Microsoft: Blah, blah, blah, very small update on update delays

After remaining silent for days, Microsoft has finally said something about the Windows Phone 7 software update delays by throwing a new guy, Eric Hautala, under a bus and making him do it. This post is long on words and short on content. But that’s OK, I can condense it down to the length it should have been very easily. Here’s what it really says:

About those updates

A lot of interest in how we deliver them. I also know there are concerns.

Thanks for ignoring them for so long.

Why they’re late

With 9 handsets on 60 mobile operators in 30 countries around the world, things can get a little complicated!

It’s our partners’ fault.

Why the pre-update has been so problematic

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.

You know this, and yet you still screwed it up? A “pre-update”? Come on.

The February update (i.e the “pre-update”)

Of the customers who’ve so far tried to install it, the overwhelming majority have been successful.

No handset left behind. Well, except yours.

And now we’re lying to you:

I’ve seen a lot of speculation on blogs and forums lately about whether carriers can “block” an update.

Have you now? Interesting.

This is NOT speculation. And how that little comment got past the censors is unclear. Microsoft corporate VP Joe Belfiore told me and a room of other journalists this in November 2010.

No Donuts (the “cut and paste update”)

It’s waiting in the wings … 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.

It’s been waiting in the wings since December, Eric. It’s dusty, and covered in cobwebs.

We’re still lying to you:

Delivering regular updates to your phone is a key part of our innovation plans.

I think that one stands nicely on it’s own.

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105 Responses to Microsoft: Blah, blah, blah, very small update on update delays

  1. hashpot666 says:

    lol – liked your comments but come on man, they finally at least came out and made a statement that covered everything. late yes, but at least it’s out there now :).

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      But they lied. You get that, right? They lied? No? Nothing?

      • WinningGuy says:

        I think it’s how Eric defines “blocked”. A carrier can’t block an update. But they could delay it until the next cycle.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        That is what “blocking” means. :) But you know that.

      • I do not think you are correct in this accusation. “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.” — What happened here is, clearly, that some carriers are asked to deliver an update bundling up the pre-update with NoDo. So the article actually very clearly explains the situation. I would not call it a lie.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        I disagree. He called the notion that carriers could block an update “speculation.” His word.

      • I meant “some asked to deliver”, not “are asked”…

      • “speculation: the contemplation or consideration of some subject.” He still explained exactly what can happen with the updates (carrier can request a date or ask to roll it into another one) so it would not be a very good lie.

    • keyboardP says:

      Paul,
      In what way is “I’ve seen a lot of speculation on blogs and forums lately about whether carriers can “block” an update.” a lie?

      There are plenty of discussions on the net asking whether or not an update can be blocked. This isn’t a lie at all. It seems you’re not clear on what ‘speculation’ means in this context.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        I explain this in Short Takes today:

        http://www.winsupersite.com/article/paul-thurrotts-wininfo/WinInfo-Short-Takes-March-11-2011.aspx

        But the short version is this: Speculation is defined as “opinion based on incomplete information.” I was the one who started this “speculation” by reporting the exact words of Microsoft corporate VP Joe B. with regards to carrier blocking. It’s a fact: Carriers can block updates, and have in fact already blocked NoDo. This is not speculation.

      • keyboardP says:

        I agree that the carrier blocking agreement is not speculation, but I don’t think Eric was claiming that it was. I read it to mean that people had been speculating (as in discussing between them) whether or not carriers can block updates on various message boards and so Eric went on to, somewhat, clarify the scenario.

        I assumed the definition of speculation being “to think, meditate or reflect on a subject; to deliberate or cogitate” (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/speculate) and so

        “I’ve seen a lot of speculation on blogs and forums lately about whether carriers can “block” an update.”

        simply means that he’s seen various posts talking about the subject. I don’t mean to be pedantic, but I think if strong terms like ‘lie’ are used, then the subject should be unequivocally false.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        Speaking of pedantic, there are different forms of lying, Eric. If Microsoft knows that carriers are blocking updates–which they are–and says that discussions about this topic are speculation, that’s a lie. So, I get where you’re coming from. Please understand where I’m coming from: They are in fact deliberately casting doubt on this notion that carriers–their partners, by the way–are preventing users from getting updates. I’m sure they have their reasons for doing this. That doesn’t change my basic premise.

      • keyboardP says:

        I’m not sure if you implied that I’m Eric, but I can assure you I’m not :).

        I guess you could read it either way. Maybe the ambiguity was a planned PR statement, or just naively worded. Whatever the thinking behind it is, it’s going to be the implementation that counts and so the NoDo update really cannot be delayed again as it’s already off to a shaky start.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        :) No, did not mean to imply that.

  2. fearthed0nut says:

    I’m a Software Engineer. I do consulting. Whether or not you have a credibility problem, if you want to build trust with your users, it’s a very straightforward process. You say what you do and when you can do it (as in, a hard date, not a month / quarter / season / etc. ). You deliver NO LATER then that date. If an unforeseen circumstance occurs and you CANNOT meet this date, you make a new date and, hell-or-high-water, you make that date.

    Then magic the happens: when you make your date, with your features intact, PEOPLE TRUST YOU. Your users become your biggest advocates. A secret: if you quietly plan a mid-range feature, don’t tell someone, and then release it, they think you’re a miracle worker.

    Microsoft had their second chance. I went to a Win Phone 7 conference (1/2 pep talk / 1.2 therapy) in a major city before the official release. A Microsoft spokesperson correctly said something like, “We have one shot at this. If we blow it, it’s game over.” I couldn’t put it better myself.

    Post Script – I realize some people will say, “that’s easy to do in software, but it’s difficult in hardware.” No, its hard to do in software, too. And we do it. Other Hardware manufactures can deliver updates in a timely fashion.. What’s Microsoft’s excuse? The Carriers? Why should the carrier even being involved if we can update the phone via the Zune software?

    • dkb1898 says:

      As jigsaw would say – Game Over!

    • roteague says:

      I’m a Software Engineer as well; I’ve been writing for Windows since 3.0. I would have accepted his comment if it hadn’t been for the fact that the update has been complete, and in developers hands since December. When you consider that Microsoft has thousands of employees with WP7 phones on which to test updates, there is no reason for “no laboratory can simulate” excuses; Microsoft dog foods it’s products all the time.

  3. fearthed0nut says:

    BTW – Love the ‘translations’ from Microsoft-speak to reality. Please keep up the good work.

  4. cpnorris86 says:

    This story has even made Engadget now. All this kicking and screaming finally seems to be doing some good.

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/10/microsoft-taking-extra-time-to-make-sure-windows-phone-7-copy/

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      “Even” made Engadget? :) Have they ever ignored a story?

      • cpnorris86 says:

        Point taken. But this wasn’t really a “story” until your blog post made it into one.

        And for what it’s worth if someones going to cover every single minuscule minutia of up-to-the-second tech detail you could do a lot worse than Engadget. Lord knows I wouldn’t have the stomach for it.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        That’s some tortured logic. :) And I haven’t even gotten to the Engadget part yet.

  5. Pete says:

    Very disappointing to say the least. I’ve just made a two year commitment to the to this platform and I’m starting to think I’ve backed the wrong horse. Unfortunate, because the phone is basically a nice piece of tech and has great potential.

    If they screw me over on this, I’m done with them.

    • Pete says:

      Not to mention the lack of Zunepass (amongst other things) in Australia. I can’t even access the podcast directory for gods sake!

  6. interframe says:

    Sigh. When will Microsoft or it’s users ever get a break? I hope the end of this year, with the Windows 8 unveil and hopefully some Windows Phone update (they have to at least launch a new version for new hardware), will get better for MS and it’s users. Hoping it’ll be like late 2008 when the Windows 7 beta surprised everyone and Microsoft completely got it’s mojo back.

  7. dkb1898 says:

    Paul can you elaborate on this statement “By the way, this carrier testing is a common industry practice that all of our competitors must also undergo. No exceptions.” – Funny but when Apple does an update across many carriers in the US, Europe, etc.. it’s available that second! Excuse me if I call BS on that no exceptions line

    Also on clearing things up “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.” – Yeah if that wasn’t a load of BS with a side of vague…let me clear this up by blowing more smoke up your behind

    • microforever says:

      He essentially saying in so many words that the carriers DO block the update. What make this PR even more sad is that they claim competitor have the same problem which can only mean Wp7 team doesn’t know what they are doing because Apple just update their devices on time as promise.

  8. jameselmer1 says:

    I hope my phone is not always last to get updates…

  9. pwojdat says:

    You’ve got to love it, Paul ;)

    It’s time to let the wings to fly…

    jameselmer1> I kind of feel like my phone is the last one to get update so far.

  10. Alex Nichols says:

    The way these folks have been handling “communication” is astonishing. I, like so many other people, desperately want to love Windows Phone 7, but Microsoft can’t seem to recognize and respond to it in a way that would give people the confidence that they should have in the platform. With the 2-year commitment we all make with our smartphones, this type of track record yields very little confidence. As a Verizon customer, I will probably end up going with whatever WP7 device they finally get around to releasing (6+ months after launch…), but I have to wonder if an iPhone or HTC Thunderbolt is the better choice. At least I will get bug fixes and enhancements every so often. Fitting narrative Paul. Keep it up!

  11. Info Dave says:

    Paul, you seem a little cranky today :)

    Still don’t have your pre-update?

  12. cgon says:

    So here’s what I have finally done after waiting for what has seemed forever to get WP7 on Verizon. I’ve grown tired of waiting for Windows Phone 7 and I’ve been wanting something like this since I got my Zune HD at initial release. So this delay for CDMA and the lack of trust in Microsoft to actually release any updates on a timely fashion (or their ability to be upfront about it), I have decided to forgo the adoption of WP7 for a bit.

    I’ve been up for an upgrade since last March (one year) and have been actually waiting for WP7. I even bought a cheap Moto flip phone to hold me over when my previous phone died so I wouldn’t get locked into a 2 year contract. But that cheap phone is on its way out and as much as I have been really excited about WP7 (and I have been), I have reached my limit.

    So I have purchased a Blackberry 8130 (Pearl) to hold me over as I wait to see what happens. Sure, it’s old school in relation to the phones out on the market today but it will suit my needs now and I can get one for a decent price without locking myself into another 2 year contract. I don’t particularly want Android (maybe if/when Netflix becomes an option) and I don’t want an iPhone solely because I don’t want to use iTunes (but I will if I have to). But if things don’t start to move at a faster pace or in a more open fashion, I will probably find myself just waiting for another solution. I have my Zune HD and that will suffice for my Zune Pass and podcast needs (as that was the biggest factor drawing me to WP7, that and the UI).

    So here’s hoping to a better future for WP7, until then … well … oh well.

  13. fred1381 says:

    Xda became so popular among Windows Mobile users because of the constantly late or never released updates on that platform. I’m starting to fear that Windows Phone is going in the same route as its predecessor in regards to updates. What’s sad is that this is only the begining. Hopefully they realize how much bad press this lack of update is causing and they improve the process. Apple on the other hand, releases their iPhone software on time or even earlier as was the case with their latest release.

  14. mike2k says:

    I was about to go out and by a WP7 this weekend but now I’m not sure. I want to buy without a contract and sell my iPhone 4 to make the money back. I love the zune software and quit using iTunes 6 months ago. I hate carrying around my zune hd and iPhone, thus why I wanna change.

    Advice??!

  15. jasonfen says:

    Haha, was this released pre or post rant on Windows Weekly today?

  16. Mindi B says:

    Okay.

    We’ve all been tolerant for long enough. This is BULLSHIT people. All the bad PR out there is clearly not enough.

    We can handle delays, Microsoft. How about some proper fucking honesty to start redeeming yourselves?

  17. dkb1898 says:

    Paul since you have more insight/access then most of us to the WP7 team, do you know who compromises the group? Obviously some Zune people, which btw I LOVE my Zune (8GB second generation, which was updated 3-4 times a year perfectly) and the PC Zune software.

    I’ve heard many rumors that a lot of those “repurposed” from the Vista Team by Sinopsky ended up on this project and it’s not really anyone from the WM 6.X teams. If this is true, while I’m sure there are many good people on the team, a few really bad people in management positions or critical roles can ruin and infect an entire group and kill productivity. Could you elaborate if you have any insight?

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      I have no more insights into what Microsoft is doing with Windows Phone than many, I guess. They do not brief me about their plans, and haven’t since last year. They have repeatedly ignored my questions and requests to be kept in the loop. I’ve never been briefed on No Donuts, for example, which doesn’t make much sense to me. And I have a number of people I consider friends on the WP team. With only one exception, none have reached out to me during this to find out how they can help. So I feel sort of betrayed here on both professional and personal levels.

      The Windows Mobile people were out to lunch, and I thought this would never be repeated, but it’s astonishing to watch a different team squander a much better positioned platform in nearly identical ways. And yes, much of today’s WP team comes from Vista (pre-Sinofsky Windows Client) and other parts of Microsoft. I can and have speculated that Sinofsky, as the dominant sub-CEO executive at Microsoft now, will simply swoop in and dismantle WP when Windows 8 is ready, but that is just an uneducated outside opinion, nothing more. But WP is probably no different than any other team at Microsoft, with good and bad people. The ones I know are all very intelligent, well-intentioned, and passionate. Dealing with the group from the outside, however, I have to remind myself of that. It’s been a wall of silence.

      I guess I can only do the tough love thing for so long. But I am unaware of anyone else making such a passionate, ongoing plea for them to put it in gear and start kicking ass. They have the makings of a hit here and they are just blowing it, one slow-moving month at a time. And it’s just not right. And if people think I’m over-reacting, or whining, or hurting someone’s feelings … tough. I feel strongly about this thing. (This isn’t directed at you, dks1898, of course.)

      • dkb1898 says:

        Excellent post, thanks! I share your frustration, this is a very promising product that doesn’t seem to have strong leadership for this day and age.

        Every project Sinopsky is ultimately in charge of seems to thrive, Windows 7, IE9, and Windows Live 2011…with the first two having excellent engineering blogs for engineers and tech enthusiasts like us all. Engineers are quirky people, I know I’m one of them, we need direction and focus if we aren’t very well rounded. You could be intelligent, well-intentioned, and passionate yet still be part of the problem, not the solution.

        I certainly hope Sinopsky swoops in and takes this over! No reason they would need to break backwards compatibility, much like the Vista to 7 transition. He doesn’t need to dismantle the team, simply replace some of the leadership and probably mid-level management and start it running as a well oiled machine. And teaching others to run things as such so eventually the whole company can get on board with great engineering and attract first class talent.

      • So, I guess I’m correct in that I’m beginning to call this OS Windows Phone Vista. I didn’t know much of the team was those guys.

      • huwjones says:

        In my opinion this response nails it. I have, for various reasons, decided not to go with Windows Phone 7, but I now strongly believe that it will be eventually discontinued in favour of Windows 8. I don’t know where this will leave the early adopters of WP7, but the more I see of how the platform is being handled by MS, the more it looks to me like it’s not something that some key personnel expect to be around for very long.

      • dkb1898 says:

        I also don’t understand why the WP Team wouldn’t want to communicate with you (Paul). I mean you wrote a book for crying out loud and you were a HUGE advocate of the OS. I’m sure many, including myself bought the phone based on your recommendations and insight. Now that there is now Zero insight into what is going on with the OS (I had more insight into the Windows 7 Beta and what improved over Vista, and what was being improved for the RC). Now for a OS I paid for and is RTM’ed for 6 months now I have almost ZERO insight besides a few large strokes.

        I cringe just thinking of what will happen if they release NoDo and it only addresses the 3 things they said it would address, and then they say the next release will be Mango at the end of the year which will address the 4 things they said it would address.

        If they don’t start talking about ALL the improvements, little, small, etc.. with graphs and engineering research, etc… they are going to get crushed.

      • expectafight says:

        Wait Paul, last week you mentioned that your sources told you that it would be nearly impossible that Mango would be released on time, now you have no more insight than most and MS hasn’t briefed you in months and have become unresponsive to you? On top of that, it appears to me that they took a straight jab to you in this blog post saying:

        “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”

        (for reference Paul wrote: “…while Microsoft recently promised to ship this release to customers by the end of the year as well, my sources tell me that schedule is a near impossibility.”)

        You want them to get their act together about their update schedules, I get it. But you aren’t a dark horse crusader about this, you’re just impatient. Let’s see what happens in 2 weeks. Employing rhetorical appeals to people who are on the fence about WP7 to get people to see your side of things doesn’t make you passionate about this topic, that’s borderline manipulation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in the absence of news, all we have are our reactions, we’re humans, it’s understandable. Just return to your bearings about this every once in a while.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        Yes, that’s what two sources have told me: Mango could slip into 2012.

        But then, I’m not the only person to have commented publicly that this is a possibility. In Microsoft’s Channel 9 video “Windows Phone 7 announcements from Mobile World Congress 2011″ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZxDwfuV-dg), Microsoft Director for Windows Phone 7 Brandon Watson says, and I quote, “The next release [is] coming, you know, I don’t know if we have an official date, but let’s call it later this year … yeah, just to be safe. Sometime later this year. Or early next year. You knowing, coming in the next major release.”

        It’s at the 1:40 mark if you’d like to hear it for yourself. For reference. In the absence of news. To return you to your bearings.

      • dkb1898 says:

        Haaaaaaa….for unknown reasons I decided to listen to the WP Radio episode 21 and Brian Seitz refers to the February update at the “pre-update”…I believe Paul coined that phrase and now they are using it!

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        Yep.

      • dkb1898 says:

        I think for sanity’s sake we should all be referring to this software, and the phones as WPV – Windows Phone Vista.

        @expectafight – The only thing Paul needs to concede is that he got caught up in the hype just like all of us. We all saw MS turn the corner with Office 2007, 2010, Windows 7, and recently IE9. We all assumed more of the same with WP, and we made an ass out of ourselves. I’m completely embarressed I recommended this product…it’s been nothing but vague vaporware promises of utopian awesomeness, 100′s of lingering minor issues, and no promises of fixing or refining much of anything, much less addressing disappearing pinned contacts and the like in a timely manner. WPV won’t take off until it becomes WP8 under teh direction of good leadership. And with the market quickly moving to consumer devices and away from workhorse PC’s this is bad news for MS. I’m seriously considering selling my stock, because at best I think it will be flat over the next year and a half.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        Well, it’s a bit more personal than getting caught up in hype. I’m not a child. But what I’m guilty of is believing people who, in many cases, are long-time friends. I guess I’m old school in that way: I don’t automatically think someone I know and trust is lying to me or, at best, doesn’t have command of the facts.

        So I did get caught up in something here. I’m not sure I’d call it hype.

      • dkb1898 says:

        I guess your definition of hype is different than mine, either way I doubt your friends were misleading you and probably had the “facts” as they knew them at the time, I’m sure in their minds they truly believed it was going to rock and management had things prepared to run smoothly. Been on development teams like that myself, full of promise with awesome devs and great project managers, but ruined by Marketing, Sales, and Management morons who partied their way through college, couldn’t think outside the box, and were ruled by the almighty dollar. There was no “glue”! Something broke with this team, and my educated guess would be some of the old management folks from Vista. It’s looking very similar to Longhorn isn’t it from a project point of view!!!

        When NoDo drops to a tremendous thud, as there won’t be any communication on what it fixes, and people start playing around and find many of the same missing minor details and bugs, the noise is going to get louder and louder in Balmer’s ear…pressure from Nokia, stockholders, and current WPV users will temendous. When carriers and handset manufactures back out even more, or are lukewarm at best to support the product or recommend it even to feature phone users, it will get louder still. When iPhone 5, and Android 2.4 come out with more new devices with more new features it will again get louder. Then if MS delays Mango, an update that doesn’t address all the new features the other OS’es have added, the bubble is going to burst.

      • Paul Thurrott says:

        Well, this is indeed a problem, too: NoDo isn’t a big deal. After the 15 minutes of excitement wears off, then what? 9 more months of waiting?

      • dkb1898 says:

        The only hope they have IMO, is if when they refer to second half of 2011, early 2012, they are referring to their fiscal year. Which is a nice way to lie and catch the competition off guard. Microsofts fiscal year 2011 ends June 30th I believe.

  18. anthonyfear says:

    I soooo wanted to love Windows Phone – I was a long time user of the original windows mobile back in …..oh I don’t remember, it was years ago anyway.

    After listening to Paul’s comments on how much potential the platform had before the release, I was nearly convinced to give it a try – Boy am I glad I didn’t bother!

    Windows Phone is typical of Microsoft at the moment – As my teacher once wrote on my report card “….shows potential, but needs to work harder!”

  19. daniel2980 says:

    Interesting article, I can feel that Microsoft has been lazy or at least the feeling is that MS doesn’t care much about the whole WP7 situation, and it’s understandable that it’s a new platform and everything else but they’re acting like amateurs instead of professionals. They simply take too much time to give each step, how many people are working on WP7? Microsoft has been losing their aggresiveness and mojo. I just hope that future updates don’t suffer of the same problems that the pre-update have had (it’s not even the first update)

  20. huhman1 says:

    phone upgrade finally coming up in a few weeks…was so looking forward to getting windows phone. that interest is starting to wane. Paul–still recommending WP7 with such disappointing follow-through from MS?

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      I still love Windows Phone. It really is the superior product, despite the flaws that remain unfixed. But we’re in a tenuous place now. Regardless of when NoDo ships, we’re still way behind iPhone and Android in key areas. I’m sticking with the platform. But I cannot recommend it without listing a series of caveats and I have no idea why any normal person (i.e. “non-technical person”) would buy such a non-support device.

      Microsoft is embarrassing itself with this thing. I don’t get it.

  21. Edward says:

    If all promises are kept at this point, many users will be getting the ‘real’ update by the end of April. That will catch my WP7 phone up with a 1st generation iPhone.

    Why end of April? It is taking them a month to deploy the “pre-Update”. So from the moment they deploy the “real” update, roll-out could take a month or longer.

    It is the beginning of the death spiral for Microsoft. WP7 will fail not because it is bad (it is great), but from sheer ineptitude of Microsoft management. Tablets and touch devices compatible with phone OS’s are the future, and Microsoft is falling years behind. Apple has the laptop market cornered, and if they were the same price as a PC laptop, NOBODY would buy a PC laptop. There is no real equivalent to the iMac in the PC world (HP stuff doesn’t come close). Server is now bundled in Mac OSX, while Microsoft basically gutted WHS. Media devices? Microsoft basically abandoned Media Center, while Apple TV, Google TV, etc are becoming mainstream.

    After the WP7 ‘service’ fiasco directed by Microsoft, and the gutting of WHS, were it not for Photoshop, I would switch to a Linux based system and tie it in with Chrome/Android combo right away. Once Chrome OS settles in, Microsoft is dead in the consumer market. Android Tablet + Andorid Phone + Android desktop OS all working together… can you imagine Microsoft ever pulling that off? Just look how crappy the Zune software to iPhone integration is!

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  23. smoothdouglas says:

    I’m clearly upset with MS as well. I can’t even GET a phone in my neck of the woods. The carriers we have are Alltel (soon to be switched to AT&T next month…supposedly), Sprint (although their network here is horrible), and Verizon. I’ve been waiting “patiently” for a phone since it was originally announced over a YEAR ago. MS and Verizon are still acting like a bunch of hungarian monks who are vowed for silence for life and I’m getting frustrated each day I hear nothing. MS seems to be following some sort of strategy on their communication that is unclear to everyone. They announce next to nothing, then when they do release some form of communication they invariably fail to make their supposed date, and then rarely explain why. Why has it take so LONG to get on Verizon? What held it up from coming out in January on Verizon? I just want clear explanations as to WHY? If it’s the carrier….let us know. If it’s the hardware manufacturer….let us know. If they aren’t holding up their part of the bargain hold their feet to the fire for gods sake and tell us. I can live with that.

    Now with all that off my chest…I am a developer and understand the problems with releasing software. You can test and retest to your hearts content, but until the software gets released to the public things can come up that you don’t expect. You deal with them and try and move on and tackle any new issues that pop up. I feel MS has tried to do that with the current pre-update. However, I still don’t feel they’ve answered the question as to why….like you Paul….have not received the update.

    I still feel WP7 is a fantastic OS and I will be getting one either with AT&T (when Alltel switches over to AT&T) or Verizon when they come out. I’m just jealous of those here that actually HAVE a phone!

  24. Or you can let them know like I did… Sell the phone on ebay and move on. I couldn’t be happier. Screw Windows Phone 7. They lied. That buggy POS should have been having patch Tuesday every week since introduction.

  25. digime2007 says:

    I thought the MS statement contained quite a lot of useful information. There is so much hysteria, rumor and misinformation about it’s refreshing to get some detail.

    I welcome their apology and can understand the complexity of what they are doing. They messed it up but at least they are finally admitting that.

  26. Here’s my view on this – it would nice to have comfirmation of the facts though preferrably from someone working for a Mobile network.

    I understand from the Microsoft blog post yesterday, that any updates received will also include firmware updates specific to hardware models (surely a good thing) to update the radio, boot loader and firmware element of the hardware. If this is the case it is understandable that both the manufacturer and the carrier wish to get involve and approve such updates. No network operator is going to allow a device to compromise the stability of their mobile network both from an operational and regulatory point of view. Apple only have a few devices to update, Microsoft currently already have 9? with each having a different RF side etc.

    Is it possible, when Apple release an update that their update only updates the iOS on the device and not the RF bootloader etc in which case the Network operator will not have to re-test compatability with their core mobile network etc, thus allowing a speedier release. On the other side Android who appear to me to take ‘longer’ to release hardware specific updates to their devices – if at all for some models.

    I believe that Microsoft (and all WP7 advocates) want their solution to align closely to the Apple process but it is currently still trying to pull away from the Android solution.

    Still it would be nice if Microsoft could communicate with us in a timely manner. After all with WP7 they are setting themselves up as a communcations company!

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Right.

      This is actually the central issue. Regardless of whether Monday was really the day that NoDo was supposed to hit, when Microsoft knew it wouldn’t be hitting that day, or the 15th, or whatever, it should have posted this thing. One gets the idea it only posted after the wellspring of complaining–what some here are calling “whining,” as if to denigrate it for some reason–got too loud.

      I’ve said this again and again. There are some minimums that need to be met here. And one of them is transparency. Look at what Apple does. Then exceed it. Otherwise, why are you in this market? Did you just want to soak up those people who both hate Apple and like things to move slowly? If so, why would anyone be interested in this technologically?

      • alexd7777 says:

        I’m not sure about Apple’s transparency. They show the thing only when it’s done. iOS 4.3 was declared on 03/04 and 03/09 it is there. It should be pretty clear, that release was ready monthes before.

        What MS is need – less rumours :)

  27. vhaakmat says:

    This NoDo update to come is becoming the new Duke Nuke em (the one that never came)…. I give them 1 more week. I’ll cancel my other 100 phones order for my office… I can’t take these calls anymore about when to expect copy and paste…

  28. labernicht says:

    c’mon Paul

    In Austria we would say:
    mi mi mi mi mi
    it translates to: stop whining

    Hit something hard – or put some hard liquor in that mint cup!

    I don’t see a lie here. Eric straightens out:

    block … as in will never hit your device
    block … as in can be delayed by …

    and “regular update” can be 1 update every 5 years ;-(

    So far, I got my february update on my Samsung Omnia 7. ^^ … still don’t see anything that has changed besides 4GB of “used” Harddiskspace on my Laptop. You havn’t missed anything.

    Let’s be honest: this is a CTP (a sign of life, a “we are working on it”) and the “final product” will be delivered some when in fall 2011. MS has to adapt to a consumer driven world.

    Be a nice “early adopter”, let them evolve, they still have to settle all of their goals.

    And … isn’t it already a great product ?

  29. alexd7777 says:

    What I never heard is any comments from the carriers side. It always leaks and talks from MS, but no any evidences from carriers’ workers. It will make a situation clearier….

  30. rbuike says:

    So if it is so troublesome wouldn’t the same issues apply to Android (far more hardware/OS combos) or Apple (higher volume=higher chance of failures)?

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  32. Everyone should leave a post over at http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/windowsphone/archive/2011/03/10/phone-updates-process-and-timing.aspx#comments and let the windows phone team know how you really feel. The comments on that post are really starting to heat up. Maybe it will light a fire under that sleeping giant we call Microsoft.

    I am really starting to believe that the only solution for their bloated bureaucracyis a break up.

  33. jkavanagh58 says:

    No-Do isn’t No Donuts, it’s No Do

  34. gstevenb says:

    I understand that Apple does this much better and updates far more frequently, but they have a much more simple model. There is only a single piece of hardware to update; one which they control from start to finish. Yes, I know they put out new iPhones every year, but it still limits the testing they have to do.

    Apple also handles the support so AT&T and now Verizon don’t have to deal with angry users if something goes wrong. Unless I am mistaken, Microsoft doesn’t have that support infrastructure and therefore relies on the carriers to support the devices. Every time I called AT&T for support while I used an iPhone I was quickly transferred to Apple. If Microsoft wants to remove the carriers as a barrier for updating then they should set up, manage, and maintain a support team just for Windows Phone devices and software. Let the carrier do their due diligence in testing to make sure the radios don’t muck up the network and leave the rest to Microsoft. That would give them back the control they need to keep this platform moving. The new support team feeds the issues to the development teams and drive the new features. This is Microsoft does with desktop and server OS, why not do the same for this platform? The cost for this team can’t be much more than what you wasted on a lackluster advertising campaign and substantial discounts on handsets that aren’t yet flying off the shelves.

    Microsoft has a decent pool of hard-core enthusiasts for this platform. We love it, blog about it, and talk about it until our friends roll their eyes and walk away from us. We are to Windows Phone what Mac enthusiasts were to Apple two decades ago. Do not squander us and our zealotry.

  35. shackiechan says:

    I thought the whole reason vendors were supposed to stick to reference design and the carriers were not supposed to mess with the OS too much was so they DIDN’T run into problems with updates like this ?!?!?
    Aside from memory size and screen types….did the vendors mess with the phones that much?
    And why is it that MS can whip up updates for hundreds of different PC’s….but 9 phones are like pulling teeth ?

  36. mrmcguire says:

    Thanks for putting the heat on for us, Paul. I hope our voices are heard. Everyone I show really loves the Windows Phone and can instantly see it’s merits, but it’s really going to take a flawless performance from Microsoft to break the backs of Android and the iPhone.

    On a different note, I saw someone pitching Android hardcore at ATT the other day, and the guy kept asking about security, and about how well it integrates with exchange. Not once did the Windows Phone come up. If I were a bolder man I would have busted in and given my pitch.

  37. mcraine says:

    This whole fiasco has me reconsidering my decision to move from the iPhone to WP7 and I’ve started to look at the cost involved in moving back to the iPhone when the next one comes out in a few months. I drank the Cool Aid and got a Samsung Focus the day it was released. I also talked up WP7 to everyone I know. Two of which switched from iPhone to WP7. I’m the guy in my circle that’s supposed to know better and usually has to advise my friends and family on their tech purchases. Now I look like an idiot for recommending WP7. The really frustrating thing is that it’s not the big feature updates that are the problem, it’s the “small” bug fixes that hardly get mentioned in WP7 update stories. I’m one of those unfortunates that has the bluetooth connection issue where half the time you can’t hear the caller and the other half of the time they are too loud. Not a peep from MS on if/when this will be addressed. Add to that all the other little annoyances like not being able to search contacts by company or not being able to launch the AP app (it just won’t run.) No custom ringtones. I could live without that feature if not for the fact that all the built in ones are similar enough that you can hardly distinguish one from another. I really wonder why anyone cares about copy and paste when the key fundamental features already on the phone don’t work like they should. I so want to see WP7 succeed as it’s the coolest phone OS out there. I keep looking at my phone and checking the blogs and forums wondering if today is the day my WP7 will get fixed. Got to go, my phone is ringing. Not to worry, It’s now second nature to say “I’m sorry could you repeat who you are and why you are calling, we must have a bad line.” Come on Microsoft, fix the bluetooth!

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  40. dkb1898 says:

    How long do you all think it will be until we start seeing custom android roms for our WPV devices. We should be able to recover some of our investment this way instead of having to wait until 2013 for a somewhat competitive OS…frankly if a lot of us had gone android this is probably what we would have done anyway considering the poor update process and fragmentation within android. Just saying…it’s a thought we should all keep in the back of our minds for sanity sake

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  43. curtkessler says:

    For the life of me I just can’t figure out why MS executing on this so poorly, especially when they started off so well with actual good feedback. I like my Focus a lot (and like Paul I wistfully click the Update Now button like 4 times per day only to be disappointed), but this is just crazy. They are snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory, almost like they WANT it to fail. Could that be the master plan? It seems like the whole phone/tablet mess is like a syphilitic disease that’s made Microsoft lose all sense of how to market and support products. Strategy is missing or so far off the mark its almost comical. Think of what it would have been like to have a fully patched and updated phone, maybe a WP7 Metro tablet (or Courier, but I dream), and bug fixes in the time it took that team to port Word to the ARM platform (*yawn*). There’s some useful time spent. Microsoft doesn’t even seem to know its hair is on fire. Sometimes you just want to shake these guys and scream “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WAKE UP! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WAKE UP!” in their face.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Yep. That’s pretty much my relationship with these guys in a nutshell.

    • dkb1898 says:

      You have to wonder if even Windows 8 will be a fail as well, and not because it won’t be excellent. But because by the time it ships, the iPad 3 and iPhone 6 will be out, as well as Android 4 for tablets. Most coding will be on iOS, Android with Java, and the Web. Chrome OS will be out and by then and all browsers will have GPU acceleration. They won’t need to be as fast as IE10 even just close enough.

      Microsoft’s future may well be in the cloud, server room, and occasional high powered workstation with Azure, Server 2012, Bing, Office 365, Dynamics, etc… Paul may have nailed it on the head months ago saying MS should exit the consumer space, maybe even split up, and become the next IBM.

      • curtkessler says:

        The sad thing is one area MS really excels in is Tools and development–if they were less completely brain dead on tablets and phones they could be leveraging the massive environment of tools and programmers that produce apps. Most developers that try the WP7 tools acknowledge they’re great, but why build on a platform that even MS seems lukewarm in supporting? MS Needs to realize that the Windows ecosystem is in real and serious danger as Android and iOS move up the foodchain. Oh and WebOS now that HP is loading it on everything. Oh and the Playbook. And ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE ELSE IN THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY EXCEPT MICROSOFT.

        And as someone who really doesn’t like android, and iOS seems Fisher-Price, I was liking the potential of a grown-up, modern, Windows OS in WP7. And its weird, I have an anti Android bias for some reason, don’t know why, I just don’t like it. Maybe its 25 years of being in the Windows camp and just disliking anything with the Linux/Java aroma. But if they’ve got me looking around, they are in real trouble. I was Windows before Windows was cool. And then it wasn’t anymore :-(.

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  48. wqwalter says:

    I can’t find any mention of fixing wp7 problems in the release notice other than speeding things up. I have 4 Samsung Focus phones on a AT&T family plan and all four are showing the following problems:
    1. Application updates are showing up over and over again some fail with a license message, some appear to install but show up again and others fail with various large numbers.
    2. The market place tile get in a mode where if you click on it, it tries to open and then just goes back to the main metro menu with no error message. The only way to get out of that mode is to do a full shut down and restart.
    3. I can’t get the camea settings to save.

  49. wqwalter says:

    It seems like to “roll out” has stopped rolling. I have not seen many indications of people receiving updates. All I can find on Samsung installs seem to indicate if you have any content you have to delete all content to get the update to try to apply, and then you have to manually reload all your applications.

  50. polychromenz says:

    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.

  51. dkb1898 says:

    217 comments and counting, and no real replies from MS or the WP Vista Team…almost zero customer communication. It’s just shocking how careless they are being

    http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/windowsphone/archive/2011/03/10/phone-updates-process-and-timing.aspx

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  54. mcraine says:

    Paul- How do we change the focus of this issue from feature updates like Copy and Paste to the real issue of fixing all the bugs. As you say, the phone shipped incomplete. Missing features are annoying, sure. But it’s the stuff that is already on the phone that doesn’t work right that I believe is driving much of the frustration. Every time a story gets posted about the NoDo update, it talkes about Copy and Paste being delayed. Almost no one is writing about the hundreds of issues from minor stuff to the major show stopper issues like wifi probs or Bluetooth issues. The forums are loaded with posts about serious problems with all kinds of stuff that no one talks about. Even on the Windows Weekly Podcast last week, Leo asked why everyone is so worked up about Copy and Paste. No one seems to get it that we want the bugs fixed. Many have phones that are virtually unusable is some way. To compound the issue, for every person with a specific problem, someone else has the same phone without the problem. It makes is hard to get any traction on a specific issue. Is there anything we WP7 users can to to help bring these bug issues into the mainstream light? An issue near and dear to me is the Bluetooth problem discussed in great detail here…
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/winphone/forum/wp7-wpdevices/windows-phone-7-bluetooth-handsfree-problem/b53c64ce-30ee-4734-9dab-28ce0d561132?page=1&msgId=52c817f6-8b4e-e011-8dfc-68b599b31bf5&tm=1300551010309
    I see almost no mention of a bluetooth problem when checking the main tech news blogs on the web yet this is clearly a major issue for a lot of WP7 users.
    I can live without copy and paste for now but I do need bluetooth to work.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      I have this vague hope that Microsoft will actually deliver NoDo sometime before the end of the century. And then of course we can move on, since NoDo isn’t exactly a huge update, and it certainly doesn’t do anything to fix Windows Phone’s most pressing bugs and functional lapses.

      So, that said, I’ve been thinking about the most constructive way to handle the fact that there are so many problems with Windows Phone. It may be a bit cumbersome, but I’ve been thinking of revisiting some of the earlier (and very lengthy) discussions around these bugs and then, perhaps, create a separate blog post for each problem/bug/missing feature so that there is a trackable to document them, discuss workarounds, eventually note when they’re fixed and so on.

      That will require a lot of work. And given my current migraine-inducing issues with the Windows Phone people, I’m not particularly inclined to do this right now. But, time will pass. NoDo will ship. And at that point, maybe, I’ll look at doing this.

      • dkb1898 says:

        Please do this Paul, someone needs to hold them accountable since there is no evidence they are holding themselves accountable, especially broken promises. We in the community can help you out…a simple post where we can all add our own bugs, missing features, etc… and then you could refine may be helpful. Community project anyone?

      • mcraine says:

        Paul, thanks for all your efforts on WP7. You’ve made this whole disapointing situation a bit more bearable. I’m going to keep circling the drain and see what new developments shake out in the weeks following the NoDo update that may or may not be coming out this week or Month. I’m hoping that we see a turn around soon. Just a thought but would it be helpful if we systematically chose one news organization a day and all sent them a short email requesting more coverage around the lack of bug fixes on WP7. Or, each of us donates a few dollars to the cause and we take out a large ad in one of the larger “dead tree” papers begging Microsoft to fix our phones. Maybe I’m spitting into the wind here but then again…maybe not. Of course we’d need someone we trust (like Paul)to coordinate any effort. Have any ideas? :)

    • dkb1898 says:

      I also have a bluetooth problem, I can hear on my device fine, but everyone I talk to tells me they can barely hear me and it sounds like I’m driving 50 miles an hour with the windows open. My Platronics 520 worked flawlessly on my old feature phone, and without using bluetooth people say I sound like I’m on a land line, so I know it’s a bluetooth issue with the phone.

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