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
How about a fix to the problem where the 'other' storage just forever grows despite not installing anything and despite clearing all histories etc. The OS is not clearing temporary internet data, just by using my apps im losing free storage fast. People are saying the apps cease to function once it runs out. I cant live with a phone that requires hard resettig every month just because i use whats already installed. Please say your aware of this..
This phone still needs a few basics that most other phones have. I still can't believe there isn't a way to use mp3 files for my ring tone. Also, a phone that doesn't enable the sending of videos?! Can we get these fixed please?
Its now mid June and we are still waiting
ERIC you said this
'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"
Now Let Me BE CRYSTAL CLEAR Im feed up with the BS excuses
WP7 has much potential but such lame engineeers.
Lost me and my friends and their friends and thier friends............
Heard of the six degrees of seperation. Not long before NO one wants a bar of ths OS
Let's crash this blog or force Microsoft's hand!
Everyone post RELEASE THE UPDATE NOW! once an hour until they relent and release the update to us all. Come on everyone together we can make it happen.
RELEASE THE UPDATE NOW!
should I care when the update comes out ? Why should I, since not even the pre-update installs !
Wow, nice - AT&T is the "Premier Partner". All phones in "Testing" stage. www.microsoft.com/.../update-schedule-usa.aspx
For how long now? When was this update ready?
You wouldn't have so many of us early adopters pist off right now if you would have shipped a "complete" product with fast and readily avaliable updates. The bugs are getting old. Every friggin' damn day the marketplace crashes! These bugs are a joke - it's getting so old I can't stand it anymore!
This platform wasn't ready for RTM, admit it!!!
I hear now that I could be waiting until May or even June for an update to my Focus? REALLY? REALLY???? ARE YOU GUYS KIDDING ME????
And, if that's not the case - then let us know. Communicate it. That's what you do with customers, communicate with them. Who the hell is running the PR department over there? My 9 yrear old son could do a better job for crying OUT LOUD!!
I did nothing but praise and recommend WP7 to my collegues and friends when I got the phone. I was one of your biggest advocates.
I definately can't do that now at this point. Hopefully, soon, that will change!
-- One dissapointed and aggravated WP7 user.
I've been using Windows since v 3.0 and the Samsung Focus is my second Windows Phone after the HTC Diamond 2. I am huge Microsoft supporter and I like their approach to software and on many occasions, they tend to surprise in the best way a la Xbox Kinect and Zune and Windows Phone 7. At this point, the update situation is embarrassing. I'm on AT&T with a Focus so I am just going to assume I won't see this update any time soon after the bricking situation many experienced in February.
Like others, I have to hope that in the future, updates won't be bundled together requiring 3 different entities (Microsoft, OEMs, and carriers) to test causing such huge delays. Why not push out the bug fixes, then copy and paste, then firmware, then whatever the carriers want to add? In theory, at least if one or two updates took longer to be "approved", the others would still make it to our handsets.
If Apple is subject to the same carrier testing, why are they able to push out their updates to current and older handsets (not to mention the iPad) on the same day. If this is the case, in the future it may be better to just say the next update will be 10 months away and just try to get it out earlier so we are not expecting a January update that ends up being released in April for some people.
Let Steve know how you feel. This is pathetic.
I'm holding off on buying any more apps for WP7 until a little while after I receive NoDo (or should I say if I ever receive NoDo). That way, if I do decide to abandon the sinking ship for Android, I won't have wasted anymore money on WP7.
I didn't think a company could have such crappy customer relations. Each day that passes brings more and more disappointments with WP7, and I feel like a schmuck for buying into the platform. :(
Well? What's the word Eric?? You say you're "listening", well OBVIOUSLY we're talking!
AT&T Focus: When can I expect it??
(This is seriously getting old - and fast - looking at Droids more and more...)
Ok so now we are hearing that it could be April, or even MAY for this to be released for certain people? Once a year updates? You think this is going to work? Take the blinders off, and kick it into gear, and revamp your update process to be through the zune software directly (no carrier involvement).
@dkb I know! That's what's so frustrating! If I'm whining something is really wrong. I run an IT shop that is almost exclusively MS. Been using their products since Windows/286, beta test for them, and generally buy into most of their products (I really am a fan of the server class stuff). I even used Microsoft Phone (the home hardware) and Mira Devices (try finding any info on those!) God, am I a fanboy? Ech.
If *I* am miffed something is really wrong. I was so excited to actually have a decent Windows phone to roll out to our company, I loved the interface, it's (for once) actually cooler than Apple--and they're just sucking the life out of it.
@curtk - I honestly don't think they get it...I think they actually believe things are going well.
So the update was finished in December, delayed for the pre update update, then the carriers blocked--I mean "test and schedule updates" for three months, a few pre NoDo updates bomb, they pulled back, now it trickles out but blocked--I mean more "testing and scheduling" by the carriers? What was the last 3 months for?? Basically no matter what the update comes through the Zune software, which I assume gets its updates from MS. Why are we delaying yet again? Apple has released update after update since November, and they deal with carriers too. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt (more actual manufacturers involved) but this is now a joke. Nows it's looking like April for carriers, and I can only assume May or June for AT&T (who seems to be able to approve iOS updates quickly, but not us).
I really hope there is some SERIOUS grilling of the WP7 folks at the MIX11 conference. This cannot be how things work going forward, its a comedy of errors, no communications, no reliable updates, and just a mess with customer relations.
I think it's pretty clear all, we're going to have to take matters into our own hands, chevron has a hack for those with HTC phone, of course I have the Focus. I'm waiting to see some custom Android ROM's for our phones as well. I wouldn't be surprised if I start seeing class action lawsuits soon for misrepresentation, etc... If you "like" Windows Phone on FB, you'll see more of the same, lot's of pissed off customer, and ZERO reply from "Windows Phone"
Where are you Eric ???????
Whats the news on NODO, are the carriers still blocking the update. i have no doubt This will fall on deaf ears just like all the other 236 posts.
some people seem to be getting it, however all the blogs are saying that carrier customers probably won't get it today. So much for carriers not blocking. Will be counting the time to between this release and whenever ATT sees fit to unblock, I mean, "test and schedule their update" for most of us. am willing to be cautiously optimistic today.
ARE THEY REALLY SENDING OUT THE NODO UPDATE
The fact is, there isn't good leadership on this project...eventually that responsibility falls on the CEO! In NY, if an athlete hides from the press after a bad game, or comes up with excuses, they get killed in the media and rightfully so. What's happening here is no different! Good leaders wouldn't let this happen, period! To continue the sports analogy, a sports team that blatently ignores and doesn't address the concerns of it's bigest fans will create a ton of angst, which is what is happening...again this comes back to leadership! And let's leave Eric out of this, it goes way above him
The worst thing about the situation is that theres no communication, its like you guys don't care, i mean what are you doing all day. You cant be working! Theres over 250 comments but no responses from Microsoft!
We'll probably get another blog post on the 31st saying that its delayed with a load of PR rubbish to cover up what a failure the wp7 team is - Are you guys actually ever going to get around to working on updates?
Just awesome - to rub salt in the wound Apple iOS is getting another update and we can't even get a response from MS.
"We’re listening carefully, working hard to improve our software, and think you’ll love the surprises we have in store."
But I don't think they can be listening - 257 posts and not a single update from Eric - shame on you MS
LOL NO KNOWING MS YOUR GOING TO HAVE TO WAIT A LIL LONGER
so any of you guys here received the NoGo update yet?
Yo, Eric, what's up, man? How would you rate your customers' experience's by reading the comments here? Unless there are some drastic and quick changes that take place, you can bet I'll be ditching this phone and going back to iOS. The funny thing about it is that you do not know how difficult it would have been for me to type that 4 months ago. In any case, I need a phone that can get the job done. While this phone lacks features, it is the bugs that kill me. To any of you other guys reading this, how many of you have problems with image attachments and audio attachments not coming through (the attachment paperclip is there, but no actual attachment), or when you are scrolling down on a web page the device automatically zooms in? How about not being able to click and activate hyperlinks on occassion (the div highlights or something but it takes about 4 clicks before the actual hyperlink gets activated---try the Google news page)? Oh, here's a good one...how many of you have had your phone plugged into a 3.5 mm car jack for music and then when you get out of the car and take your phone, you try and use the voice commands to make a call or search? You can't because the mic is now deactivated because of being plugged into the jack prior. You have to make a manual call to re-activate the mic! This is just a few of the things that gripe me. I bet this "update" won't even touch any of those.
@curtk - Cracking up! Nearly spit out my water. @Polychromenz, I'm glad, we definitely need to laugh just to keep our sanity at this point.
Hell why not announce a deal with Trojan Vibrations and Extenz, the phone will do amazing things if you keep it in your pocket, male, female, or hermophrodite. Having ED problems? Get a Windows Phone...all enabled by a simple software update "in the coming months"
They might as well just promise everything. So far it's not under deliver, its no delivery of any kind. The ratio is effectively infinite compared to deliverables. 30 hour battery? Sure! Why not! That's Q2 2012. Morphing Tri-Fold OLED 3D screens? Yeah! Right around the corner! Here, look at this cool concept video/demo we have...
So far most of us haven't even seen a patch that doesn't really do anything. A patch that actually does *something*?? Now that may take some time.
@dkb1898 re "I get no joy anymore out of using my phone...it's like a girlfriend that I want to break up with but can't...it's sickening to me!"
LOL - absolutely classic! Made me smile for the first time on this blog.
There is absolutely no accountability at Microsoft on this project, and I'm not talking about poor Eric. The only thing we get are more promises of granduer in the coming months, when they have no credibility on delivering. Who's accountable for responding to consumers? Why have a blog that is nothing more than a propoganda machine? It's all over promise, under deliver....it's Vista! Heads need to role, changes need to be made, because this project is an utter failure! I get no joy anymore out of using my phone...it's like a girlfriend that I want to break up with but can't...it's sickening to me!
@TwiceBitten yeah I was being sarcastic too. I guess we just need to wait and see. Android on my HTC Mozart would be a good stop gap.
@Polychromenz Yeah, I know MS never promised March 21 (we're lucky to get a six month window with them). My point was just that we are rapidly approaching the end of the month already, and now there are shiny new phones out that have updated software. Just like in the Android world. And just what MS said wouldn't happen with WP7. Sure, NoDo may still roll-out in the next few weeks or months, but I predict this pattern of existing customers getting updates only after new devices sport them (if at all) will only get worse with time.
If somebody's come up with a way to put an Android ROM in my Focus, I'm very interested! WP7 needs another year or so to bake...
I understand that even the pre update is a rolling out update, but seriously, this is getting beyond ridiculous now!
No 'no do' update and not even the pre update, wp7 doesn't have many users so hoe the f*ck can it take soooooo long to roll out to all users?
Microsoft promised us no fragmentation. Chalk this up to another MS lie, along with "carriers have no hand in updates" and "we'll have frequent updates".
@TwiceBitten I wouldn't expect March 21 to change anything. MS never said March 21 they said second half of March which was technically last week. We all think (hope) March 21 because of various phone launches with nodo but that really has no impact on an upgrade. I think we will be lucky to see nodo this month and even luckier to hear an update.
I think MS are too scared to talk until it is rolled out and then the only thing they will say is about the positives on the roll out and how we have some amazing stuff on the way. (read corporate bs)
It just seems to be the way these big companies roll, nothing we can do except vote with our feet. I will be free later this month to look at fully unlocking my phone and loading one of the various leaked roms. Seems to be the only real option. The main reason I went WP7 is I didnt like the buggy cooked roms on my WM6.5 but that seems to be the MS way - shame it had such potential.
I'll probably go Android anyway, will wait a few months and see. I doubt I could sell this phone without Mango on it so I guess I am screwed for now.
On the bright side Windows 7 is still rocking and the new IE 9 is the fastest browser I've ever used in everyday usage, eclipsing Chrome (which was shocking to me). And Office 2010 is still excellent. Sooner or later one of Sinopsky's guys, or Sinopsky himself will take over this project and get it turned around...it's in shambles right now, and they are taking a beating on the FB page as well. Pretty soon the tech sites are going to start recognizing this and it's going to all be out in the open. Let's just hope we don't have to wait for Windows 8 for that to happen!
Well, here we are at March 21st. If you want the latest and greatest version of Windows Phone 7, your only option is to go buy the new phone from Sprint. Just the way the carriers like it. Bravo, Microsoft. Bravo.
I predict new phones with Mango will ship MONTHS before the rest of us ever see it. If we see it at all, that is.
Wow, just listened to the Windows Phone Radio podcast from 3/11. What a huge load of condescending, PR puffery. I realize this was recorded *before* most of these comments and outcry, but basically blaming bloggers for 'mythology' and downplaying how anyone who says a vendor could put something on a carrier network without approval is just wrong was the height of hubris. Especially the 'bloggers' that are your biggest proponents.
Yes, Apple has to get approval for its updates on ATT...they just apparently can do it FAR better and qucker than Microsoft can. So either way it's you guys. Five months in and not even a bug fix? At this point that's all I want--I gave up on the promised new features a while ago. And demo'ing IE9 at SXSW just reminds us all of things we DON'T have. Its great you guys all have phones with the neat new features and bug fixes, but your customers don't. Stop rubbing it in.
Well, I can tell you that neither I nor two of my friends who also own a Samsung Focus have received ANYthing on the pre-update. I contacted Samsung and they insist that the pre-update was OTA on Mar 14. This means that either the roll-out failed or AT&T in fact DID block the update. Of course, you can't find a single person at AT&T who understands what you're asking.
TODAY IS THE DAY LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
Time line for Eric's employment with MS:
-Hired or promoted on the 7th.
-Windows Blog account created on the 8th.
-A post on the 10th concerning updates for windows phone 7 customers.
-1 week notice that he is quitting on the 11th and uses what he has of sick days and vacation time so he does not have to come back into the office…
-Microsoft has still not responded to customer concerns with real explanations!
yea i have that same update problem
The pre-update has been out for a month now. As I understand it the update was a "rolling update". Anyone have any idea what percent of the WP7 owners have been notified that there is an update waiting for their phone. If that percent receives the rolling update notice in 30 days how many months will it take to reach the 95% mark?
There is very little analytical data available, but I think I say a Microsoft statement that fewer than 100 phone owners have reported a update failure. There was also a statement that fewer than 10% of the users have had errors. This implies there has been around 1000 phones updated so far and the four that I have are on AT&T which appears to be blocking the updae at least in the US. If the number of active phones is in the millions then at 1000 per month the update process could take a significant number of months.
I could be way off on the numbers, but I have 4 phones with no updated notificaion, and I have asked at least 20 other people in the area and no one has seen a update notice. That is 0.000% of the people I have asked that have been notificed that the update is available. Anyone seen any numbers that indicate that the "rollout" is moving any faster?
I am not interested in copy and paste but I would like to not have to power down my phone every other time I go into the market place to look for a new app. I would also like to have the problem solved where i keep getting notices that I have several applications the need an update, and when I go and try to get the application update the updates do not complete. I am able to get new applications but i have several that are stuck un a "I need and update" mode.
The windows mobile team needs to do a better job in communicating with the public. Getting timely information out is critical to any business. The public will work with you if it is kept informed. When there is no information the public will get it from any source that provides it even if is incorrect. Keep in contact with your customers. You can also make it more personal by sending out emails directly to the consumers whose information you have. Give it a more personal feel.
As a side note, the IE team was able to take the 4th best browser on the market, and in a year and a half make it the best one. Never thought I would switch off of Chrome, but IE 9 is just much faster at page loads, and scrolling.
The WP "team" has been developing this product since late 2008...so almost 2 and a half years in they will release NoDo which isn't even up to speed with WM 6.5 in many, many areas. Put this team under Sinopsky already and gut management!
@phoneuser - the problem isn't this NoDo update, or even the Mango update it's that Microsoft blatently lied to us. We were, and are still being sold this idea that they will quickly get up to speed and introduce some surprise features, this was and is a lie. We were told when the phone came out in November a compelling update was a few weeks away, then early 2010, then early march (with promises of several updates over the next few months, not just 1), etc...all without any explanation of why those statements were not backed up. NoDo will excite us for all of a day or two, then we will realize it doesn't address anything really besides 3 things, and ignores the 100's of little sores that currently plague the plateform. If the next update is ManGo and it arrives in late 2011, early 2012, our phones will be nice ornaments like the Kin. We are all mad, because frankly we were sold a can of fluff, and we bought into it...what's particularly offensive is they keep selling us the same can of fluff and expecting us to get excited!!!
Hey, Eric. It's been a few days and I thought maybe you might have dropped by to field some of our questions and concerns. Just kidding. You know, you guys really need to get it together. This post represents all that I am upset with about this phone and MS. Anyway, when you get back with us, care to let us know the status of the SD card debacle as well? That was my first burn...still unresolved. For me, the switch back to iOS is becoming clearer and clearer.
I find it unaccatpatble Microsoft has left early adaptors who bought into the platform the first 5 months are getting the NODO update after people who are new buy ins getting the HTC Arrive on Sprint. Totally scrwing over hundrdres of thousands of user who were fist in.
Hi, I finally found the place to send my wishlist for the next update.
First of all, I have to say I am a 100% Mac user (except in the office). That being said I was immediately won over when I looked at the Windows Phone 7 and actually purchased a device the very next moment. I think WP7 looks very stylish (as opposed to the motley look for iOS), minimalistic and very responsive and fast (at least on my HTC HD7). In addition, it is amazing for business (I moved to the WP7 from a Blackberry Torch which was dismal), as the email, and office apps look and work great, are well organized and very convenient. I think Microsoft are a real competition to the Blackberry and this is where their real strength is - perhaps needing to redirect efforts to that market, rather than trying to compare themselves with the iOS, as WP7 really seems to offer the best (but not all) of both worlds - business and pleasure/personal use.
I did not have a problem getting the first update, although obviously it added no new features. So here are the things I want to have on my next update (some of them are very very basic, but add a lot of value to the day-to-day usability of the device) :
1. Wake alarm that works when the device is swithced off - out of battery. Currently the alarm does not work if the phone is powered down or has run out of juice - result, you never know whether you may accidentally miss your flight, be late for work etc. Blackberry has it, Nokia has it, so I see no reason why WP7 should not have it.
2. Automatic power down and power up (but after we get item 1). This is a great battery saver which is important for my HTC HD7 device which runs out of battery twice as fast as my Blackberry Torch used to. For a business phone long battery life is important because you wouldn't want to be in a long meeting or on an 8 hour flight and suddently be left without a phone. Microsoft may think more about adding some kind of battery life requirement to its rigorous list of hardware requirements, especially if it targets the business users market.
3. Better battery metering - my device shows the low battery warning about an hour before dying. This is too little - I normally need more warning before I am left without a phone.
4. Navigation stored on the device. This is feature I dearly miss. Bing Maps is great, but when I am abroad it is unusable because it generates a huge traffic and I recently got as a result a roaming charge which equalled the price of my phone. I don't know what prevents third party navigation providers from porting their apps to WP7 - the fact that there is not a single navi software may indicate there is some problem with the WP7 itself - in each case the lack of navigation of this type is a big handicap for a business smartphone.
5. Marketplace - please allow us to search separately apps, music, etc. - otherwise it results in a really long and unusable list when all these lists are mixed together.
6. Ability to put .mp3 as ring tone - come on, we are 2011, every phone has had it for years!!
This is essentially all I need. Everything else is there and it works great - DON'T spoil it - in particular:
1. Please don't clutter future releases with useless features and bog the performance down
2. Copy/paste - yes. Multitasking - my personal opinion is it is useless for a phone outside the music player which you already have. I have it on my iPad and to be honest it is a pain in the a** having to constantly switch of various apps by hand. If you bring it in, please let me have a switch to turn it off.
@TwiceBitten - I'm not asking about *why* it is delayed. It's delayed, and I don't like it but I'll be patient ... for now. I'm asking if it can be improved in the future. If you cant see the difference I don't know how to better explain it.
@ChrisLynch - The only smartphone out there that is regularly updated is the iPhone. I own or have owned BB, Android, WP7, and iPhones. My particular android has never been updated. My iPhone updates regularly but I at times have lost both voicemail and the ability to receive calls, and several updates have slowed down my iPhone considerably. Don't get me started on BB. I understand you spent money on this phone, we all did, but having spent money on everything else out there, this isn't all that unusual to me.
@phoneuser - Sounds to me like YOU are also asking for some gritty details. I guess you deserve answers to your questions, but the rest of us do not?
@phoneuser: I disagree. Customers/consumers/end-users all want to make sure they are getting their money's worth. I spent my hard earned money for this phone and the "right" to use the OS. If we as the true end-user will no recieve updates in a timely manor (MS's word, not ours), then I will change my phone for someone who can deliver.
The ONLY saving grace to this whole debacle, will be if the WP7 team is taking the Xbox 360 approach. WHen the Xbox 360 was first introduced, it had a huge mountain to clime. And now, it is the premier gaming platform (next to the Wii, which continues to lose market share month after month) in the world. However, it took Microsoft 5 years to reach that status. I for one will not wait 5 years for a device that I use daily and is part of my life and many others around the world.
@BuckeyeTico - Unfortunately I think all the negativity will produce the opposite reaction. They'll look to lower expectations on updates by not saying anything at all. They'll also get more gun shy WRT letting these out, so it'll take longer as they exhaustively test. Not a nimble bunch to begin with, they tend to overreact on the cautious side.
"Delivering regular updates to your phone is a key part of our innovation plans."
Are you serious? It's mid-March and not a single update for the phone software yet. How is that regular?
How about someone at Microsoft have the balls to come out and lay out the definitive time table that software updates will be released over the next 12 months. Then we can judge you on actual performance rather than all this word semantics you want to play while you protect your butt.
>> 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.
So let me see if I get this right:
Block = "an obstacle to the normal progress or functioning of something"
Should = "used to indicate what is probable"
Ultimately - what, before the end of the universe?
So you're saying that the carriers can't be an obstacle to the release and yet they can ask updates to get bundled together or released at a specific date, and yet you also phrase it as should (not 100% certain) and ultimately (which has no time limit)
So a carrier can sit and say we will do one mega update to the phone in 10 years time, and according to your language they are not blocking the update because we may ultimate receive the update?
You're being disingenuous.
This is now beyond farcical. How come Apple can pump out updates so quick for their iPhones?
@phoneuser - The reason why we want to know details about the delays is simply because we want to make sense of this whole mess -and also because the lack of transparancy and communication from MS. BTW, good luck with an answer for your question... You might get it when the cow comes home (can you read my sarcasm?).
I don't know why everyone wants all the gritty details on the delay. It's delayed ... knowing every last detail why won't make it get here any faster. At least its not cancelled. To Eric/Brian: is there a way for WP7 to decouple updates that the carriers care about from updates they don't? In other words, if you just want to update the email app or the XNA engine, I don't see why the carriers would require recertification. Can WP7 be updated in parts, or does it all have to be updated all at once?
What I don't understand is why is Microsoft trying to re-create the wheel? Nokia, Samsung and others have been sending updates (including OTA) for years without any problems. What's different from what they are doing to this update? Why doesn't Microsoft just use the same technology they are using...Any comment Eric?
@Polychromenz You are 100% correct. Just a short reply would go a long way. There are 221 posts and only 2 are form MS. That's not a good ratio.
OK so having had time to calm down (see previous posts) I'd just like to say
I appreciate what MS are trying to do is very hard and that it will take a while to iron the problems. Once we have the first update, as long as MS can tell us that subsequent updates will be MUCH easier and will be "more of the same". I think I will be happy again.
If we can get all of the niggly problems fixed in one big update between now and Mango that would be awesome. As a dev I understand that they probably cannot because they have already started and are well into Mango, so they cannot update us without giving us the unfinished Mango code.
So where does that leave us? Well Eric just post on here, something, anything as previously suggested, a simple "we are reading this blog and taking your points on board but we are super busy fixing the problems so we will be back to you after the update" would be fine by me.
Once the dust settles I think we all would like a place to log problems and wishes and then see an update on there of what bugs have been acknowledged and are being fixed in a future update. I understand you dont want to commit to which update and that's cool too. We just want to feel involved - because we care.
I read a post on here that says OS updates should be seperated from phone firmware updates and that's when I calmed down. Actually, its unreasonable of us not to expect some firmware updates this time aorund as we all want Samsung to fix their problems (I have HTC Mozart) because their issues are having a huge negative impact on the whole ecosystem.
In future lets hope we can get more updates as the firmware settles down. I really would like 3-4 updates a year but if I knew that there are 200 bugs and that 2 updates a year means we get 180 fixed instead of 150 I would be cool with 2 updates. A simple acknowledgement of the bugs and that they are on a list would work wonders for our confidence.
In summary the only thing that is still upsetting me and I think most people on here is the lack of communication, so come on MS just post an update however small so that we know you are still there and that you are still listening.
In short we CARE about WP7 and we NEED to feel that you do too.
I'm telling you, this is Vista all over again...too many similarities! Only difference Windows Phone Vista has around 1% market share, so Apple doesn't need to bring back the old Mac vs. PC guy ads that disappeared when MS released an excellent product in Windows 7. If they did though, wow it would be open season!!! And as annoying as I found those ads then, I'd probably relate to them now.
I predict the next comment we see will be when they finally have the updates rolling again. That way the dopes in PR can have a touchy feely good news post rather than an honest dialog. I can't believe MS has not learned the lesson of the web--honest communications (good AND bad) do you a lot better in social media than does the old classic 'get control of the news cycle' style. Looking around the web this story is on fire, the daily tech podcasts make fun of it, the WP7 update issues has become the punchline of techblogs. You know how much goodwill would come if ANYBODY was just upfront about this? We're pretty forgiving, even after all of this. Just come clean, explain things, ask for forgiveness and you'll actually get people helping you rather than fuming.
And a good takeaway from this would be to stop thinking in service packs and start thinking in small, targeted updates and fixes. Feed the beast you created--even if the patches fixes something trivial it shows concern and action. Right now the feeling is you can't even manage a patch for the patcher. THAT fills everyone with dread and regret.
Even a simple "We're still here and reading your comments" would be better than nothing at all.
I don't even think that Eric has an answer for most of the questions that have been posted here. I'm sure that he's doing his best but MS must have some kind of very strict policies about what, when and how to response to users. I agree that MS has been glaciar slow with updates, especially considering that NoDo has been ready since december so it's a pretty old update that will not fix most of the new bugs that have been found on WP7. There's something wrong in the mobile department in Microsoft, they seems to have small problems that together create a big problems. The lack of information on Microsoft's side is just disconcerting.
MS really does need to step their game up. I haven't given up on WP7 yet, and for that reason I am insulted that there is no feedback to us (The early-adopters and core users) despite our intense amount of comments and questions.
What on earth is wrong with you guys on the WP7 team? I understand that you're all busy, but would it kill you to do something along the lines of one blog post a week? You guys are treating the few fans you have like absolute crap, yet you need us in order for your product to succeed.
Look, I get that updates can be delayed. I understand that pushing out updates to different OEMs on multiple carriers is more complicated than what Apple does with iOS. And I fully respect the fact that you guys have intentions of releasing bigger and better updates this year. But you MUST communicate with us. Don't alienate the ones who want you to succeed.
Oh and seriously Microsoft and Eric, 214 comments and no response or update on questions! Your record on communication was terrible anyway, now you're cutting the last string of hope!! such a shame, such a waste!!
'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'
More anger then interest
"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."
The update has been finalized, has it not? If so then the only part of this is true is you're waiting for your 'partners', i.e carriers, who you say have little power. tut tut tut more BS!!!
well i guess we have the NoDo update by new week cause HTC sprint will arrive on 20th March preload with the updates.
and please, please, stop beating on bloggers like it was their fault. The last thing we value is excuses and victimization.
This UI really shines and beats every other platform. When you iron this issues, wp7 will be a real and very efective threath to Android and iOS.
Well i am sad because of the delay and lack of regular updates like everyone else, (two a year its a not an option if MS want wp7 to suceed). But i believe they are working and making progress on the platform. The NoDo development was finished on December, and they already showed last month IE9, Multi-tasking, Task-Switcher, Skydrive integration with all Office apps. I believe they will have much more things that we currently dont know in the end of the year. The question is why only two updates? Is it because Microsoft want to concentrate all of their development and point the roadmap to Nokia phones? I hope not. 9 months without any update is really a killer and a way out for almost everyone who have this phone. But i think the worst thing on this is the terrible comunication experience or lack of it. Again I dont believe at all that they give up or slow down the development process. But Microsoft have to realise user MUST feel and see that the platform is evolving (regular updates) and a clear message is important too. Despite all bitterness on this replies i dont share the idea that wp7 is doomed already. Is just MS that NEED to work on this issues so their userbase might feel the wp7's evolving on the right schedule.
P.S- Please get the Marketplace working on the countries that are not supported.... I dont recomend this phone on users mainly because of this... At least make free apps available, like Android.
Still nothing from Eric I see. I'd hate to see such a great UI fail because the early adopters abandoned ship due to lackluster customer service, and lies about update schedule & functionality, and apparent lack any form of dedication to the platform. They will not come back for wp8 if you guys lose them now. They will have left for iOS & Android.
Rooting my Mozart to Android isn't a solution for me. Hell, if I want a phone running Android - I buy one. I so much want to use my WP7 device, and I don't care about copy and paste. All I want is to get a fix that makes my Mozart capable of handling norwegian numbers (or numbers from other countries, don't know if there are problems with them) stored with a countrycode in front. Copy/paste, a messengerapp or whatever; I don't care. Just come with a fix for that. I can live, at least for a while, with the other annonyances. I have tried HTC Desire (Android) and iPhone 4, none of them appeals to me the way WP 7 does. Wonder who managed to make this countrycode-bug; Microsoft or HTC? Com'on, please fix it!!
OK I finally get it. For years I have been arguing that MS is the way forward and NOT open source. Why? Simple, when you have a problem as a business you need someone who will be accountable and with Open Source I didn't see that.
Seems I had it all back to front because actually the appeal of open source is, when MS won't talk to you or even acknowledge your existence you are screwed. With Open Source you just crack open the code and fix it yourself. Now its time to see if anyone is looking at android running on wp7 handsets because while I can wait for copy and paste I cant wait until MS decides that customers need to be treated with respect.
Why post a blog entry here - upset everyone even more and then hide in your office? Eric I appreciate that you got the short straw here but someone up there needs to grow a pair and get busy explaining this mess,
I wonder how many on the WP team are "taking days" to interview for other positions at other companies. In cases like this you start leaking engineering talent as they see the writing on the wall!
The wall of silence is stunning, and either we have a huge surprise coming and they don't want to let the cat out of the bag, or they realize they are way in over their heads.
If it was the former I would think they would have some way to reassure us, even with a snippet of a few minor bug fixes coming in say April...it makes we think it's the latter and it's really time put my time and resources elsewhere. In other words, I don't care much anymore. I'll either sell my Focus, or find a way to root it to Android and recover some investment...unreal!!!
I think many WP7 users were polite because in early 2010 Microsoft promised that the first version of WP7 will be a consumer phone BUT updates addressing the business user will follow in summer 2011. That's why many invested in the plattform even knowing that it's not a finished phone yet. Now it comes out, that the coming updates are not only minor but also mainly including consumer functions. The feature lists of both 2010-updates do not contain any important business function as we were promised. In my opinion this is even the worst point in the whole situation and everything else like delays etc. make it even more worse because no one of us sees the light anymore when WP7 will be finished - including business functionality.
Hi, Eric, just checking in to read your responses. Wow, that was a fast read.
I was surprised that WP7 early adopters were extremely polite in the past few months, it turns out everyone is just as angry as I am at this point. Many bugs are within the applications not within the OS, which can be easily patched just like any other apps in the Market Place. Delivering those patches have nothing to do with carriers, while MS tries to accumulate all patches into one update, as if their to-do list for a major upgrade were too short.
I just want to tell a true story here. Our company is a Blackberry shop, which is great at emailing but nothing else. Our CEO looked into iPhone last Dec and did not like the virtual keyboard, as he does emailing a lot. I told him I love my WP7 set, but it had a few bugs need to be ironed out, rumor said so and so ... I promised to bring some news after the supposed January upgrade. When I was finally asked in the end of Feb, I had to tell him that MS is too slow and I don't think WP7 is ready. There is no way I can recommend WP7 to the company, while there is virtually no support (A maybe-two-update in a year is really a joke). The company now goes with iPhone. And I went from the 90% who would recommend a WP7 to others into the 90% who would not recommend WP7 to others.
I think the really sad possibility is that they may have nothing to say--they're paralyzed. Pressure from the Win8 group to redo everything for their coming (incredibly myopic) proposal to run everything on Win8; the carriers being their usual evil anti-consumer money vampires; the PR folks screaming not to respond until there is something positive and upbeat (God I hate those people); bugs in the update code; Stevie B. probably yelling and screaming; and now a growing backlash from their once positve early adopter community. It's like a huge disfunctional family that won't listen to the abuse counselors. Or other family. Or friends. Or just concerned bystanders.
What they need is a strong leader and I don't think there's anyone there who is capable anymore. Everyone's probably head down, doors closed, afraid to bring up the bad news brewing in the user base. I would hate for them to get scared and drop this--it's got so much potential and they're just blowing it at every opportunity.
BuckEyeTico; unfortunately I think you are damn right. They don't care, and even worse; they have given up competing with iPhone and Android. Too bad, because WP 7 OS rocks quite a lot as it is. Can you imagine how great the OS could be if they could roll out some fixes. I'm not very happy about being forced to return to my HTC HD 2, (a great phone, wm 6.5 and HTC Sense is a great combination)....*sigh*
That's if they even bother to read these comments!
Hello all! Although I am as upset as you all are about this WP7 fiasco and the lack of response from the WS team, I can't help to realize that we are just wasting bullets on a crow, I bet you all that Eric, Michael and everyone else are just laughing their butts off about our comments meanwhile we all are just blowing the top of our heads off out of anger and frustration. They simply don't give a crap!
How about a response to these posts?
'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.'
When you know you can update the software without a large number of customers phones not being able to receive it, perhaps you should start to release more updates that are more focused on 'bug fixes' and not just adding features, of course, with the current state of windows phone 7, ANY update what so ever would be a start, but the software is so buggy, it needs fixing!!!!!!!!
This would be what i think an acceptable schedule:
Q1 - bug fixes (and extra settings, like camera saved config, etc)
Q2 - update + bug fixes
Q3 - bug fixes (and extra settings, performance issues like silverlight panaroma lag)
Q4 - update + bug fixes (would concide with new hardware and holiday season)
No small updates or big updates, medium and more distributed... the NoDo update is to small (too few features, and there's no need to wait so much time to get Mango, release a little less but sooner). The NoDo to be acceptable should have extra: Skydrive full office integration, twitter integration, IE9 and something like Outlook/Tasks sync via usb-pc, full Exchange support. The IE and Maps apps could also be updated outside this schedule.
This would be acceptable in my opinion. The ideal would be 6 updates per year. 1 per month is too expensive IMHO in this vast hardware/OEM differention. It would be perfect of course but the better is the enemy of the good.
6 updates would be great for users and feasible when things are iron out, and 4 its acceptable (minimum).
I am afraid if the 2 updates/year remain, soon the 95% happy users will turn to 95% angry users.
About the blocking carriers, if MS dont want to say explicity which ones are blocking, they can just release with no further delay the updates as soon as ready to unbraded devices, then people will figure it out which carriers or/and OEM's are slowing down the process, and the carriers will get pressure by users. In the end, users prevail. This could lead to temporary fragmentation, but its better than delay 3 to 4 months the entire process and would be more transparent to the user.
ARE THEY STILL SENDING OUT THE PRE (NODO) UPDATE
I took the chance to purchase a WP7 device, although it's not "fully supported" in Norway yet. I must say I love the UI, but there a some features i hope will be there in a future not too far away. I hope they make it a little bit better for corporate users, and specially include notes and tasks in syncingoptions. My main issue with my HTC Mozart is a totally unbeliveable rookiebug; it doesn't handle countrycodes in phonenumbers. I really hope that this will be fixed in the upcoming update, if it does - i'll forgive the long wait for update. If not, i just have to ditch the phone - and who knows if I'll ever return to this platform. Should I even hope for a fix on that bug?? By the way; HTC support is the most useless support-site on this planet....
As for communication, you can get more out of Apple, a notorious private country, if you guys truly believe that 'these are exciting times' and all the other PR stuff you put out, it shouldn't be too hard to answer some of the questions from people on here who are rightly outraged at how inept the windows phone team currently is!
It's genuinely worrying how complacent you guys are at lying, you underplay the power phone carriers have, yet your head man Joe Belfury has been clear that they can block updates.
You told people that the update will be out in January, then you went vague, then late February, then your CEO, thats CEO, of MICROSOFT, specifically said it would be out in the 1st half of March, now some new guy Eric, is going to get scapegoated, simply because you keep on lying about when the update, any update, is coming.
No communication you've EVER given on updates has turned out to be true or happen, and that is worrying because you don't even acknowledge these blatant lyes that have come out of this blog!
Does the HTC HD7 has a microSD slot hidden?
I created an account to tell you how much a joke this is. I got the phone thinking that I would get updates no matter what, unlike my android phone that was at the mercy of carriers and OEMs. On top of that, it takes months to fix a small update, yet your big one will be flawless and work? I like how a company that has 3 os', one 10 years old, that are programmed to work really on any compute can't get an update to work on 9 phones, then gives BS PR excuses on their blog like we're complete morons. Thanks, back to android. The devil you know they say. How could the company behind Xbox so completely not care about customers and features when they need them the most? Required reading: www.wired.com/.../carriers-not-your-customers
"These are exciting times" - you don't know how offensive that remark is.
I have paid hard earned money for the Windows Phone 7 experience because I believed the Microsoft hyperbole. I thought that updates were the one thing that I could relax about, that they would be rapid and not blocked by carriers - thereby avoiding the Android mess and still allowing me free choice to avoid the iPhone.
I also, somewhat foolishly, thought that Microsoft would turn over a new leaf with regards to customer communications because of this new approach to the mobile phone arena. Starting from scratch, you said.
Frankly, after two months of championing the product, there is no way I would do that now. I'm 75% sure that even I, a Microsoft advocate, Zune HD owner, Xbox gamer and early adopter of WP7 am going to regret stepping out of the real smartphone action by going with Windows Phone 7.
You've got your strategy wrong! You've got your advertising wrong (yes, I still care a bit) and you've got your communication wrong. "Exciting times"???? VERY WORRYING times, more like.
I am truly disgusted at what's not happening yet to fix my 7.0 version phone and how many things I will have to wait until Mango for. And will that release get out of the door this year? On all carriers' phones, across all networks, worldwide - without stalled updates, bricked phones etc?
Don't plead to me about how complicated it all is. You are paid to master these things and master them you really should.
Incidentally, AT&T utilized 1E's Nomad Enterprise product to deploy the iOS updates to the masses, or updates would not have happened. Maybe, if Microsoft and other carriers would utilize the same software, carriers would be less inclined to block the updates.
I'm glad to see you are responding so quickly to all the questions and comments here. /snark>
Listen guys, you reallllllly need to get on the ball and start letting people know what is going on with the update.
I'm a WP7 user from China, PR. Do you have any latest news about the schedule of Asian language support on WP7? I think that lack of Chinese input method is the biggest obstacle for my friends to buy a WP7 phone.
one thing... IE9 cant wait to the end of the year of 2011. By that time its already 'absolete' or dont bring nothing inovative. For what i understand is almost if not fully functional, why not release in near future. By end of 2011, Chrome, Safari, already has hardware aceleration and a bunch of other things. Why cant wp7 platform be on front on competion in something? For what i know updating IE9 dont require the carriers agreement. Its a independently process. Microsoft you cannot, you just cant having user to wait a whole year with nothing, even just small fixes. Its just insane...
wow, and I thought I was mad :-). After reading all of this I actually am much less frustrated than I thought. So there's that.
I really do love my Focus, and for the most part it works well (could really care less about copy/paste). Usually don't have much issue with it, but there are bugs, small flaws, features that are missing, etc. When I bought this it was with the understanding that updates would be coming constantly. I guess its just to add my voice to the chorus--you must move quicker. Think smaller updates much more frequently. Fix things. Show progress. Build this into something worthwhile. Show us you're serious. And above all else--don't spin us, someone should just smack your PR people silly for posting a "Success on the Feb update'. It just drips insincerity and talks down to your EARLY ADOPTERS. The tech people that would be your biggest fans. Now they're all just mad at you. I just cannot get my head around why in the world you would be running this program like this. Is it working for you? Is this all whining and there is some master plan that saves the day? You better start communicating. Do it better. Believe it or not (with the exception of that one really mad Venue person) most people here probably really want you to succeed. You have a fire going, you need to put it out, quickly.
"These are exciting times."
These are not exciting times, these are worrying and frustrating times, instead of sugar coating everything perhaps you and Microsoft should try to get on with fixing the updates, actions speak louder then words!
@Damon Russel ' the Windows Phone 7 teams are probably working tons of overtime to try to get these updates out.'
How on earth can this be true, Apple is notorious for having low numbers of employees proportional to the amount of updates released, they are efficient and get the job done. I don't just want to call Windows phone teams lazy but what the hell are they doing all day, sucking their thumbs? They need to working and not releasing stupid PR statements!
Microsoft and Eric, you yourself must know how slow you're moving, I mean we keep hearing we're working hard, and that "I’ll be posting here to answer your questions or concerns", but both statements are evidently false, this has got to be the slowest moving phone os in history and as for communication, there is none, apart from the occasional PR talk blog post that just repeats your claims that great things are coming, if they are, THEN HURRY UP!!!
if you are listening here are some things I would like to see updated in the next six months.
1. The photo quality on all the current WP7 devices are below the required standard. Especially focusing does not work very well when compared to the Iphone 4 for example. I get so many blury shots its untrue, I think an option to focus using onscreen options not just a half press on the camera button would work better. Also now I think of it how about setting permanent saved setting as now via the menus but allowing temp changes via onscreen options. lastly please allow an option to snap the picture via an onscreen button to reduce camera shake etc...
2. Please fix the GLOBAL ADDRESS Listings ( GAL) for company search of colleague details using Exchange 2003
3. More options in text messages like being able to forward a text message or reply to a message but add an extra number etc.. Also need a delete all text messages option!!
4. Update the info in call history please I would at least like to know how long I spoke for on a call very basic request I think.
5. I need a week view in Calender as I use this all the time for work
6. Please fix the notifications so I can chose what gets displayed. I dont like my text messages appearing above my lock screen especially as some texts can be very personal or even commercially sensitive. I really need to be able to control this.
7. Why cant I delete my recent people in the People Hub?? I would like options to be able to delete an indivisual or all recent people.
8. I am in the UK and would like to be able to use the voice control for searches in BING - why demo it at MWC in a European country when its not even available to WP7 users with European handsets... feels like you are making fun of us!!
9. Why do I pay the same for Zune Pass as people in the USA and cannot keep 10 Free Songs??
10. Please encorage your OEMS to include Front Facing Camera and 16 Gigs minimum in your WP7 devices. Better still add it to the new SPEC.... I have already run out of room on my 8 gig Omnia 7 and dont buy as many APPS now because I have no room to store them. Also Front Facing Camera is often used by many people to take self portraits for social networking sites not just for video calling. However annoucing a new minimum Spec to include Front Facing Camera to be used with an official WP7 Live Messenger and SKYPE would be awsome..
11. Bing Maps Navigation for Europe plz plz plz
12. I would love more home screen colours and the ability to password protect some types of HUBS/APPS like email, Photos, People HUB etc.... eg...I lend someone my phone but the important stuff is still protected!!
I think would be a great feature especially for business.
13. Independant volume for calls and Apps also a Silent mode that actually means silent not vibrate.
14. Flash plz
15. Folders for Apps plz
I could go on and I am sure you are working on lots of great things but you need to sort out the simple stuff that annoy users also.
hope you are listening as no MS... people ever seem to acknowledge the people here !!!
I've been reading as much as I can about Windows Phone 7 since it was announced early in 2010. However, I joined the Windows Blog community specifically to respond to this blog post, which I find insulting in several ways. Some background may help explain my negative reaction.
For the better part of 2 1/2 years, I was an iPhone user. When I saw Windows Phone 7 demonstrated through 2010, I was very excited about the potential of the platform. I held back on upgrading to a new smartphone in 2010 specifically so that I could get a Windows Phone 7 phone on day 1. As I collected information about Windows Phone 7 in 2010, I relied on a number of commentators/reporters with excellent track records of reporting on Microsoft products and services in a consistently reliable fashion. In that list I include Paul Thurrott, Ed Bott, and Mary Jo Foley.
When Windows Phone 7 was released, I purchased it on Day 1. I personally selected the Samsung Focus. I have been an AT&T customer for many years (self-evidently, I suppose, given my iPhone use). My wife has used virtually every carrier at some time in the last 10 years, settling on AT&T for the savings it provided us to have a family plan.
My wife has never been a "smartphone" person, though she's had blackberry phones for years. She destroys most gadgets and never taps more than a fraction of their potential. But when I convinced her to get the LG phone with the slideout keyboard, she was immediately hooked. She uses a family calendar account to schedule our daughter's activities. She uploads pictures directly to facebook. In short, she's using this smartphone like a smartphone.
In my home, Microsoft won 2 converts to Windows Phone within the first week of release. But were I to know at the time of purchase how Microsoft's interactions with it consumers would play out, that might not be the case.
The first issue with which I take great offense is the veiled suggestion that some of the "Microsoft Bloggers" are lying when they say that carriers can "block" updates. Aside from the fact that this is a form of biting the hand that feeds you (after all, Microsoft gets a lot of free press from these "Microsoft Bloggers," and we both know who I'm talking about), which displays poor judgment and/or gross hubris, I also believe that it is at worst a lie or at best highly cynical semantics. It was well reported from multiple sources that carriers can "block," at minimum, one update cycle. Even your post says that we "should ultimately" receive all updates Microsoft sends out. I am troubled that you cannot write "will promptly" receive all updates Microsoft sends out (like my computers do each month). I assume that this post received careful review from multiple people. Thus, I assume the lawyer-like hedging is carefully crafted to allow for some plausible denial down the road.
Second, the communication with consumers has been appallingly vague. Microsoft spokespersons were promising and update to the OS "soon" after launch. Insider leaks confirmed that date slipping several times. As best I can tell, the update "update" didn't get pushed through AT&T. Query: How can you credibly talk about your ability to do staged or phases releases of updates when it seems from internet reading that AT&T hasn't let even the benign update "update" through yet? And how is it the case that my iPhone updates were, without exception, available for download on day 1 of their release, but neither my wife nor I have even the update "update" yet? If a carrier is a problem, consumers should know so that they could go elsewhere if they so desire. And if some handset manufacturers are delaying things, push the updates to others so that the holdouts will feel the pressure to keep up with the Joneses.
I have to conclude from all of this that there is a disconnect between the very talented developers that created Windows Phone 7 in the first place and the teams controlling consumer communications and negotiating update rights with carriers. This makes me worry whether I backed the wrong horse in the smartphone race. In very short order the world of smartphones will be owned by Apple and Google. If you don't get your collective act together and get updates rolling out the door as fast as they are ready, Microsoft will not have a seat at that table. It would be an unfortunate result, as I like Windows Phone 7 better than the alternatives. I do want to have confidence that the platform I use will be supported by Microsoft and by developers for the long term. Right now that confidence is waning.
My advice to you is that you quit criticizing the media that covers you and start doing things worthy of positive coverage. Don't believe that an Xbox style schedule of updates is good enough. Push bug fixes or feature additions more frequently. "Regular updates" does not mean once every 6 to 12 months. Nobody believes that. Leak the identity of carriers and handset makers that are holding things back and start moving ahead without them.
Finally, based on what I've seen thus far, if I were asked whether I believe Microsoft or the "Microsoft Bloggers" that cover its activities, the "Microsoft Bloggers" would win my vote, hands down. Try rewarding my decision to go with your platform rather than treating me and others like we are idiots for questioning your management of this new phone platform. I believe that Microsoft wants to deliver great products. I just don't believe that Microsoft is displaying sound leadership in a market segment where there is no more room for faltering.
H. Scott Leviant