Windows Phone 7. Blackberry wrote Live Messenger, Twitter, BBM in house, they are all excellent. You telling me RIM can outcode you guys in Redmond? Why even outsource the Live Messenger development. It really worries me that you guys can't code this, as its your protocol, your platform, your IDE, your coding languages. Don't be glib to us customers about it being "official", the current app is junk. You know, and we most certainly know it as users.
It seems that carriers can block up to one update. By releasing a 'pre-update', MS have filtered out the carriers which block updates as well as tested their updating system. Now, those carriers who have blocked it should have to release the NoDo update if the 'one update block' rule is true. Since the 'NoDo' update already contains this 'pre-update', everyone gets the 'NoDo' when they should (in theory). That's my guess as to why there was a 'pre-update' even though the NoDo contained it.
Comparing the process to the iPhone doesn't make sense on various levels, especially highlighting recent updates. Firstly, Apple only have to contend with one OEM - themselves. This significantly cuts the cycle time, but ultimately means you're stuck with whatever form factor Apple has going. Secondly, Apple has had over three years to prefect their update process, so comparing their recent update listing is pretty pointless. Of course, if the update cycle remains this inconsistent further down the line, then questions should be asked, but for a first update, I'm willing to cut MS a bit of slack.
Having said that, a bit more transparency would be most welcome from, both, a developer and user point of view. I guess this blog post is a step in the right direction.
@TwiceBitten - I couldn't have said it better myself.
May I add more about this quote as well "We’re listening carefully, working hard to improve our software, and think you’ll love the surprises we have in store." - I heard this back in November as well, and I assumed this meant MS was proactive in learning the lessons of WM, and the other competitors on the market. Maybe even hiring some key people with that experience...obviously my bad! Because there is little showing you are listening carefully, refining the software beyond big ticket items, and certainly the only thing that surprises me is how bad the PR is for WP. You could learn A TON from the IE and Windows teams who are doing excellent work now with Windows 7 and IE9, along with excellent Engineering Blogs....
A formal release schedule is all that is needed, especially for developers... rather than the broad ever moving later half of March.
Apple seem much better than this with their iOS updates. They manage to release their updates to developers the day it's announced and then to the public within the next week or so. I fully understand they have better control on the hardware and only 5 device revisions, but still none the less...
please dont hide behind
"With 9 handsets on 60 mobile operators in 30 countries around the world, things can get a little complicated!"
that was your choice. If some are better than other then dont make us all wait, release the working phones and the other manufacturers will "learn" to get there ducks in a row for next update or look bad.
A more coherent and scheduled update pattern would greatly help, if you had said what the exact date would be and then roll it for all owners at once (after testing) like apple, that way all users would know exactly when its getting released and that they will receive it. At the moment it seems like amateurs are just trying to sort out problems in their spare time.
To be honest, putting a face and a name to the people behind the updates is not going to make me or most other WP7 users any happier. Not to mention that this post is trying to justify the reasons behind a bad update process.
I find it so ironic that the same Microsoft who delivers an average of 1-3 updates DAILY for PCs, can hardly manage to send 1 update over nearly 6 months since release. WP7 is a thrilling product, but who are we kidding, this update process will squeeze the joy out of using it.
Most of all, I really do not appreciate the finger-pointing. If Microsoft so desired, they would set a deadline for any testing of any kind and not let carriers (supposedly) have the upper hand in updates while also giving us a real date (or week) to expect new things.
I mean REALLY? 6 months later and WP7 users still cannot copy/paste because YOUR UPDATES get STUCK through the BUREAUCRACY tubes? FFS knowing how many features lack from WP7 and the rate of your updates, even evolution will have trumped you!
Continue so and WP7 will fade with time, as do all things borne of misfortune.
first: im sorry you pulled the short straw.
second: stop "bundling" bug fixes and updates together. release what you have when you have it (i can't believe i have to wait for camera settings to be fixed because y'all thought of it as a "feature")
third: communicate with us. we are your most loyal customers. a lot of us have been through zune and your other mobile efforts. we are tired of the b.s. this is put up or shut up time.
fourth: pass on to the xbox team to also stop "bundling" updates. netflix has 5.1 audio support on PS3 (for months now) and AppleTV just received it recently. don't let xbox be like I.E., WIndows Mobile, Tablet PCs and all the other markets you get to first and then get passed up in.
fifth: add live messenger into the "messaging" hub. add live tile support to your first party apps (weather, stocks, etc.) get premier developers like netflix to integrate their app into the "music + video" hub.
MS: i've sat through zune, i've watched y'all make fools of yourselves with kin, i'm watching my xbox get bi-annual updates, i've sat through complete and utter failure to integrate zune, wmp, and wmc. i've watched you fail to integrate wmc ui and xbox 360 ui. i've watched windows have no actual ties to windows desktop (even in aesthetic)... and very seriously i am also tired of hearing about zune team members moving around campus every month with new offices and new jobs. get your s*** straight. get the whole company work as a whole. if you don't you lose. you lose consumers, and in the very long term you lose enterprise.
You say that updates are pushed by carriers. What happens to Carrier unlocked phones being used in another country and another carrier?
A final word
"These are exciting times."
Well, if you come out of the shell and talk to the customers around, you will realize that this is not the case at all.
MS is still way behind from being world-class for Windows Phone platform and user experiance.
I don't want to even think, what will happen when Nokia phones join the band...
Hope enough lessons have been learnt...
Good luck with your self-assumed excitement...
I see this bit
"These are exciting times. With more than 9000 apps in Marketplace, new carriers and phones on the way,"
And all I can think is - Really? more carriers and phones can only mean that futures updates are even more complicated and will take even longer - Doesn't sound exciting to me, perhaps I am missing something?
harry_psm - Unless you flash your phone with an unbranded ROM, any unlocked phone around the world retains the carrier identity from it's original flashed ROM / Manufacturer issue. Hence I have an AT&T unlocked Samsung Focus in Australia. My updates will come from AT&T not local Aussie Carrier I use the unlocked handset on....
I am glad to see some general feedback from Microsoft. I would like to see some actual user experience posts concerning the update. For example how about posting typeof phone, carrier, and update experience. I am trying to find out if there is a single Samsung Focus user on AT&T in the US that has been notified that the update is available and if they ran the update did it go on the first try without having to delete any of their content? Actually i am looking for a single Samsung Focus owner any where in the world on any carrier that had the update install on the first try without having to delete any content? In addition I would like to hear from some Samsung users that had failures and had to delete content to get the update to work and how many hours that spent getting their update to work and getting their content restored and if they lost anything like game high scores achievements etc. Also did the applications automatically reload or did they have to manually refind and install every application? Anyone with a 32 GB MicroSD have an uneventful update?
That's a lot of questions Bill !
- Google it - but I know Rogers passed the pre-update update onto Samsung Focus owners as I have seen at least 1 Aussie confim this. His update went fine.
- By contrast - AT&T US have NOT released the update for any Focus owners.
- I am not sure they have even indicated when - however would expect they would release Nodo (with preupdate) prior to end of March or face a serious backlash from customers.
- The update is supposed to back your phone up - allowing full restore. Check old posts at windows secrets where this functionality was documented and discussed from a Windows Phone Radio podcast about a month ago.
- MS have gone 100% quiet (as has Samsung) on the MicroSD certification list/card approval process. Zilch.
I love Eric and Microsoft's general arrogance. Eric just doesn't get it. If Microsoft had included the ability to paste at launch, waiting for NODO wouldn't be a big deal. Excluding pasting on an operating system whose forerunners included the function since 03 and while every other smartphone OS includes it, was the height of stupidity. We can not wait any longer. The end of March will become the end of April.. The end of April will become June. June will become never and I'll be stuck with a dumbphone that will prevent me from performing basic productivity tasks because of the pasting exclusion.
And what bothers me almost as much as the actual exclusion and the pathetic delay of the update, is Microsoft's arrogance when it comes to its reasons (lack) for this very basic function's exclusion. Microsoft has the arrogance to lie and say that market research indicated that pasting wasn't important to users.
These phones have Word and Excel. Would you you use Word and Excel on a PC without the ability to paste? I guess the alleged focus group member would. But would you Eric?
Have you ever pasted text into an email? I guess the alleged focus group participants never have had the need. I guess Hautala never has that need either.
Have you ever pasted a link on Facebook or Twitter. I guess no one in the focus group cared to do that and Hautala never felt compelled.
And I guess no one sees the utility in pasting contact info from Word and Excel files into the People Hub?
I would like to hear a description of the testing process and testing results that The Phone Development team used to determine that this first update was ready to release and how it did not predict that 10% of the actual users would experinece update problems and that there would be specific Samsung problems that would require the first update to be recalled and reworked? Has anything been revised in the testing process to detect problems before the update is actually released? There was no comment that I saw on the testing process and revisions to the testing process to improve it in the future. I can understand why carriers like AT&T refuse to release the update if Microsoft's testing process says it is ready to go and durring the first 2 days 10% of the deployments fail. Even if many of the failures were supposidly due to lack of disk space on the host computer. How hard can it be to read the amount of memory in the phone and compare it to the amount of memory on the computer and tell the user to free up some space. What would that be 3 line of code? Why would that error not show up in testing? Do all the testers at Microsoft have new computers with terrabytes of solid state drives with no content?
I have been Binging and Googling for the past few hours and I am finding a lot of descriptions of Samsung updates that are not going well. It appears that they are saying that Microsoft's fix for the "Samsung" problem is that the update does not do a backup of the Samsung phones. Then the update is still dying and they are being refered to support.microsoft.com/.../2518812 which instructs them to delete the phone content and try again. I am trying to get some feedback on who has had a Samsung update with no problems and who has had to go through the erase and update process and how much time was required to get back to a fully reloaded and functionalo phone? With the backup not being created that the user is having to manually reload applications, they are losing achievements and high scores and that the process is very labor intensive.
@Strider_Auz - Thanks for replying... Its fine as long it reaches unlocked AT&T phones worldwide any which way.
Does this mean as the handset numbers grow and you spread to more carriers, the update process will become even more convoluted? What a joke. Not reassuring at all.
How did you not anticipate this? Hasn't your company been producing smartphones since the year 2001? Shouldn't you be showing Apple and Google how it's done and not being embarrassed by the rookies?
Microsoft, how can you do this to us? Put in the hours needed – we sincerely want to like WP7 but all we hear are runts and ravings of how Microsoft is messing up people's phone, how late updates. You are really pissing off your hitherto happy customers and this is not the way to go for a young promising platform. We should be receiving "tokens" of appreciation in terms of updates for choosing a platform that others have dismissed as dead from the start? This should keep current customers happy enough, even if it’s a bug-a month (you do that for PCs right?). I really don't understand why Mango has to be released later this year! Only for it to brick phones (I am 99% sure of this) - if you have it already running on phones and have already demoed it. Put yourselves in our shoes - Waiting 5 months for copy-paste (something that you acknowledged was missing from day one) and have managed to live without. Just imagine what would happen if we saw something on the other platforms that we liked today and proposed that you add it to WP7...how long would that take? Fall of 2012 or 2013? You cannot compete - you have one shot at this and it seems like you are doing your best to mess it up by using old software development methodologies that deliver results late. Those methodologies work when you have 90% of the market share not 3%.
It comes a time when using statements like "WP7 in ver. 1" to tell off Android, IOs fanatics who brag about their functionality becomes old and starts looking ridiculous.
The onus in on you to impress us – no more excuses!!!
I appreciate the communication despite its tardiness, but I'm actually offended at the amount of excuses in this post. It seems as if you tried to pin the blame on the carriers, OEMs, anyone other than yourselves. I think a lot of users would be very happy with a simple "We're sorry that this is taking so long. We know we let you down and we're going to try to be more timely and have more frequent communication from now on."
Don't just post scraps of info here and there to shut us up. Anyone who bothered to post a comment here obviously cares about WP7 and wants it to succeed. Listen to us, talk to us, work with us. Please.
Hey MS, thanks for the update., em in India and it is a proven fact that Dell is shipping out here with the NoDo update. Also there is no concept of operator devices here., so all are open market. So which operator agreement / tie in is preventing the update being pushed out to open market devices.
Also something known as Marketplace is still missing here...damn.
Thanks Eric. I appreciate the update. There will always be some users unhappy that there aren't weekly updates and who can't understand why pushing out updates for a device that uses another company's infrastructure might be different than pushing out updates for Windows, but I believe that the vast majority of users just want some regular information. Not necessarily specific dates for updates, but just some regular communication about what is going on behind the scenes. You mentioned you were new to the job. Now that you're there, here is hoping you and/or other members of the team can post something here on a regular basis.
Thanks for the update, but I still don't think you "get it". Your CEO promised publicly "1st half of March" now you say second half of March, who knows when we the consumers will actually get the update from carriers, it could be months! I get the impression that MS are forgetting who will make WP7 succeed or fail, i.e. consumers NOT carriers, you cannot keep making promises to consumers that you subsequently break, consumers will vote with their feet and go iphone or one of the plethora of android handsets. If carriers can't move WP7 handsets because nobody wants them because so many features are missing and MS are moving with all the agility of an oil tanker, they will simply abandon you.
To rlintw: Not everyone out here is ignorant of how things work, ya know. Your exaggeration of the issues doesn't help matters, either. I don't see anyone expecting "weekly" updates. We'd settle for the one that WAS READY BACK IN DECEMBER. As someone else put it, we don't need to be waiting until a sufficient bundle of updates are ready--push out things as they are ready, particularly early on. Apple did precisely that, they pushed out a number of updates pretty quickly in succession. I just updated my wife's iPhone 4 to the new version (4.3) quite smoothly. It must makes the on-again-off-again updates from M$ look sickly.
As I've saide before, we have got to get more communication from M$ regarding what's going on. Not generic, fluffy explanations like they given us so far.
Hi Eric from jolly old England,
I just wanted to say thank you for updating us all with what's happening. Its great to know that we are being listened to.
I have been following the update every morning having my morning brew and this has really cheered me up.
Did some (*cough* Telekom Deutschland *cough*) carriers ask you to bundle the copy&paste and the February update?
NOT GOOD ENOUGH ERIC. NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
Your blog post is sugar-coated and condesending let alone LATE. On top of that it addresses NOTHING and sheds no light on the actual problems causing the REPEATED delays of mandatory mobile OS feature rollouts required to compete in 2011's market.
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING?
Microsoft has done a great job on Windows 7, then developed a really promising phone OS in WP7 which those of us with Windows Phones love, and yet the maintenance & development process is the laughing stock of the mobile technology market at present, and an utter failure at that.
We can accept delays. We can accept flaws. But what we cannot accept is silence from Microsoft and a clear display of no respect for your customer base.
It is 2011, we are not stupid. People know their technology now. Tell us there are difficulties, tell us there problems and issues. DO NOT tell us transparent upbeat rubbish which does not reflect anything to do with REAL PROGRESS. And cease these stupid updates from Windows Phone on Facebook and tell us news on the updates instead.
Engage your customers and stop this bulls*** Microsoft. Come clean about the issues and make your customers part of the product by communicating honestly, regularly and clearly. We can accept mistakes, everyone is human. But we cannot accept lying.
I had such a bad Samsung Omina 7 device. I bought it by Three Austria. The update was shown five days later, but I had no time to update and so the update was retreated. However after one week the update come back and then the real problem started!
@wqwalter: I know some which had no problem, but I had really much problems. A complete story is on my blog at blog.blackseals.net/.../warum-windows-phone-7-scheitern-kann (hopefully that link is no problem, it's in german, but translation is on the upper right corner).
Short story: the knowledge didn't helped. After delete all media, apps and games (and loosing a lot of settings, statistics and saved data) the update didn't worked again. As there was no more do delete I had only two possible ways. Through the phone in the garbage or to a hardware reset.
After hardware reset I needed about 5 hours to do installation (apps, games), basic settings on the device and apps. In some Apps and Games are sill missing saved data. Here I need to play or create it again in the next months.
Really bad and not Microsoft like. I thought it would be more quality in the seventh mobile device generation?
I have also some questions: Why there was no update for the bad Samsung Bootloader included? Then the OS update had no problem? The bad Samsung Bootloader is still there, so for further OS updates I need to do the same procedure including hardware reset? Really bad way!
Additional there are a lot of open construction sites. On my website there also an article about it. I think most of them is known, or not? Therefore updates are really important for the young operation system. Hopefully the update procedure will be better in future - so more time is good...
I would love to buy myself a Windows Phone 7 handset, but these updates are rolling out too late. Copy/Paste is a feature the two top mobile Operating Systems do, they also do multitasking and everything else, so how the hell did MS launch an OS that lack all these things? Windows Mobile 6.5 had all that, so one would expect the newest version would bring forth all the major features from the last along with new stuff, but instead, MS gave us a watered down OS.
Seeing Android and iOS getting regular cool features while WP7 can barely get an update out the doors, these things makes it difficult to choose WP7, too slow.
Delivering regular updates to your phone is a key part of our innovation plans. - haha its should be regular re-scheduling of updates is a key part of our innovation plans.
I really appreciate the update on the... update process. It's really interesting, to me, to hear more about the process of getting updates out on such a large scale.
On a side note, I really have to side with some of the other commenters here - we really need first-party, integrated Windows Live Messenger functionality.
I understand that the current Miyowa app is "official"... But have you guys really sat down and given it a significant amount of use? I really don't want to sound like a troll, but it's pretty terrible. Getting to and seeing an IM should take no longer than a text message, and in this case, it's the fact that it's a separate app rather than a plugin that's causing that issue. It'll randomly place a message received from a contact into a separate conversation than one that already exists, and even more often than that, it'll randomly delete conversation history, even to the point of deleting messages you've received, in the time between when you tap the notification, and the app opens.
Don't get me wrong - I really love the platform and how well everything works - it's just that this one thing... It strikes me as exceedingly odd that there's a better Windows Live Messenger implementation on the iPhone than on Microsoft's own smartphone platform.
I'm really curious, and I'd really like to know: Is there a reason that outsourcing the implementation of Microsoft's own service ended up somehow seeming like the right choice? Is there any real possibility of getting a Microsoft-made Windows Live Messenger appendation into the Messaging tile, effectively making it a Messaging Hub? The reviews for the Miyowa app don't lie, and I think this is a solution that all of the users looking for a Messenger implementation on their Windows Phones would vastly prefer over what we currently have.
This is a really poor statement from Microsoft I have to say. It makes me really angry as a early adopter.
1) Microsoft has (should have) many years of expertice how to roll-out updates. On Windows on the desktop and Windows Mobile. I know, WP7 is bit different, however, it did not fall from the sky. What have you done in the design phase?
2) The "NoDo" update was probably engineered completly in 2010. 3+ Months only to roll it out is unacceptable. No matter on who you want to blaim it. Come on, Microsoft is not in the possition in taking the slow way. I have bought my WP7 (early adopter) in Microsoft's promise to deliver updates fast. Now, about 6 months where I bought my phone, I have not seen one single update.
3) All Windows phones on the market have the same specs. Same CPU, GPU, etc. One would think, it would be easier to roll-out updates. Remenber: iPhone 3G, 3GS, iP4, iPad, now iPad2, iPods (+Diffferent Carriers, Countries, GSM and CDMA) have different hardware. Still, they can manage to bring updates fast. Maybe the WP7 Team is just too small? Maybe Microsoft does not invest on the platform as much as they need to? I did.
For me, this is Microsoft's last chance to fix their promise.
Eric, this lengthly explanation still does not clear some things. I own factory unlocked Samsung Omnia 7. The february update was a breeze, but what we really want is a NoDo update that really adds new features to the phone. It is clear that update itself is already complete as evident in latest version of Windows Phone Emulator that already includes NoDo update. There are some (confirmed) reports that phones shipping in India already have NoDo installed.
This bring me to actual question: why people like me who own factory unlocked phones still does not have this NoDo update? Clearly there is no carrier involved here that can block\delay\postpone it, so why is it on hold for unlocked phones?
Wow, good to see the Windows Phone Blog taking off. This has got to be the most popular blog yet ;) If you all d/l WP Radio Podcast Issue 21 tomorrow (assuming they have done one) it will be interesting to see how they refer to this topic.... :)
Augusto Valdez, Daniel Bouie, Jaime Rodriguez, Larry Lieberman, Rob Tiffany and wasn't it Brandon Watson to? They all where at the "WPH117-IS - Come and Meet the Windows Phone 7 Team" TechEd Europe 2010 Session back in November 2010 and they promissed in all the sessions around TechEd that YOU Microsoft are pushing hard on the plattform but changes/updates until today are absolutely non existent and this is about 5 months now until the release of WP7.
Is that as of today all the WP7 Phone team is able to deliver?
C'mon WP7 Team. Get things right and deliver what you promised.
For the future decouple Phone ROM and Feature and BugFix updates and deliver the last 2 directly to our phones. We paid lots of money for those toys and want something to play with!
@Eric Hautala and the entire Windows Phone 7 team:
Might I please make a personal recommendation?
Please be quicker about everything... software updates, sure, but more certainly about news updates with your product and also you need to market more and quicker, and you need partners to release new products quicker. I'm not saying rushed here, please don't rush things, but I'm saying keeping customers informed is much more valuable in 2011 than in the old days. As others have said, "no news is BAD news" in this era.
As for the software updates, I'd personally rather see smaller, quarterly feature update releases rather than wait 6-12 months for an update. Monthly is too much, I agree. But I've consistently seen 3-5 month updates on my Sprint EVO. I'm anxiously awaiting the Arrive just to have some exposure and experience with WP7, because I like what I see in the Samsung Focus (but hate AT&T hence my not switching yet). I'm nervous, however, that if it doesn't fit my needs or expectations that I'll be waiting a year before I see an update to it, and that takes me back to the days of my Sprint Mogul and Sprint Touch Pro which took for-bloody-ever to get HTC to release updates for them. A quarterly update would be appreciated for sure. 1 or 2 new features and as many bug fixes as you can squash would be impressive to all of your sensible fans, and even many critics would be silenced or proven wrong.
I hope this post is read by someone. I genuinely appreciate all the work you guys do, but I sincerely hope that you recognize some very simple ways you can improve (for our sake as well as yours).
i have a word of advice. stop with the excuses. these are not explanations. they are excuses. this is your job. make it happen or the entire windows phone team needs to think about a new job outside of software development. deliver often and early. communicate with us (you are not apple and you never will be. secrets are necessary but a wall of silence is not). zune team only ever gave excuses. they blamed the content creators any and every time there was a DRM problem with marketplace or purchased content. here is the big secret: i as a paying consumer do not care one bit who's fault it is. if its broken i want it fixed. you own the "experience" MS end to end you own. that is the way the consumer sees it. please please please stop making excuses. communicate to us. be honest. stop with the corporate double speak. DO YOUR JOBS! The whole windows phone team should be working late every night and coming in every weekend until this gets resolved (heck they should be doing that anyway)
The WLM may be outsourced, but regardless, it's officially crap. And way to show confidence in your own product, if you can't even bother writing your own apps for it.
It's hard to be enthusiastic about a product, if it goes that way. I can't even recommend WP7 right now, because all I see is talk, excuses and blaming others. Talking about the future and how glory it is, excuses about not shipping anything, blaming your partners, because they can't get their act together (which is the worst thing you can do, if you need them so badly). This sentence here "Delivering regular updates to your phone is a key part of our innovation plans." is really offending for us enthusiasts. Five months after launch and you didn't deliver anything, except for some bricked phones. Without being rude, stop teasing about the great future of WP7. Stop it. Put up, or shut up.
I'm really sorry for being so demotivating and negative, but this is really how I feel right now. I was excited pre-launch, at launch and some time after that, but in February the excitement faded away and I realized that I bought one smart feature phone. This is not about wanting updates every month (that's ridiculous) and I'm not excited about copy/paste at all, but this OS needs some bug fixes and it needs them NOW. I was late at work twice, because of the alarm bug, Zune keeps crashing every once in a while (is it fixed with NoDo? I have no idea!). Your update schedule might work for completely owned and closed platforms like the Xbox or Zune, but your phone OS is more like a desktop OS. Imagine your company would only ship Windows patches with every service pack. What are you doing if someone cracks your OS at pwn2own? Putting a patch together and ship it in with the Fall update? Or what about other security holes? I don't recall ever getting an answer to that, so it's impossible to be to recommend WP7 for the enterprise. Ever. It's not about features, it's about support and I don't see any of it. You seriously need to answer that. Are you able to put out security fixes in a timely manner (one week, max two) or not? Or can they still get stuck in the MS->OEM->carrier->MS limbo like NoDo?
Thanks for the insight! I would however really appreciate it if you guys would provide a roadmap detailing (among other things) enabling access to XBox Live & Market Place for other countries, adding more localization options to the phone and so on.
With Windows Phone 7's excellent word correction and prediction system, it's a little frustrating to write emails and text messages in other languages than English. It's like going blazing fast when posting forum comments on the web, to correcting every fourth letter when sending an email (in my case Norwegian) in your native language.
Any who, keep up the great work! I can't wait to see what more tricks you guys have up your sleeves once you start pushing updates.
I don't have a WP7 yet but looking forward to purchase one. These news of delaying updates are reaching a critical level and I hope you understand what is the risk for your division these news bring. We expect this very first update will be the only difficult to push and the followings happens as a breeze. I don't want to be stuck in a platform without any warranty it will be extended and supported in the long run, and you are not showing that.
Remember, the market/customers won't accept more failures, you are too like in the game.
I'm happy that you are leaving some feedback on what is going on. However... if I need to delete the apps from my phone AGAIN when the NoDo update arrives, even after this delay.. well let me quote Norm MacDonald on that one:
The next time you have your customers clear their phones or they get their phones bricked, you might want to think about some goodwill compensation, like a month of zune or some marketplace points. Considering that you haven't reimbursed any customers for this problem, you should have had no problem spending the money to have one of the problematic phones delivered to you, so that you have one to test with.
With that said... thanks again for communicating with us... good luck with the update.... and It'll be great to see the surprises you have in store...
I am posting this comment to keep the comment count rising, to let the Phone team know their customers are here and listening. All the frustrations I am feeling have been stated in previous posts. We have invested in the platform and want it to succeed. This isn't about the February Update, or NoDo, or even Mango, for me this is about feeling insecure about the future of Windows Phone and the lack of trust between Microsoft and its customers. If there is no way to make this update process work like you've promised you need to let users know. We can only judge based on what we know, and what we know is that at the very best this process isn't ideal and there is room for improvement. My hope is that it isn't too late. Carriers and OEMs aren't why people bought Windows Phone over your competition, so don't let them be the reason for the platform's inability to stay competitive.
Please include Chinese (and other Eastern languages) input methods for the future updates soon. I don't think it's that difficult to include them, and it's pretty basic as most smartphones on the market has it. And it really does make a difference when a non-English person is trying to decide which phone to buy. I really like the Windows Phone 7 UI and bought the Samsung Focus, not much regret and love it, but I just wish I can search and text in Chinese without using 3rd party apps.
...and wats the ETA on support for full-multitasking, multilingual, NDK and SDcard-change-without-resetting-the-phone-memory?? Like others are suggesting, please avoid clubbing together so many updates but push the updates, bug-fix or new feature, as they get ready. Incidentally, would there be a way, in future, to update the OS without operator intervention directly online from Microsoft, via wi-fi, zune etc.?
Do you guys realize how far behind you are? Get out of the Redmond bubble and start to execute quickly before it is too late. Two updates a year are not enough to catch up the competition, let alone surpass them. I have had a Focus since launch and think wp7 has great potential, but at this pace you will be smothered by Android and IPhone. So stop making excuses and congratulating yourselves about how awesome you are doing and DELIVER!!!
I don't want to comment and repeat what has already been said by many others before. In general I can say that I agree with most words (positive and negative) that have been posted - here and elsewhere.
But there is one big thing, I have to share with all of you:
Since March 7th you can download a new original HTC ROM from xda-developers for HTC Mozart. This ROM already includes the NoDo-Update. Since I didn't want to wait any longer for the update after reading these lines, I decided to flash my phone with the provided ROM and just make all settings again.
The big suprise is: Everything just works fine! So the problem is neither the hardware manufacturer nor the carrier! So who is left for being responsible for this delay??? Something is definitely going wrong with WP7...
I don't want to blame you, Eric, since I guess you are not informed by your employer or allowed to comment this.
I also don't want to accuse anyone else. I think that everyone is smart enough to get the point...
Cut the crap. I have had a Venue Pro since Day 1 and I haven't had a working phone since Day 1. I have paid for a phone and have been making monthly payments for 3 months (after signing a two year deal to get this lemon). The unit cannot run for more than 30 seconds with the WiFi on without crashing. I have been patient. I have spent HUNDREDS of hours on the phone to no avail. After all the phone calls and swapping two phones, I have no been told by Dell that they will be swapping out no more phones, because they were told by you, Microsoft, that the hardware was fine, and the issue was a compatability problem on your software/OS end. If this is true.... you can get your arse's in gear and fix my phone IMMEDIATELY. I am tired of paying for a phone that cannot run for more than 30 seconds without crashing, yet having to mail a check every month for my cell service. If this is on your end, and I have waited 3 months for a fix, and you are still farting around I am going to lose it. This is the worst launch ever.
I WANT A FULLY WORKING PHONE NOW. Here is an idea... since I am not stuck with T-Mobile, and still have not gotten what I payed for , which is a working phone; instead of sticking me with the problem, why don't you send me a HTC HD7 THAT WORKS and toss in a 32GB card for my 3 months of heartache. Sound ridiculous? About as ridiculous as me having to pay for this thing everymonth and it doesn't run because you and Dell can't stop pointing fingers AND JUST DO YOUR JOBS ALREADY.
We have Apple crunchin out updates every 90 days and you guys can't even get my phone to run 180 days after selling it to me.
Someone from Microsoft CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY AND TELL ME HOW WE ARE GOING TO FIX THIS PROBLEM AND MAKE IT RIGHT. That or I am throwing this lemon WP7 phone in the garbage and selling all three of my Windows 7 cpu's and switching everything to Apple. I am tired of being treated this way.
SOMEONE GET OFF YOUR BUTT, DO YOUR JOB, AND CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY.
Who ever from Microsoft is listening .... tell me who to call and when to get this fixed. I am tired of this crap. You and Dell have taken my money and ran. WHO DO I CALL AND HOW?
WHY ARE YOU NOT SENDING THE UPDATE TO FIX THESE THINGS. If it is a time thing, if you started listening to us when we yelled about it back IN FRIGIN DECEMBER, YOU WOULD BE DONE WITH THE FIX.
WHO THE HELL DO I CALL AND WHEN?????
Really? I have waited THREE MONTHS FOR YOU TO FIX THESE THINGS AND YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE ME WAIT LONGER FOR YOU TO TELL ME WHO THE HELL TO CONTACT? WHAT THE HELL KIND OF BUSINESS ARE YOU GUYS RUNNING?
I was considering buying a smart phone, but I wish to have control over the software that runs on the phone and be able to keep it up to date, given how poor Windows Phone has been in the past with upgrades being block by carriers, I think the only option is a iPhone as no one else will stand up to the carriers. Microsoft does not allow my ISP to block updates to my laptop, so way do you allow my carrier to block update to MY phone? (I see a carrier as a mobile ISP and no more)
@ringi - unfortunately most mobile carriers really "own" the phone. Since they are heavily subsidized when you sign up for a contract. When more people finally starting buying a phone AND THEN picking a carrier then maybe they can just concentrate on good carrier service and we can go to the manufacturer to deal with hardware problems. That said Apple doesn't seem to have a problem across carriers with updating their phones.
Once they all finally agree on a damn standard like we have with WiFi and Ethernet, them selling the hardware will hopefully leave the equation! It's ridiculous in this day and age that your phone needs to be tied to a network.