The hits keep on coming. Just as it looked like Microsoft had finally got to grips with the rollout of its copy-and-paste update, codenamed NoDo, for Windows Phone 7, it appears that the company has stumbled once more. It appears that Microsoft has halted delivery of the update to certain Samsung handsets, and not for the first time.
The claims are being made in the comments on a post on Microsoft's official Windows Phone blog. Owners of Samsung's Omnia 7 were complaining that their phones were not being offered the update. Microsoft then confirmed that it had halted delivery of updates to the Omnia 7. Similar allegations were made about the Samsung Focus, with company representatives saying that they would look into the problem.
As well as highlighting continued technical difficulties faced by the fledgling operating system, news of the new delay is more evidence of the company's continuing communication failures. The issue with the Omnia 7 was first noticed in early April, and yet official word that the update was no longer being offered only came last Thursday. This delay in confirmation came in spite of the company making weekly blog posts about the updates and creating Web pages to tell users when updates would be available. Neither those weekly blog posts nor the update Web pages included the information about the Omnia 7, and the Web pages continue to claim that the phones in question are eligible for updates.
At the moment, there is no word on what the problem is, when it will be resolved, or what it means for existing handset owners that have already upgraded. At last month's MIX11 conference, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Phone Program Joe Belfiore did apologize for the problems with the updates, and without naming names or providing any specific information, explained why some of the earlier failed update issues occurred. Some phones had been shipped with a configuration that was only meant to be used in development and testing, and this configuration wasn't handled properly by the updater.
Given that it's Samsung phones that are, yet again, suffering with update difficulties, it's tempting to point the finger at the manufacturer. The company regularly alters the firmware of phones coming off the manufacturing line, and so there's definitely a possibility that it has broken something. There is some speculation that a point revision for the Focus is the reason for its delayed updates, with claims being made that hardware version 1.3 is being updated and version 1.4 is not. However, Samsung isn't the company that authorizes updates, and Samsung isn't the company that delivers them. That burden falls on Microsoft, and as such, it is Microsoft's responsibility to ensure that any interruptions and alterations to the update process are clearly communicated.
A proactive stance that put end-users ahead of carriers and manufacturers by informing users of the update delay as soon as it happened, and provided them with a similar high-level explanation to that which Joe Belfiore provided, would greatly improve perception of the platform. Problems are unfortunate, but they're