I blame Samsung
So far, there's been no reports of any other manufacturer's handsets having problems. So what has Samsung done differently to all the other OEMs to cause this problem for Microsoft?
Samsung users who held off updating after hearing about the problems last time are being told to hold off again as the fixed fix isn't really fixed at all. This time it seems that owners of the Samsung Omnia 7 are OK as long as they've got 4GB of memory free, but any less than that and the updating process chokes with an error …
You could ask them. Samsung is one o/t worst to obtain something from (lack of support, lack of advancing development, dumping policy).
But coupled with the Bing issue (where Bing is available for all other major players except their own OS's both WinMo as WinPo). This is a major embarrassment. For me I'll NEVER buy a Win phone again. First forcing me into Outlook and years later forcing me to abandon it, doesn't sit well with me.
As soon as i find some good Android-outlook syncing or iPhone-outlook syncing or Symbian-outlook syncing, i'm gone.
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and we are not talking about "loads of diferent machines".
As someone who is in integration testing I can assure you, the simple scenario MS has chosen to use should not take much effort or money and certainly neither are beyond the realms of MS.
Simply no excuse for this other than poor testing.
That's what this MSFT hardware lockdown was meant to be. I thought MSFT would (try to) avoid the upgrade/update problems they previously had with Window Mobile and hence had strict hardware regulations with the first generation of Winphones.
Apparantly it was all for nothing as they STILL have the same problems as they used to with Windows Mobile. Perhaps MSFT should stick with desktop Windows and stay out of everything else.
Yes but isn't this Samsung's only Windows 7 phone?
How can Microsoft not test their updates on all their phones? There's not even an dozen out there. Companies are paying a per handset licence after all so it would be nice to see Microsoft at least making an effort to avoid this common PR disaster.
And anyway why do assume it's Samsung's fault?
Since we don't understand the exact interaction, my response is as valid as yours.
Folks just leap down Microsoft's throat at the least provocation. Sometimes it's deserved. Sometimes it's not. Considering the shenannigans that have been pulled with Android updates (not releasing them for 1+years because they were "re-skinning") through manufacturers and telcos, I think there's enough blame to spread around.
For the moment, though, let's assume that MS DID buy the phone. A contractless phone is trivial to get unless their Procurement department is so red taped that ... erm, well yeah. Anyway, on with the hypothetical scenario. They tested, tested, this didn't happen. They rolled it out, and things went Swedish (bork bork bork!)
So what happened? First thought here is "firmware". A little looking showed that there's apparently several versions out there, perhaps even some that aren't quite "official". For at least one forum it appears... that each telco is doing their own firmware updates (joy).
Yanno what, I'm not gonna point fingers at anybody; ran outta fingers. But I do think there's something to be said for Apple's method, wherein the telco supplies connectivity, and that's it. Shame it doesn't work that way.
I'm pretty sure that the problems are all down to users not following the instructions and information on the screen, and Samsung f-ing around with their firmwares (and bootloaders) in such a way as to cripple their phones and make it as difficult as possible for users to do anything with their devices.
People just want the products to work .. they don't expect them to easily break during an update .. Apple know that .. Microsoft should .. it does not matter if its a Samsung phone its running Microsoft Windows and its the Microsoft brand that gets damaged, so they should care about the user experience if they want people to buy the products.
Could it be they were under pressure to get WP7 out the door that they shipped it with some really simple updater code that they thought would be enough to accept the first update but unfortunately has problems with e.g. Samsung phones, their drivers, or their hardware?
(This is completely unsubstantiated of course.)
Fail for both the author and the commentard who can't figure out the article states "4GB of free memory" which obviously means storage capacity, as 4GB of RAM doesn't exist on a mobile phone (yet). The Author gets a numpty award for publishing a tech article without understanding that storage is not "memory."
Such a shame really that this is becoming a real problem for WP7 as actually it's a very decent offering from MS and some of the best work they have done IMHO; but these stories quite rightly could put people off.
I couldn't be happier with my HTC Mozart but it's showing MS in a bad light, very bad one. And it would be a shame if WP7 was done for by this problem.
It is high time MS with Nokia produced the "winPhone" to compete directly with iPhone and only with one vendor who can completely tie down their specs to avoid this kind of nonsense. MS cannot be blamed really...other than having an OS that requires 4GB of free memory to install! Now that's bloated, otherwise really excellent.
...let me change to Android. Oh crap, I have to wait months for an update, and I risk a virus that roots my phone. I could go for an iPhone instead. Damn. That means a second-rate experience in comparison to Zune, even MORE lock-down and predictive text that tells my mates I'm going to divorce when I wanted to say I'm going to Disney Land.
"I have to wait months for an update"
Well yes, because most phone OS's don't have to keep repeating the same botched one weekly! Plus which manufacturer releases updates more frequently than "months"? iOS? no... Symbiam? well, maybe for the first few months post release.... Blackberry? Don't think so.
"and I risk a virus that roots my phone"
Yes... because windows has an amazing track record of being virus free... plus any app store that doesn't vet the actual source code of each application runs the risk of malicious code, even iOS.
"That means a second-rate experience in comparison to Zune"
*spits coffee at laptop*... I was with you up until the Zune bit... surely you gest?
"and predictive text that tells my mates I'm going to divorce when I wanted to say I'm going to Disney Land"
A grown man could easily be getting divorced if he thinks it's awesome telling his mates he's going to disney land... maybe they are just thinking one step ahead?
[SJ] "...I have to wait months for an update..."
The point here is that even though a later version of Android is available, it takes the operators and manufacturers like a gazillion months to update handsets (if at all).
[LAW] "...because windows has an amazing track record..."
The track record is not great - you're right. That said, I have more faith in Microsoft today than any other commercially available* OS. Their threat modeling and security development lifecycle is impressive, and the current crop of Microsoft products reflect their effectiveness.
[LAW] "...surely you gest..."
Nope, I definitely do not jest (assuming gest is part of some arcane Apple-sanctioned Objective C inheritance model ;-) You've installed both, I assume? And used both (respectively) with a WP7 phone or an iPhone? And noticed some details ...like OTA sync and subscription models?
Can't really argue with your last point. Either way, I'm guessing you're a fanboi, and I, clearly, like WP7. And that's all good.
* I've played with a locked down version of Linux that's used by some shady US government types that is without a doubt the most secure OS I've ever seen. Problem is it's so secure that it's functionally crippled. That old tradeoff (we have usability, cost and security - but can only ever choose two).
Oh go on... just cos I'm bored and about to go to bed. :)
"it takes the operators and manufacturers like a gazillion months to update handsets (if at all)"
But this is the same with any operator/manufacturer/device/anything - once MS get past WP7 SP1/2 then you will too start getting windows phones that will be classed as legacy and no longer updatable to the latest and greatest, and updates coming out for some phones and not others... it's the natural cycle of things. The good news (for me) is, with Android there's a nice custom rom community out there, and providing you can root your phone you will get a few more versions of android before the hardware just can't run them anymore. My wife's HTC Hero is the perfect example.
"Their threat modeling and security development lifecycle is impressive"
As a software developer I'm actually impressed with alot of what MS do, I have friends who work or consult for them too and these guys are at the top of their game. My point was you can't judge an OS by the potential threat of malicious code (unless it is by neglect like refusing to patch something) - but like you've said in your reply, it's a trade-off... I'd say of reliability/security/usability. If Apple/Android/WP7 vetted every line of code for all applications submitted to their marketplace/appstore/whatever then barely anything would be released. I'm confused as to what your point was anyway, your response is arguing in favor of MS because their current set of products are top notch, yet monthly they still have to patch newly discovered exploits for said software - but your original post said this is what puts you off Android... or am I just being dumb and missing your point entirely?
"Nope, I definitely do not jest"
Yeah, it was late and I noticed a few typo's once I'd hit submit.... I wish El Reg has a post-post edit function... but they don't. :(
"Either way, I'm guessing you're a fanboi, and I, clearly, like WP7."
I'm glad you like WP7, but I'm really not a fanboy. I'm a fan of android, but fanboi has an implied stupidity to it. I've had symbian, iOS, Android, other os based phones from various manufacturers - liked them all for different reasons. I have a htc desire, running Oxygen 2.0.1 (gingerbread) - it's not perfect, I get a boot-loop bug every now and then, and marketplace applications constantly updating is somewhat annoying, but android and the htc hardware it runs on has what I want out of a mobile/gadget and I like the user experience. In answer to your question/accusation - I've played with WP7 (it wasn't for me), it was missing several things I'd grown accustomed to like an LED indicator for new messages etc). I owned an iPhone 3g for 14 of the 18 months I was tied to my contract for - eventually ditching it for a htc hero after updates to it kept introducing new bugs (for my phone anyway, I had friends who were unaffected). I also had a Symbian N95 - one of my all-time favorite phones, camera was awesome - but to get updates for it to fix several major bugs I had to void my warranty and re-write the operator code (because TMobile refused to sanction any updates). Also, developing for it was a nightmare and the screen was easily broken. Anyway, my point is I'm potentially the furthest thing from what I think a fanboi is - I'm more of a gadget whore, I'm very disloyal and play the field.... alot... fanbois have blind faith in a product/brand - and death to all none-believers... I just didn't agree with your original points so like all good commentors on here voiced a semi-ranty, sarcastic and typo-ridden reply in the hope that I'd get at least one thumbs up. :)
On that note... its time for bed. G'nite all! *doths cap*
I was given an HTC PDA a couple of weeks ago (it's what the company have standardised around). Initially I was a bit miffed, having had a *dreadful* experience with the original HTC under windows mobile.
Anyway, I've kinda grown to like it ... Windows Phone 7 is a serious piece of software. I've hammered it a bit, and it seems very stable, so I have to give a gold star to MS on this one.
Gold star of FAIL I'd say.
It is after all the lesser featured, more locked down platform and just today MS managed to make it worse by 1) not supporting their own services and 2) not being able to ship an upgrade out of the door successfully two times in a row already.
I find it funny that people say they've been hammering it and it's stable, well how could you? It doesn't have any features that would let you do any serious hammering, except if you mean it literally.
Whatever's next in this entertainment series.... Copy&Paste breaking the web browser would be a nice one.
Technically manufacturers license the phone software from MS and sell the product as a UNIT. It's no different than me buying a library from a 3rd party, pluggingin it into my software or embedded system, not following the requirements of using the library and my unit going nuts. Whose fault is it. Is it the person who sold me the library or is it my responsibility to make sure it all works when I sell the actual unit to a customer? I think if u aren't a hater the answer is obvious.
At the end of the day it's the MANUFACTURERS responsibility to make sure they adhere to said license and requirements and design constraints. Sure it reflects badly on MS but lets get real here where the true responsibility lies and it sure as hell isn't with MS. Samsung are lucky MS is looking for more manufacturers at the moment because chances are if they weren't they'd be pulling the license or threatening to at the very least.
This is a good lesson to avoid samsung phones for the moment at least anyway. Obviously they aren't doing due diligence in their product just yet.
Is this post a rallying point for Microsoft employees is there one bloke with 50 accounts on el reg who likes to dress Microsoft up?
The phone is closed, the software is closed, it's a pointless exercise in wasting economic effort and should be thrown away with blackberry, symbian and ios.
Gee whiz, as I write this, there are two other headlines above:
# Android malware attacks show perils of Google openness
# Locked iPhones still got their ears on
Is there any platform that is perfect? I have one of the Samsung Focus phones with the older ROM so am affected by the update, but that has to make me a member of a very small fraction of WP7 users.
Everyone else making wp7 phones has no problem getting the update but Samsung are the only ones that do. Seems pretty straightforward to me whose at fault. Sorry MS haters..
Samsung has been going downhill of late to be honest. A few years ago when they were trying to get established some good stuff came out but not meh..Problems in the tv arena, problems with fridges, problems with phones etc..Notice a pattern...
Speaking as a Desire Z owner this issue is not exactly relevant here at Arctic fox Hall but for some reason I still prefer debates with some connection to reality/facts. This problem with the latest update to the update is effecting a limited number of one producer's phones and has, at the time of writing, been reported as a problem by 100 customers so far on a world-wide basis. I.e. the proportion of customers with that OS effected are a small fraction of 1% of the total installed base. Anyone got any figures for what's typical for an upgrade for other OSs such that we can compare? In other words do we know of any OS that always updates without ANY customers having issues?