Windows Phone Updates? It’s Complicated Says Microsoft

When I read this article on Computerworld reporting on Joe Belifore’s keynote at the Microsoft MIX11 conference, I just about fell out of my chair. The article starts, “Microsoft did not realize how different smartphones are from PCs until recent software updates broke new Windows Phone 7 devices that were already in the hands of cell phone users” Really? I could have sworn that Microsoft had been providing operating systems for smartphones for nine years, how could they NOT know the complexity of distributing upgrades to smartphones?

The process for distributing upgrades to Windows Phone 7 has been a fiasco from the beginning. Microsoft first released an update in February that ended up causing problems to user’s phones, resulting with Microsoft having to pull the update, and from that point the process has been going down hill. The reason why I have found the situation so frustrating is that Microsoft promised that the update process would improve from what existed for Windows Mobile, and that has not happened. For Windows Phone to succeed Microsoft has got to be providing frequent improvements to make it better and on par with its competitors.

Belfiore says he believes they have fixed the problems, and notes that Microsoft has added more people to the team handling the updates. What I don’t understand is how Microsoft adding staff speeds up the process of carrier testing of updates, not to mention program changes that they carriers need to make. I hope for Microsoft’s sake that Belfiore is right, because in a competitive market, I don’t think users are going to be very patient.