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Microsoft will send OTA WP7 updates itself

by Scott Bicheno on 10 November 2010, 15:37

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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Control freaks

Some Android phone owners (cough - Sony Ericsson - cough) will read with envy the news that Microsoft will be controlling OTA (over the air) updates to its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system itself.

Tech blog ZDNet forwarded a question from one of its US readers asking what the official position of Microsoft is on WP7 updates. The response was short and to the point: "Microsoft will push Windows Phone 7 software updates to end users and all Windows Phone 7 devices will be eligible for updates."

The situation with Android updates is wildly variable. The Nexus One gets them as soon as they're ready, but for all other Android phones it's the OEM that determines when they're sent out. With Froyo (2.2) HTC seems to have been the quickest, with Samsung a few months after and Motorola still stuck on 2.1. Sony Ericsson has only just got round to 2.1, while Google looks set to ping out 2.3 anytime soon.

Microsoft made the strategic decision when developing WP7 to define quite strict hardware criteria for any phone running the OS. The thinking behind it was to optimise the end-user experience and to simplify the process of developing new versions. No doubt it's trying experiences with Windows on the PC contributed to this decision.

Apple is a law unto itself, so we think WP7's biggest competitor is Android. Notwithstanding the relative merits of each platform, the reassurance of not having to wait for months, or even years, to get the latest version may persuade some people to choose WP7 over Android.

HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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Certainly a nice idea in practise, but I can't see this working to well with operators and their own software. I bet this won't be the case and that operators will restrict the updates.
As a WP7 owner, I'm really happy about this.

I don't think carriers will - or can - restrict the updates, though. The only customisation allowed by either manufacturers or carriers come in the form of apps and the default colour scheme. Microsoft was almost as strict on that as it was on hardware specs, so pushing updates really shouldn't be a problem.
Certainly a nice idea in practise, but I can't see this working to well with operators and their own software. I bet this won't be the case and that operators will restrict the updates.

The way in which software is installed on WP7 should stop this, handset manufacturers and operators are not allowed to customise the OS. IIRC they are only allowed to ship pre-installed apps at most , and much like desktop OS updates (service packs) those apps should work afterwards.
So WP7 is effectively iOS but offered by Microsoft??
That great news! It's the ONLY thing that makes me dislike Android handsets - having to wait for the carrier to catch up - so many releases within one year - even the manufacturers can't keep up!

Not having to rely on either manufacturer or carrier will definately speed things up and taking into account WP7's current market position (i.e. beginner) this will be a definate boon.

Am still waiting on my HTC Mozart - COME ON ORANGE PULL UR FINGER OUT :P

Only two things that dissapoint me now about the WP7 platform:

A)- Lack of being able to install un-published applications (from a work perspective this is going to be a nightmare unless they come up with a device management solution to fit)

B)- I heard you can't plug in a WP7 device into a PC and expect it to act like USB memory stick :( - I hate reliance on other applications to transfer stuff.

I also noted Chassis 1 is the current standard but Chassis 2 is yet to be announced - I hope thats a more business related setup (i.e. no marketplace reliance)