Well, I can see Microsoft’s first (sort of) update for Windows Phone is off to a wonderful start. In the wake of several reports of what I’m calling the “pre-update” fouling up some phones–what some people are describing as “bricking” them–Microsoft has apparently pulled the update for some users. I say apparently because Microsoft has not published this information anywhere publicly that I can find or told me about it specifically*. But according to some news sources (or is it one source, i.e. IDG News?), Microsoft has supplied the following quote:
We have identified a technical issue with the Windows Phone update process that impacts a small number of phones.
In response to this emerging issue, we have temporarily taken down the latest software update for Samsung phones in order to correct the issue and as soon as possible will redistribute the update.
So how bad is this bricking condition? According to some users quoted in online stories, Microsoft support has actually recommended that they exchange their phone (!!). I can’t confirm that, but I’d be surprised if a restoration (hard reset) didn’t work for most people.
To that end, Microsoft has published a guide to understanding and resolving the errors you can see while installing this non-update (which is pretty wordy for such a small install). This is a resource you’re going to want to have handy, I guess.
I’ve not seen the update personally, and since I have a Samsung Focus with me on vacation, I guess I won’t see it until they fix whatever the issue is.
And based on what we’re seeing here, I’m sure the actual first update for Windows Phone–you know, the one with cut and paste and so on–will just go swimmingly. No worries. :)
Update: It looks like my use of the word “apparently” was wise as it’s not clear that Microsoft really did pull this pre-update. Mobile Tech World is reporting that they did not pull it, for example. Regardless of what’s happening here, this episode nicely demonstrates my problem with the blogosphere: Someone reports something as a fact and then all the lookiloos jump on board, repeating it without actually checking. My hesitance on this issue is because Microsoft didn’t mention this to me. The Windows Phone PR guys are whatever they are, but this seems like the sort of thing they would in fact mention.
Update 2: A number of readers have pointed out a Winrumors.com article that explains how to fix a bricked Samsung phone. At least two people who have emailed me claim this worked for them.
Update 3: Microsoft has confirmed the issue with me directly. Here is the quote as I received it:
“We have identified a technical issue with the Windows Phone update process that impacts a small number of Samsung phones. This software update remains available to customers with the exception of Samsung as we are in the process of temporarily taking down the update for those phones in order to correct the issue as soon as possible.” – Microsoft spokesperson