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In defense of Microsoft and the 'NoDo' update

Let's start with some disclaimers. First of all I am a Windows Phone fanboy, so I may be slightly biased toward Microsoft. Secondly I am a Windows Phone fanboy, and I want my update right the heck now. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's move on.

Comparing NoDo to Froyo

There has been much debate/discussion/discontent about the so-called NoDo update for Windows Phone 7. Microsoft first mentioned bringing copy and paste to Windows Phone 7 at the launch event in October, stating that the feature would be made available in 'early 2011.' In January at CES Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated:

"Over the next few months we will be delivering a series of platform improvements that show we are taking feedback to heart in an effort to continue to enhance the products we release. The updates will be released automatically and will include a few changes."

The "official" announcement of the update itself wasn't until the Microsoft keynote at Mobile World Congress in February. Ballmer stated that the update would be released in 'early March.' At the end of February, Microsoft announced that they would be releasing a pre-update to prepare Windows Phones for NoDo; complications followed, specifically for Samsung devices, causing Microsoft to temporarily halt the update. Microsoft communicated that the NoDo release had slipped to the 'second half of March' in order to iron out the wrinkles in the update process.

So to recap, here is a quick timeline:

  • 2/14/2011 – Microsoft officially announces NoDo
  • 3/10/2011 – NoDo delay announced
  • 3/23/2011 – NoDo deployed to developer (carrier unlocked) handsets
  • TBA/Varies – NoDo Deployment to consumer devices

From the official announcement of the update to NoDo being pushed to developer devices in five weeks and two days, even with a delay due to bug fixes in the later stages. Now let's compare that to Android 2.2 (a.k.a Froyo). Keep in mind that Android has been around for a couple of years, and Windows Phone 7 is new to the party.

The primary comparison that I want to draw here is the time between the "official" announcement to the point when it hit developer devices. The time between May 20 and June 29 is five weeks and five days; three days longer than it took Microsoft with the NoDo update. I would assume that it takes more than a few months for the core of these updates to go through the code/testing cycle. It seems that Microsoft has been fairly up-front with what their plans are, almost to a fault.

I should also note that Froyo didn’t start hitting consumer devices until over a month after it was on the developer handsets. Now this isn't exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, as Android is something of a wild west when it comes to bundled software and OEM/carrier customization. Microsoft should be able to turn NoDo out to consumer devices faster than a comparable Android update, simply because Microsoft is fairly strict on what customizations can be done and uses a standard hardware chassis. But the fact remains, it's reasonable to allow some time for carriers and OEMs to test the update on their hardware and networks.

Another thing I want to point out pertains primarily to people who are looking to purchase a new Windows Phone, and are concerned about the update schedule. If you look at that Android schedule again, the first two devices to receive Froyo were (and are) two of the most popular Android devices. Lesson learned: more popular/better selling devices are more likely to get an early update, especially if there have a power OEM/Carrier combination behind them. Verizon and Sprint pushed the Droid and EVO 4G incredibly hard, and those sales give them incentive to keep the maximum amount of customers happy with the least amount of work.

On the other hand

Many would argue (correctly) that Google shouldn't be the standard we are viewing Microsoft against, it should be Apple. WPCentral readers are savvy enough to recognize the differences between Apple and Microsoft's mobile strategies. Obviously Apple controls the hardware and software aspects of the process, so there is a definite advantage there. Microsoft's biggest problem right now is that both Apple and Google clearly offer more features on their respective platforms. If Microsoft is going to be competitive against Android and iOS, they need to be beating both companies in the update realm, something that they clearly aren't doing.

All indications would lead us to believe that NoDo was originally scheduled to be released in January, and Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott has stated repeatedly that he knows for a fact that NoDo was "finished" in December. Obviously there have been delays that haven't been explained, and to a point that's ok; but Microsoft's playing catch-up here, and a two or three month delay on a relatively minor update is unacceptable.

The most frustrating part of this whole discussion is that the part of the process where Microsoft is completely failing in getting the update to consumers is the part where carriers get involved. I haven't seen any indication of a carrier explicitly 'blocking' NoDo, though Microsoft has said that carriers will be able to block updates for a single cycle. Really though, consumers don't differentiate between a blocked update and a delayed update.

I for one am more concerned with how the "Mango update" is affected, later this year, and I'm not encouraged by the NoDo delays. If Microsoft has this much trouble with an update that includes very few actual improvements, what are we supposed to expect for something that completely changes major portions of the platform?

In conclusion

As I said at the beginning, I am a Windows Phone fanboy, and I want my updates as bad as anyone. Nobody wants an update that is buggy and unstable. Microsoft hasn't made any promises and then delayed an unreasonable amount of time. They never said that NoDo would be released to all devices in March. But Microsoft's got a perception problem, and they've had it for a while. The only way to fix that perception problem is to deliver on the promises they make, and start offering a feature set that is competitive with current market leaders.

We'll be keeping our ears to the ground just like the rest of you, and we'll keep you posted on any developments as they hit. Until then, enjoy one of the most innovative devices on the market. And please, keep harassing your carriers!

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Comments

There are 84 comments. Sign in to comment

Harsha#WP says:

I knew Microsoft would **** up wp7,thats reason why i haven't got the device yet..I have waited to see how fast they will update the platform...I made my decision now if MS doesn't release IE9, Multi tasking, twitter integration by July I will go ahead with iPhone or even WebOS

frylock says:

Well, go ahead and get an iPhone or WebOS now. I don't think MS ever promised July it would be on phones.

Rich Edmonds says:

Then you should go ahead with an iPhone or WebOS. It's all about personal preference.

Luisraul924 says:

Yeah your gonna wanna go buy the Steve Jobs slave device, as Microsoft themselves stated they will release Mango around the fall season, July is clearly not fall.

wheelerk says:

Dude, you might as stop waiting and get one of those app launchers. They have already said that mango is coming later this year. Why do you guys create these false self inflicted deadlines on yourself? Microsoft hasn't screwed up anything. Look at the timeline. this is their first try at the update process. It will get better as with anything. Anytime you have an enterprise deployment, it always and wisely starts off slow. Also, once they get this update process down, I believe updates will come much more frequent.

pineypl says:

This is not really MS's first try at updates, they have been rolling them out for the Windows (desktop and server) environments for MANY years now. They of all people should have a very accurate idea of how long it will take.

says:

Different monster entirely.

Yeah windows desktop has many millions of users, wp7 has what 2million? Technically it should be easier to push out updates to wp7!

Tahiti Bob says:

Wow, you're a fanboy you said it right.To your point that "Microsoft hasn't made any promises", they did promise numerous and fast updates, we didn't dream that.They could have updates that fix the existing bugs while they work on Mango and they're not even doing that. I'm sure most people would take bug fixes over Copy & Paste. They have a perception problem just because they haven't delivered on what they announced.

cannon#WP says:

+1It's a shame super-fanboys vote down comments like this.

wheelerk says:

He provided the quotes. Why don't you provide the quotes of these numerous promises you speak of.

pineypl says:

"I'm sure most people would take bug fixes over Copy & Paste."Not this guy. No copy and paste on a device like this is a real show stopper for me. I am an MCSE and I have a lot riding on MS, but really, to come out with a full-on smart phone that cannot copy and paste, in this day and age, is a crime. I guess I hold on to my BlackBerry a little longer.I use copy and paste on my BB almost every day for emails, addresses, etc...

Conclusion: Customers cannot rely on MS.The fact that WP7 was launched despite the major and obvious Marketplace bug, with no quick fix, and the NoDo update fiasco are the proof.

OGCF says:

Which Marketplace bug? The lag? The updating issues?I most certainly wouldn't consider those a "major and obvious" bug. I can still download apps, I can still update apps, and I can still use the Marketplace so what's the issue?

hwangeruk says:

You are kidding right? The marketplace bug that means updates stop working, and you have to reboot your phone. And in some cases, you have to uninstall apps to get them to update.T H A T B U G :-)Its a real pain in the backside. I don't even bother trying to update apps these days, as they fail. I'm waiting for NoDo to fix it.

dgduris says:

Two thoughts as an ex-Symbian and WM user now on WP7:1. Yeah! But this is for copy/paste which is so sorely lacking as to be embarrassing. 2. I think a better comparison would be with iOS updates. Probably the timeline on the first one would be best. I don't know how long it took but that - you may remember - when all of us WM 6.x users were saying: "Ha! Copy/Paste: is there and app for that?"Suffice to say, though, that WP has to get it's reputation together or it will cause the failure of Nokia.

ScubaDog says:

Let me explain how far wrong you are. And I am also a Windows Phone 7 enthusiast, and probably one of the few that defended M$ to the last while the Backstage site was still up. First, we shouldn't be comparing M$ against Apple or Google. We should be comparing them against themselves. It's not like they are new to the whole regular update meme. They do it quite well with the desktop platform and Office. Second, M$ has no dependencies when it comes to communicating to the customer. I do Lean/Six Sigma events for my job and I can say with absolute certainty that VOC (Voice Of the Customer) is paramount. Too often the mistake is made to A) not actually listen to the customer and B) feedback to the customer what you think you heard them say. M$ has totally blown it on both accounts here. Second, it was Microsoft's choice to deal with the OEMs and carriers they way they have. The whole idea, as we understood it, behind setting requirements for the OEMs was precisely to meet the middle ground between the unilateral approach by Apple and the chaos that is Android. It is ALWAYS a mistake in this kind of environment to subject your OS updates to the whims of carriers. Always. The decision to slave OEM OR CARRIER unique apps to the OS update was a horrible one. Let them BOTH rely upon providing their unique software via the Marketplace like everyone else. There should be no unique apps tied to devices or carriers that rely on tagging with the OS. And I think it's completely fraudulent to play the "we just said the updates would be released in March, not that all phones would GET them in March". That's intentionally misleading. In my book, that's a lie.

Tim Ferrill says:

I completely agree with this comment. One point of contention that I have is that the delays have nothing to do with carrier or OEM apps. We're talking about lower level fixes to middleware like radio and/or camera drivers. That is the only legitimate reason I see for carriers and OEM's to be involved.Well I did agree...until you edited the post and changed it.I don't think there is any arguing that it is more work to deploy to devices across the board than it is to a small subset. Also, "fraudulent" is a strong word. Microsoft has no legal requirement to deliver updates.

OGCF says:

"We're talking about lower level fixes to middleware like radio and/or camera drivers. That is the only legitimate reason I see for carriers and OEM's to be involved."From what I understood, OEMs send their drivers directly to Microsoft to add into the device-specific ROMs.

Tim Ferrill says:

Even if true, Microsoft and the OEM's still need some time for testing.

mojo#WP says:

Sadly we live in a world where everyone has a, "now now now!" attitude without realizing the efforts it takes to design, debug and update software. I have been using my HD7 for months now and the bugs that people keep mentioning have not hindered me in enjoying my experience with WP7. I'm guessing that most people complaining don't even have a WP7 device. Most of this hoopla about updates was brought upon by bloggers and developers speculating every few weeks that "an update is around the corner" when there was no official word. The people who are upset should be mad at their sources and not MS.

1jaxstate1 says:

Guess you don't use Zune ****

ckeledjian says:

I use Zune **** a lot, what is wrong with it? I love it, I can download any song anywhere I am, use Shazam to recognize a song I hear, then click a button and download it for no extra fee to my phone. Blows everybody away when I do it. What are the bugs that are so terrible?

1jaxstate1 says:

LOl why is PASS censored.

lol, dunno, will look into it though..

Rich Edmonds says:

That's a very naughty word, sir.

Prince#WP says:

Yeah, now it look like you said Zune S**t LOL

wheelerk says:

I agree fully. Thats why I'm glad this article provided what M$ said they would do. If you are patient and wait for official word from Microsoft, then you won't get let down so much. I enjoy my focus with NoDo, so when I get it, it will be gravy on top.

wheelerk says:

Oops! I meant without NoDo. :-)

OGCF says:

"Most of this hoopla about updates was brought upon by bloggers and developers speculating every few weeks that "an update is around the corner" when there was no official word. The people who are upset should be mad at their sources and not MS."Yeah, as much as we blame Microsoft we are victims of our own enthusiasm. The more I think about it, the more I realize that as a WP7 owner I'm still in a WAY better position than an Android owner. At least Microsoft has guaranteed that an update will come our way eventually while a LOT of Android devices don't even get updated after release.

azimutha says:

My understanding as an owner of a Samsung Focus (on AT&T) with an earlier version of the ROM is that I have one of the problem phones that is probably delaying updates. That bothers me a little, but only if I find that I can't ultimately update this phone. Then I will raise a stink with AT&T until I get one that can be updated.Really, aside from some minor desire for copy-and-paste, I'm not that inconvenienced. I'm more concerned with my Focus' occasionally faulty accelerometer. Otherwise, I've been impressed with my personal use and as a developer. An app I'm writing delivers results twice as fast as a comparable app on iOS (tested on a iPhone 4) and that app was written by an author of several iOS programming books!Post-update WP7 will be an even better platform, but as is it is quite serviceable.

wheelerk says:

I don't think you having an early ROM will prevent you from getting the update. I bought my focus on Nov 8th, I guess I would probably have an early ROM. But Saying that, I wouldn't worry about it.

DontHate707 says:

lets just hope this doesn't happen with future updates this is the first update there was going to be trails and tribulations, i think they should release it through zune and over the air just in case.

Trib#WP says:

I expected some issues being a new user of WP7, it is basically a version 1 product. I hope that issues with getting this update out will make following updates smoother. My biggest problem has just been the miscomminication (or lack of). I can wait for the updates, just want to have an idea of when.

Plesh says:

I'm 25 years old. I've spent my entire life without the ability to copy and paste words on my phone. I think I'm going to be okay until at least April. In May I might break down.

jgservices says:

I too am 25 years old. I've been through lots of technology changes through the years including using an old Tandy TRS-80 when I was 2-3 years old. It's funny how far we've come and how sophisticated technology has come yet no one has appreciation for what has been created for them. I have never EVER seen this many whiny people in my entire life. "OH my god copy and paste still isn't here!?? WTF? How can I live?" "OH no multi-tasking won't be here until fall? WHYYYYYYYY???" Is it really necessary? NO. I think mankind has really lost grasp on what's important in life, so much as to see that people whine and b*tch about the dumbest things. MS is a good company, and in my opinion they'll figure it out. It's the first release, get over yourselves. It's not Windows Mobile 7. It was completely revamped. It took Apple lots of work to make a great phone OS as well as everything else they've accomplished. If anyone can duplicate that success MS is known to survive and innovate. Suck it up people, sit and wait patiently. Another quality that no one has these days :S FML

jimski says:

All true and I am in no hurry for copy & paste. But many of the US devices (and others) are expected to get a firmware update coupled with NoDo (why they couse to combine, I don't know) to address a bunch of important bug. So let me ask you, if you purchased a new car for $40K cash back in November that you really love to drive and a couple weeks later you discovered that; the windshield wipers get stuck when it rains, your built-in BT microphone sometimes mutes for no reason during a call and the only way to fix it is to stop the car, take out the key and reinsert, and the volume on your radio will sometimes drop down to 0, repeatedly, for no reason, would you be unhappy? Now how about if the dealer and manufacturer both did not admit that any of these issues actually exist, except in your imagination, but they will do a service on your new car as soon as they complete testing, which may or not be in a couple months, maybe. Would you still be unhappy or pissed. When something lacks features but I still purchased it, poo on me. But when something does not work as intended or described, poo of the folks who let tha happen.

Tim Ferrill says:

Perfect analogy! So how would you feel if you got a new part for your BMW and it made the thing drive like a Toyota, complete with defective gas pedal?

cannon#WP says:

I'm 27 and I've had copy & paste on all of my Windows Mobile phones since 2006. I still haven't gotten use to not having c/p on my phone.

wheelerk says:

Now thats funny. :-)

pineypl says:

I have had copy and paste on my ancient BlackBerrys for years, I use it nearly daily, without it, my business communications falter. It is a show stopper for some of us old people (I am 44).

DaydreamHero says:

There are two huge flaws in this editorial:1) You're starting the clock from the so-called "official" NoDo announcement in February with a target of March. In actuality, news of the "January copy and paste" update came out through (normally) credible sources before WP7 even launched. Also, when WP7 itself was announced way back last year, they made it sound like we were going to get updates monthly, and the carriers weren't going to have anything to do with it. I know I've been hitting Update in Zune since New Year's Day!2) You're description of the timing of Froyo updates for Android only takes into account official distribution channels. Sure, I'd already sold my Aria long before AT&T released Froyo, but I never had any complaints because I was able to install CyanogenMod's Froyo from the day I bought it. WP7 doesn't have any ROMs like CyanogenMod, so we're totally dependent on official updates.

wheelerk says:

Name the source to back up your first point. And they never said anything about monthly updates...again name the source.

Tim Ferrill says:

I'd also point out that it seems unfair to me to start the clock when Microsoft first shows off a preview of the tech. Are you starting the clock for Mango in February? Seems harsh to penalize them for giving you a preview of what's coming down the pipe.

OGCF says:

Well to be honest, I think Microsoft shouldn't be showing previews of software months before it's ready for release. It's a big mistake in a highly competitive mobile market if you show your hand too early; others may be able to catch up to you and match whatever features you were showboating with.So far, Microsoft hasn't had too many issues with this--they've mostly just shown features that are catching up to competitors like improved browsing with HTML5, multitasking/fast app switching, copy and paste, etc. But if Microsoft shows off some really killer features from Mango at MIX and then waits to release it until Fall that could be a serious issue.Just look at Palm's history and you'll know that the gap between announcement and release has to be as small as possible if you want to remain competitive.

rmungeer says:

Great article, yes i am a small fan boy myself but in my defense I work on Microsoft products for a living. The phone is great and to throw in my crazy theory I think the windows phone apps are going to tie in to their upcoming tablet plan. Then let’s get crazy and say right now I use windows server core (no GUI just kernel) and tie it into windows going arm. Now think of windows core on arm with a Silverlight gui and you have windows phone running on windows 8. Sorry that my fun crazy fanboy thinking.

Tim Ferrill says:

"to throw in my crazy theory I think the windows phone apps are going to tie in to their upcoming tablet plan."I witnessed a demo of a Dell Tablet running The Harvest (Xbox Live game for WP7) at CES. I think you're spot-on.

wheelerk says:

Yeah, I think you are on to something. Look at the relationship of Windows 8 and ARM.

earle36 says:

I too am over this whole fiasco - I want the update just like everyone else but reading about it everyday has just left me more unsatisfied. Taking a step back - I'm happy with my device and the OS. The update will come when it comes. That's the way it goes. I want this OS to succeed so I will continue to support it.

Ton77 says:

I just checked AT&T twitter page And alot of people asked about nodo. Keep asking til we get a date and stop depending on blogs. Keep demanding and maybe they'll say somethingEdit: thanks tim.

Jf.Vigor says:

Squeaky wheel gets oiled first+1 for this man ^

Tim Ferrill says:

I don't think it's off topic at all. See the last line of the post...

KeegdnaB42 says:

It's unfortunte that this played out like this but I'm not entirely the surprised. The problem is Microsoft would probably love nothing more than to take the Apple approach and control updates on their own with no carrier involvement, except the only reason Apple gets away with doing that is because they could strongarm the carriers with their "it's the iPhone, you want to sell it, we get complete control". Microsoft didn't have they kind of leverage going in by virtue of their not being a giant kool-aid machine, and so they had to cave into the demands of the carriers in order to get the devices on their store shelves. The carriers have too much power and they go out of their way to **** their customers. Microsoft is handling the situation the best they can right now with the status site because at least it holds the carriers accountable to their customers without directly blaming them (which would be bad since they can't afford to piss them off) and hopefully it will stir up enough customers to tell them they are dropping the ball and demand they get with the program next time around.

OGCF says:

Absolutely agree. Carriers have waaaaaay too much power over phone updates and clearly this is hurting Microsoft's strategy.Then again the way Microsoft is burning cash to promote WP7 through ad campaigns, paying off high-caliber devs, and more maybe they should consider throwing some money towards carrier relationships. Basically, they should be paying off carriers to seize control over the updates process.The reason Apple is at such a prime position in consumer electronics in general (huge iPhone, iPod, and Mac sales) is because they started with their gateway device - the original iPod. Microsoft needs its own gateway device and it could easily be WP7 as long as they're willing to see it succeed on a massive scale. If WP7 is a success, they can build on that with a new iPod Touch competitor and even later down the road a tablet with Windows 8. Microsoft needs to rebuild its image and WP7 is the way to do it. Now all they need is to make sure it succeeds.

cdook says:

I'm giving Microsoft the benefit of the doubt. This is the first update they've done with this platform and I didn't expect it to go without a hitch. Obviously Microsoft is going to try to prevent this fiasco from being a common occurrence in the future because it's negatively affecting the product image. I'm expecting Mango to have similar issues (I could see it not coming to carrier branded phones until 2012), but I think future updates Microsoft will get their ducks in a row.

iSingBass says:

I do hardware/software testing in another industry. At best, for whatever reason Microsoft grossly missed their estimate--unacceptable? I suppose you could call it that. That leaves each of us with a decision whether to accept it or move on.I like to think that carriers who have the resources are being EXTREMELY cautious and checking out as much as they can. Maybe they saw something in the update deployment that has caused them to increase their test cases in a particular area. Remember that we are dealing with a diverse system of devices, configurations, network equipment and environments.There seems to be a common perception that iPhone updates don't have problems. You should verify that with a Web search on "iPhone update issues" if you think so. I'm still guessing that after kinks are worked out in this process we'll start seeing more action.Believe it or not, there are users out there who are unaware of any of this update and cut-and-paste mess. WP7 does have features that the others don't have and it's sleek and fun to use too. Wouldn't it be a real fiasco when these users' phones start dropping calls after an update they didn't even know they wanted?Carriers, please make sure it's going to work right, but please hurry! :)-My two cents

samcode7 says:

cih.. Who are you trying to fool? You're definitely into MS. this article speaks volume. that last sentence, you're trying to drive people to blame the carriers?!? Give your readers a credit here.

Thanks for your editorial and I generally agree. I appreciate your effort to go back and check the dates on announcements of the NoDo update. Too many folks believe Microsoft promised NoDo by various dates. The first time anyone officially mentioned a fairly specific date was Ballmer at the Mobile World Conference. Bloggers have been speculating about earlier dates since the launch. And even if Paul Thurott is right when he says NoDo was complete in December, what does that mean? Paul makes it sound as if the code has been just sitting on a server somewhere in Redmond since then waiting for someone to send it out. I doubt that very much. I want my update too, and I want Microsoft to do a far better job of communicating with users about updates and plans for the OS. On the latter point, they seem to have gotten the message.

sj55555 says:

Microsoft needs to learn the fine art of underpromising and overdelivering. They need to stop giving public previews of unreleased products. If Apple had been the company that created Kinect, nobody would have heard of it until a press event on October 2010, and it would have been available to purchase 30 days later.

Tim Ferrill says:

It pains me to say it, but I think you're partially right. They either need to lower expectations, or start executing at a higher level. I would prefer #2, but #1 may be more realistic.

bgrambo says:

1) I would say Microsoft announced NoDo when they: a) Showed off Copy+Paste/Improve app loading at CES on January 5th and b) Posted that site which, at initial upload, called it the "January Update"2) Google, unlike Microsoft, makes no claims about having any control over the update process.3) Here's the thing: the whole POINT of the strict hardware requirements for Windows Phone 7 was to ensure compatibility and similarity across all devices. That decision was supposed to alleviate, if not remove, the "strain" of having multiple devices running under the OS.4) The second biggest problem Microsoft has with their updates, besides the carriers, is their dumbfounding decision to make the update process a gradual rollout. When the day comes that AT&T decides to stop wasting everyone's time and releases NoDo, I should not be in a situation where someone else on AT&T has it and I don't, or vice versa. The problem is that it WILL happen. It's already being demonstrated on the XDA forums where people with unbranded phones in Europe do not have NoDo across the board. Some people got it day one. Others are still waiting. There is no technical reason for this. If they can push out Windows desktop updates to hundreds of millions of computers that differ on nearly every element at the same time across the world, there's no reason why this can't happen on phones whose hardware is near-identical.

Tim Ferrill says:

As I said above..."I'd also point out that it seems unfair to me to start the clock when Microsoft first shows off a preview of the tech. Are you starting the clock for Mango in February? Seems harsh to penalize them for giving you a preview of what's coming down the pipe."

bgrambo says:

But what defines a preview then? I mean, the very article you use in your Google point for Froyo mentions zero release date and shows off features. How is that demonstrably different from features of NoDo being shown off at CES with it being mentioned as releasing "soon"?Looking at the article linked from the initial article, Google says that their code was going to OEMs in the coming weeks. So, in both CES for Microsoft and GoogleIO, there was a feature show-off and only a vague release date. If it's not valid to use CES for Microsoft, it shouldn't be valid to use against Google.

Tim Ferrill says:

I just felt that the official announcements were closer to the same time period in the development cycle. I personally like seeing the tech previews ahead of time, even knowing it's unfinished code. Unfortunately Microsoft may be shooting themselves in the foot.

OGCF says:

Definitely agree with points 3 and 4 in your argument. Most of the confusion and anger coming from the fanbase is based on what Microsoft was selling. They did say that the strict hardware chassis specs would ensure a seamless and equal experience for every user.Also, the gradual rollout is definitely frustrating. This could end up resulting in some temporary fragmentation (a time period of about 2 months after an update's release) and while NoDo isn't significant enough to cause any real issues, if this same delay happens with Mango (in which significant API changes and additions and major system functions are altered) devs could be dealing with some major future headaches.

Tim Ferrill says:

Be careful that you don't get confused on what Microsoft was selling. Having a single chassis was primarily a selling point for developers. Having a single screen size, standard hardware buttons, and standard sensors is a big win for the guys building apps.

devGOD says:

WP7 is a sinking ship... its a great OS but from the start it was lacking and a lot of us including me had high hopes of it being very good and updates rolling out. 6 months after the launch, no one update. Microsoft has already released new phones with the update leaving the early adopters waiting for an update that keeps getting delayed. In Microsoft & Carries eyes they would prefer that everyone just buy a new phone with the update already on it. That's the same move they pulled with Windows Mobile. but if you were smart you'd go to XDA and get the rom and update your phone yourself. Now MS prevents that buy making every version locked to a carrier.I really feel for the AT&T users that won't get NoDo to well after the HTC HD7S is launched which will have NoDo on it. You know AT&T is going to promote the HTC HD7S hard in order to get Focus users to front the cost and get the new HD7S

jimski says:

Well I can't get a discounted phone from AT&T for another 19 months, so if as you suggest AT&T wants to encourage me to purchase a new HD7S at "full price", why don't I just purchase an unlocked, unbranded device, and not have to deal with this issue ever again. And I have said this before. When I purchase a two year contract I expect to get 'reasonable" support for said device during that period, or at least for two years from device launch. Holding back an update to "encourage" me to spend more money on the same thing I already own (same OS, same chassis) is deceptive. Waiting for someone brighter than me to initiate a class action suit. That would speed things up a bit.

NickA says:

The Samsung Fascinate still does not have Froyo, not sure what update you are talking about. It was announce we would get it a few weeks after the phone was released in the Fall. Still waiting... I have accessories with a sticker on it that says it will work when 2.2 is released.

Tim Ferrill says:

On Verizon? I linked to my source of information...sorry if that's a mistake. :/

VictorFleur says:

Hi guys...I'd like to know your opinion on Mango update... I've got some doubt on wp7 and wp7.5 compatibility. What if Microsoft will bring out an update (7.5) that can't be installed on original wp7 phones?I don't know what Microsft did with Windows Mobile and its updates, but I hope they'll learn from Apple's updates compatibility (4.3 can be installed on old iPhones, right?).Any ideas? Wp7 seems safer now with the first real update...Thanks :)

Tim Ferrill says:

I'm pretty sure they stated at MWC that Mango would be coming to existing devices. And in answer to your other question, updates on Windows Mobile were few and far between, and required a complete wipe of the phone for every update. Not very pretty.

futurix says:

Tim, this is a very good article - and it is not as fanboy-ish as you seem to think. WP7 seems to became a target for troll-like unsubstantiated comments from people who barely had any exposure to real WP7 OS and devices. Myself, I tend to ignore anything with "M$", "Windows Mobile 7", and "WP7 is sinking" as trolling.And seriously, there's a lot of good signs about WP7 in the news lately - I think after Microsoft will work out all the kinks in update process with NoDo, it is going to be a plain sailing.Reasonable people don't panic over a minor delay for an OS update;and reasonable people don't let themselves to get into a speculation-fuelled frenzy about the dates, majority of which are made on the spot by journalists without any real information. It's amazing how people criticise Microsoft for not delivering in January or February when they never promised to do that - and while delay in March is somewhat disappointing (although both of my unlocked devices already got the update), it is nothing to lose sleep about.And if you are still thinking you are a fanboy - why the **** not? There are tons of iPhone or Android fans - so why not be a fan of WP7. Afterall, it is a bloody good phone!

Tim Ferrill says:

Thanks for the kind words!

OGCF says:

After going back and reading Eric Hautala's "Phone Updates: Process and Timing" post on the Windows Phone Blog, I think there's a few key issues with Microsoft's update system.1. Carriers have too much power. From the post: "We work closely with our carrier partners, and encourage them to test our software as swiftly as possible. But it’s still their network, and the reality is that some carriers require more time than others." Clearly Microsoft has forfeited key time scheduling in order to accommodate carriers' own varying levels of software testing.2. The gradual rollout. As some have stated in this thread and on XDA, the gradual rollout seems to be a big issue because it could lead to some slight fragmentation issues. NoDo probably isn't a significant enough update to cause any major compatibility problems but if the same kind of carrier delays happen with Mango in which major system elements will be changed it could be a much bigger problem.3. OEMs might be slowing updates down. In the post, Hautala said that manufacturers send driver updates to Microsoft and those are then added to the device-specific ROMs. "The companies that make your Windows Phone handset—or even the chips inside them—also frequently provide us updated firmware that they’ve written, tested, and want us to include." The problem here is that if manufacturers keep sending more and more driver-level fixes and areas where they can update, Microsoft is forced to add those into their official ROMs and thus slowing down the overall process.The problem I see here is that Microsoft is trying to do too much with updates on their side--add their own changes and features, listen to customers' feedback and requests, and accommodate carriers. They're spreading themselves too thin to balance out too many factors. The only real solution I could see here for MS is to create two update systems: one for OS changes coming from them, and one for OEMs and carriers to work with. Basically Microsoft would restrict the areas where OEMs and carriers could add/change anything in the OS so they do not affect any important system-level areas. Then carriers and OEMs would be able to implement their own things (carrier apps, pre-installed apps, areas where OEMs can customize like camera) at will in their own areas while Microsoft wouldn't have to worry about it and they could make their own OS-level changes.I have no idea if that would even be possible for Microsoft to implement, but if they can they'd be able to avoid carrier/OEM delays while still giving them enough control. P.S. Sorry for the super long post.

warpdesign says:

Interesting article !But I don't think comparing the Windows phone updates with Android is a good idea. We all know Android update processus is *chaos* ! So what's the point ? Saying Windows update processus is better than chaos ? Well, I hope so !Actually I don't think comparing it with any other company is a good thing either. But if I had to do such comparison, I would target Apple.Let's talk about the iOS 4.3 update...- March 3, 2011: iOS 4.3 release date for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM), iPod Touch 3G, iPod Touch 4G and iPad: March 11, 2011Here you can note two things: - There is a *precise* release date - The release date targets *phone models* (so no wonder if my phone will receive it: it will, or won't), and not carriers: so it means it will be available simutaneously for all carriers- March 10, 2011: iOS is released. One day ahead of schedule.The update is available to every iOS targeted phone, no matter what carrier (if any),...- March 26, 2011: iOS 4.3.1 is releasedYes: previous update wasn't perfect, and Apple quickly worked on and released a fix. Again, released for everyone.So this post isn't about Apple doing perfect things (they do not, no one does). But they did things *right* about this update.Microsoft didn't. Period.What I'd like is Microsoft to do the right things... and the first time. Being the first Windows phone 7 update doesn't mean you have to blow it. This is a false excuse.Microsoft doesn't need to follow Apple either: they are doing some things right doesn't mean there isn't a better way to do it. Actually I think updates can be done a lot better than what they do. And I hope Microsoft will learn about their mistakes... and FAST! Time is running out. In the mobile ecosystem you have to be fast.There is a lack of reactivity, and there is a lack of communication.

Tim Ferrill says:

I thought about that, but if the WP7-Android comparison is Apples to Oranges, WP7-iPhone is Apples to Bananas. Multiple hardware targets make updates the hardest part of Microsoft's mobile platform.

warpdesign says:

Apple also targets multiple hardware... Oh, and btw Windows also targets miltiple targets, way more than any phone OS. And whenever an update is released, it's released for everyone...

Tim Ferrill says:

But it's all Apple hardware. Not the same as hitting multiple devices from Samsung, multiple from HTC, a couple from LG. And by the way, there are hardware keyboards involved. It's just not the same.

bklynbruiser says:

I don't care what ANYONE says.. Fanboy or Not..... I will NEVER spend my money on another Windows Phone Device!! I have been burned by Microsoft way too much. The HD2 was a like soooo many other Windows Mobile devices.. Great Hardware running garbage software. Microsoft is KNOWN to put something out that THEY KNOW needs more work, promising it will get done.. AND hardly EVER following through. And I am talking as far back as the 5.0 days. When have you ever had a Windows Mobile device that when you agreed to the phone searching for updates, it ever actual found one?? Microsoft dropped software support for the HD2 like a hot potato. And that was within WEEKS of releasing the phone. Thank God for the Hacking community that was Genius enough to allow those of us dumb enough to trust Microsoft to do right by us and buy the HD2, to hack Android onto the device.Enough is Enough Microsoft. You OWE those of us who have time and time again stood by you and your Windows Mobile division TIMELY UPDATES!!(rant over)... Flame away boys and girls..

Tim Ferrill says:

I understand the frustration with the HD2, but I think we've taken a giant leap forward with WP7. Less than six months in and Microsoft has 2 updates pushing to developer hardware. That's leaps and bounds better than Windows Mobile, even with the delays.And another thing. When is software ever NOT a work in progress? There are ALWAYS improvements to be made.

Pinger#WP says:

Nicely written Tim, You hit on all points dead on.. I too am concerned on MS/AT&T laggy attitude on getting updates to us.. Being a long time iPhone/iPad user there is absolutely no comparison between IPhone & WP7 updating, we are talking APPLES & Oranges here, MS has proven they are no where near ready to compete with Apple when it can't even get a small pre-update out successfully.. Please don't let the excuse of different Manufactured phones makes it any harder, MS worked with those companies in testing the NoDo update MONTHS ago, if the glitch was really a problem with Samsung phones they could have easily release it to users with HTC or LG phones.. Not to mention they left cut and paste out on the initial release of WP7, are kidding me?? Hello... WP7 is suppose to be a "SMART phone"... I hate to say it but MS/WP7 is looking pretty pathetic in comparison to Apple/iPhone in EVERY aspect and especially in getting updates to their devices/users, you don't see Apple bowing to the carriers on getting updates out to their devices, simply pathetic... If I knew MS was going to be this unreliable updating my Focus and AT&T was allowed to block updates to my phone I would have stuck with the iPhone... There's no doubt my faith and credibility in WP7 has taken a big hit through this update debacle.