Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 09:04 PM
"It's been roughly 48 hours since we hit the send button on our first Windows Phone software update. The rooms around me are buzzing with folks monitoring the rollout, sifting carefully through incoming phone health data (from customers who provide it) and pouring over the anecdotal update reports you've been posting around the web. You've said loud and clear that you want to be kept in the loop. So here's what we've learned so far."
It would have been nice to have seen this shared yesterday morning or evening rather than tonight, but Microsoft has finally responded to the issues that have been reported since Monday morning when the update started trickling out across the world. The post explains that, based on the metrics they've collected so far, 90% of updates have gone smoothly - and of the remaining 10%, nearly half of those failed for two basic reasons: a flaky Internet connection or not enough storage space for the computer to do a backup of the phone. It's mind-boggling that someone would be running a computer with less than what I'd guess is the minimum for backups - 20 GB - but in this age of SSDs, anything is possible.
The post confirms that the update has been stopped for Samsung phones as they work on a glitch that was impacting some Samsung phones. It also confirms that all Windows Phones are "eligible" for the update and mentions nothing about carriers blocking the update - an error of omission or a clever dodging of the truth? Hard to say. Incredibly, it "could be days - or even weeks" before we're all able to update our phones. Weeks? What kind of "phased roll out" is Microsoft doing here, one based on 56K modems?
Here's what blew my mind about this post: in one Q&A the author writes:
"...Microsoft and the carriers we've partnered with around the world need time to test phone updates to make sure they meet our joint quality, performance, and reliability standards. Testing schedules can vary, and that affects when you'll be able to download an update."
That would seem to imply that rather than us simply waiting for some server somewhere to tell us we can update our phones, some of us are actually waiting for our wireless carriers to test the update before, presumably, telling Microsoft "Yes, you can release this now." I thought that testing happened before the update was released, not after.
What bothers me most about this seemingly screwed up this whole process is that, when compared to how the competition such as Apple updates their phones - which are on networks all over the world too - this seems fraught with problems. I really hope Microsoft can learn from what's happening right now and smooth out the rough edges.
One thing's for sure: this isn't exactly the update process I was waiting for.