Microsoft yanks Windows Phone update from Samsung phones
Microsoft's first attempt to update its Windows Phone 7 operating system ran aground when users of some Samsung smartphones reported that it "bricked" their devices. Instead of patching WP7 to prepare it for a significant software upgrade due soon, it fried their firmware and left them unable to boot up--with no cure besides taking the dead phone to a store for replacement under warranty.
In two words: not good.
Peter Bright's post for Ars Technica outlines the problem as well as some diagnostic and repair procedures (and includes a wonderful photo you should click through to appreciate).
Microsoft responded yesterday by disabling this patch for Samsung phones, including AT&T's Focus. A blog post by Michael Stroh, titled "More answers about our first software update," tried to put a good spin on the situation, noting that 90 percent of WP7 users had no trouble with the update:
Of the 10 percent who did experience a problem, nearly half failed for two basic reasons--a bad Internet connection or insufficient computer storage space. Luckily, both are easy to fix.
But a 10 percent failure rate on an update is nothing to brag about. When 5 percent of attempted updates fail without an easy fix, that can only be regarded as horrific.
This undercuts a key point Microsoft made when it introduced WP7 in October: By limiting the changes manufacturers could make to this platform, it could retain control of the update process and make patches available to users faster. That would be a distinct contrast to Android, where individual manufacturers or carriers can hold up software upgrades for months while they adapt them to their own configurations--or, in some cases, for no discernable reason.
This also undercuts what had been a series of good headlines for Microsoft's mobile operating system, an overdue and satisfying break with its failed Windows Mobile platform. Most notably, Nokia announced earlier this month that it would scrap its own Symbian software and adopt Windows Phone instead. And WP7 is about to move outside AT&T and T-Mobile, the only two nationwide carriers to support it in the U.S.; this morning, Sprint unveiled the HTC Arrive, a phone with a slide-out keyboard that it will sell for $299.99 before a $100 mail-in rebate beginning March 20.
An e-mail from Sprint notes one feature unmentioned on its site: This device "will come out of the box with the latest Windows Phone 7 software, including features like cut and paste."
Problem is, every other smartphone operating system added support for copy, cut and paste months or years ago. Microsoft is already behind in this fast-moving market; further delays are not its friend.
| February 24, 2011; 11:00 AM ET
Categories: Microsoft, Mobile
Save & Share: Previous: Apple releases Mac OS X Lion developer kit
Next: Libya shutdown raises questions about bit.ly, security of foreign domains
Posted by: beetsnotbeats | February 24, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ozpunk | February 24, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dfolk1 | February 25, 2011 1:16 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ccs53 | February 25, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kkrimmer | February 25, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Albert911emt | February 25, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dnjake | February 25, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: gbooksdc | February 25, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: chicgoods | February 25, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse