Windows Phone 7 Updates… Where Are They Now?

SamsungFocusI’ve had my Windows Phone 7 since launch day. It is a great phone, I did my research at the time, and choosing the Samsung Focus was the right choice. I am so happy with it, the Windows Phone 7 user interface never gets old, never gets slow. I love it.

My carrier was already at&t, I am so happy with the network coverage that I simply will argue anyone who bought the BS about network bandwidth and connection speeds. I simply don’t buy it. I am accessing at 3G speeds everywhere I go, no dropped calls, no service interruptions of any kind (since I bought the phone in November). To all of those who complain, but have an iPhone, I say: you bought a defective phone, so deal with it. Your phone is negligently designed and it’s been proven more than once that the iPhone has signal strength issues due to a faulty antenna design. Your calls drop on either technology GSM, CDMA… what does that tell you? There a chance that the problem might possibly be the antenna design, the communications chipset, etc.

Anyway, this little Samsung Focus of mine is the little phone that could… but the quality control issues that so affect other platforms are still a burden for Windows Phones. Manufacturers with low quality processes or carriers that disregard the implications of having untested hardware affect all platforms.

attlogoThe latest and most recent disappointment has been at&t which is supposedly the premier carrier for Windows Phone 7. Being a premier partner means that everything regarding Windows Phone 7 is going to be done absolutely right: no delays and top quality service and devices.

Well, everybody knows that this particular “Premier Partner” is taking too much time to release their updates and there is a reason for that:

It turns out that at&t (with other carriers) and the OEMs played the old “switcheroo” game on the Redmond team. It is not clear to me who (carriers or OEMs) did what, but at some point Samsung, HTC and other OEMs or the carriers released the same phone with slightly different hardware than the one that was initially tested. All this could be considered business as usual had they communicated with Microsoft at all and on time for the update release schedule. Unfortunately, this means that you may have bought a WP7 phone that is not 100% compatible with what’s going to come to us through the WP7 Updates until someone fixes this mess.

You’re obviously not going to be left out hanging, and you will get your updates sooner rather than later. Those updates are obviously going to be delivered to you now after thorough testing and confirmation that you will not brick you phone. Even though this is nothing in the grand scheme of things, it certainly threw a wrench in Microsoft’s wheel. Microsoft has had to come out and burn some PR and good will just to be able to buy some time and correct all the issues that would come out if you had any of the phones with switched components/parts. As far as I know, both the February and the March updates have been corrected and if you are one of those who has a “special” phone you will receive your updated WP7 updates soon… and most likely together in one shot.

Some carriers had diligently worked to release the WP7 update and have met all the requirements to meet the original deadlines. They have been able to release the updates and have had no big issues with them. Others, have struggled with the updates and one of the reasons behind that is this component inconsistencies throughout their products… but this is also odd because Samsung has not had any problems relating their Samsung Omnia 7, which is supposed to be the exact same hardware than the Samsung Focus but more square at the top and bottom borders. HTC on the other hand, has released devices on different carriers with mixed results but the ones that have had some issues are the same carriers that had issues with Samsung devices. This points the finger more towards the carriers and not the OEMs, but that is still not 100% clear.

Now that (all April Fools joking aside) at least three of the top market analysis companies have deemed Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 the platform that will beat Blackberry and iPhone’s platform by 2015, it is becoming more and more critical that both carriers and OEM partners communicate better.

About Diego Samuilov

Editor in Chief/Founder Diego Samuilov is an executive, consultant, IT strategist and book, e-book and web published author. Diego has worked in Microsoft’s environments since 1990. Since then, he has successfully filled many positions related to the Software Development lifecycle. Having worked as a developer, analyst, technical lead, project lead, auditor and, since 1996 a project manager, manager, director and VP in the Software Development, Server, Desktop and Mobile environments. Diego is very passionate about the software development process, which has played a great part in his skills development. Since the introduction of the first ever PDA (the Apple Newton MessagePad) in 1994 and Windows CE in 1998 he has pioneered and pushed the envelope in the field of mobile software development. He has developed many solutions used in mobile markets, desktop and server environments. He participates in public and private developer community events. He actively collaborates with the community at support forums and blogs. Diego is the author of "Windows Phone for Everyone" available [HERE].