Saturday, March 26, 2011
Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 11:06 PM
As I sit here looking at Microsoft’s “Where’s My Phone Update?” web site, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if Microsoft were to pull a Google and released an unlocked unsubsidized phone in the vein of the Nexus line. Allow me to explain …
When Microsoft introduced their new mobile operating system, one of their promises was that the updates will come directly from them. By controlling the updates, all phones will be updated at the same time and no one will have to worry about fragmentation as seen with the Android operating system. Microsoft ensured us all their premier carrier partners had agreed to the update scheme because they understood the importance of having all WP7 phones on the most recent version of the OS. However, as history has shown, Microsoft has missed several ship dates and there is evidence pointing the delays as the fault of carriers playing their usual games. Even today, none of AT&T’s three phones have seen an update. In fact, according to Microsoft’s U.S. and International update status table, the only phones that have received the updates are in the category “Open Market Phones.”
In a way, WP7 has moved away from Apple’s way of updating and towards the Android way where certain phones receive the update first then other phones eventually follow. So if we are already following in the footsteps of Android because of Microsoft’s inability to convince carriers to allow updates to be pushed at a timely manner, maybe Microsoft should take the initiative and pull a Google.
Design a phone that showcases the best of available hardware, program it with vanilla WP7 and sell it unlocked and unsubsidized. Designate this phone the vanilla Microsoft Experience and ensure that it will always receive the most current build of WP7 when available. I’m basically talking about Microsoft’s version of the Nexus line. Of course it would be under a different name but you get the general idea.
As a Windows Phone 7 enthusiast, I would pay a premium for a vanilla WP7 experience phone if Microsoft can ensure me that it will be updated as soon as newer builds are available. This may also spur carriers to release updates in a timely manner.
Should Microsoft build their version of the Nexus line and would you buy it?