Print 12 comment(s) - last by robinthakur.. on Feb 25 at 5:04 AM

Claims 90 percent of updates went smoothly

On Monday, Microsoft rolled out its first major software patch for Windows Phone 7 devices. Unfortunately for Samsung Omnia 7 users -- and others -- the update rendered their devices useless, forcing Microsoft to pull the update.

Yesterday, in the spirit of transparency, Microsoft answered a few questions to shed light on the problem.

First, Michael Stroh pointed out on the Windows Phone Blog that 9 out of 10 people installed the software update without any problems. Of the remaining 10 percent that did experience a problem, almost half failed because of a bad internet connection or insufficient computer storage space.  

As for those Samsung Omnias, Stroh had this to say: "We’ve identified a technical issue with the Windows Phone update process that impacts a small number of Samsung phones. We’re working to correct the problem as quickly as possible. But as a precaution, we’ve briefly suspended updates to Samsung phones. We are continuing to update other Windows Phone models as scheduled."

After installing the patch on an Omnia, the handset attempts to reboot but gets stuck on the step where it's supposed to connect to the PC. This begins an endless cycle of rebooting, while a hard reset yields no results and connecting to Windows Phone 7's PC recovery suite yields a "Restoration Error".

For non-Samsung WP7 users preparing to do the update, "make sure your computer has an Internet connection and plenty of disk space before you begin. Why? Because before updating your phone, the Zune software and Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac attempt to back up your phone data as a precaution," Stroh writes. 

If you have not yet received the update notification, Stroh says it will be coming within the next few days or weeks.

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RE: We handled it wrong
By vol7ron on 2/24/2011 9:06:24 AM , Rating: 0
this should be how every company do business. admit to their mistakes, man up to it, and solve the problem as soon as possible.
I prefer that companies not make mistakes, which doesn't seem possible with tech firms this day in age.

I will say that it's more difficult for companies to roll-out updates to various devices than for one company (Apple) to only need to update one core product. For that, I applaud MS/Google.

RE: We handled it wrong
By theapparition on 2/24/2011 9:23:59 AM , Rating: 3
I will say that it's more difficult for companies to roll-out updates to various devices than for one company (Apple) to only need to update one core product. For that, I applaud MS/Google.

Google doesn't roll out any updates to any devices, save the Nexus and Nexus S, which are the Android developement platforms. Google pushes the burden of updates to the handset manufacturers.

Apple supports one product line only. They are in the simplest position.

MS however, is in a very difficult position. They provide a universal update over several phone models. A slight change in hardware or firmware can cause an upgrade to brick a device (just like we saw). I understand now why MS had strict hardware requirements and only support Snapdragon processors.

There are pro's and cons with all business models. Many have lamented about manufacturer and carrier intervention on updates to thier hardware, but the end result does seem to be fully tested and stable OS updates. On the flip side, the vanilla OS updates can break features and brick phones, so I'd prefer to get something stable and wait a few months rather than the potentially buggy latest and greatest. YMMV.

RE: We handled it wrong
By Da W on 2/24/2011 9:53:56 AM , Rating: 3
But MS is used to this. It pushes Windows update that have to work on many many PC configurations.

RE: We handled it wrong
By omnicronx on 2/24/2011 12:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
Which all run on a basic set of hardware that is very similar machine to machine. Not exactly the same in this situation as things like custom firmware and bootloaders cannot are not consistent from device to device.

RE: We handled it wrong
By InternetGeek on 2/24/2011 4:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
No, that's Apple. You could argue that you are using a console when using a Mac. Baseline configuration, very little changes/variation (Ram, Video card, etc.). HP works in a similar way by white-listing devices on the BIOS, even though the software (Windows) is able to cope with whatever you can throw at it.

Microsoft has to deal with an incredibly broad set of hardware combinations. They still praise the people who got Plug&Play to the point we don't even think about it any more.

They also have to deal with an incredibly broad set of software configurations. In fact, sometimes they even have to implement compatibility flags for specific versions of software in specific versions of hardware. They had to cop some flack for throwing the gauntlet back to device makers when they decided that compatibility flags would be thrown out of their codebase.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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