Microsoft details WP8 update program for enthusiast users

Windows Phone 7 was a game changer for Microsoft. Universally positive reviews were met with acceptable sales for a new(ish) platform. Hardware support was good and the major carriers generally tended to offer at least one Windows Phone 7 device.

However getting updates to the handset, while not difficult, was an exercise in itself; most users had to wait until the carriers had tested the updates with the devices they offered before releasing the updates to the masses.

The Mango update was a good example of a staggered launch, with some carriers offering it before others. Although as we reported on at the time, there was a way to get it once Microsoft made it available.

Now it looks like this is about to change.

Microsoft has decided to change the update process for Windows Phone. All updates will be provided over the air, devices will be support for a minimum of 18 months and registered enthusiast users will get early access to updates “before broad consumer push”

A lot like the “CAB Method”, you will basically be patching the phones current OS with the updated files, much like when manually downloading and installing a Window update. The new program should be a much simpler process than the CAB Method (an example of which can be seen here), which could prove problematic for less tech savvy users.

None of this has been verified by Microsoft, but it stands to reason that the update process will be improved and tweaked with the introduction of the new Windows Phone 8 devices.

Details are limited, but Windows Phone Italy claim to have some insider information:

  • Only Windows Phone 8.x devices will be supported
  • You will need to use a Microsoft Account to access the updates
  • Users will get the updates before the carrier releases them
  • You manually download the updates (pull, not push)

The video below of Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Phone Division, confirmed that updates will be offered to users before carrier.

So now all we can do is wait. Microsoft is still holding a lot of the Windows Phone 8 cards close to their chest and with them not confirming any details regarding the update program we can for the moment only speculate on who can register and when they can do it.

Source: Windows Phone Italy via WPCentral
Images: Venturebeat and Engadget

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36 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Microsoft basically announced all of this when they first showed off WP8 - there's not much new information here anyway.

efjay said,
So where's the official Microsoft statement giving details, as the article claims?

Watch the video in the article. It is an official video.

Shane Nokes said,

Watch the video in the article. It is an official video.

And this is the reason why the title of the article is misleading.....

n_K said,
18 months? That's less than apple with their pretty lame 24 month update policy.

That's at least 18 months. Most cell phone providers in the US have policies in place that allow you to upgrade at 18-24 months.

So this covers the usual lifetime of the devices.

n_K said,
18 months? That's less than apple with their pretty lame 24 month update policy.

Apple has only their own devices to support, to compare the two update policies is ludicrous. If Microsoft was going to be the sole supplier of all WP8 devices, then that comparison could be made.

Shadier said,

Apple has only their own devices to support, to compare the two update policies is ludicrous. If Microsoft was going to be the sole supplier of all WP8 devices, then that comparison could be made.

On the other hand, Microsoft manages to support and update thousands of Windows devices through Windows Update - the only thing that needs to be done is manufacturers to make sure their drivers work - and those drivers rarely stop working properly after a Windows Update. It should be possible to bring that same kind of process to the phone, with enough work.

Meph said,
And this way of updating won't void the warranty, right?

It probably will, that's the hitch I bet, but most people force updates on WP7 or flash some ROM on it and so on, I bet those void the warranty in some fashion.

I'll definitely want in on this. Hate the wait between the release and me getting the notification. Hope they don't charge for the privilege :-)

mog0 said,
I'll definitely want in on this. Hate the wait between the release and me getting the notification. Hope they don't charge for the privilege :-)

Doesnt sound like they will, which would be awesome. It is probably named for "enthusiasts" as normal users may think doing that would cause problems because it isnt being pushed by the carrier. Either way I like the idea

I'll definitely want in on this. Hate the wait between the release and me getting the notification. Hope they don't charge for the privilege :-)

Huh? The whole point of OTA is to BYPASS the carrier. So what kind of sense does it make to get an update BEFORE the carrier? It should never be involved.

bviktor said,
Huh? The whole point of OTA is to BYPASS the carrier. So what kind of sense does it make to get an update BEFORE the carrier? It should never be involved.

Carriers will still be involved in the update process. OTA doesn't cut them out entirely...

bviktor said,
Huh? The whole point of OTA is to BYPASS the carrier.

No.
The whole point of OTA is to get devices upgraded where the owner doesn't own a computer.

bviktor said,
Huh? The whole point of OTA is to BYPASS the carrier. So what kind of sense does it make to get an update BEFORE the carrier? It should never be involved.

OTA just means over-the-air, as in not plugged into a computer.

Android handsets have OTA updates, and they're most definitely pushed out by the carriers, not the vendors. Nexus devices may be another story, however.

ahhell said,
No it's not. Nowhere in the title does it mention or imply that WP7 phones will be upgradeable to WP8.

First thing I thought of was "Ace, upgrading my phone to WP8 is going to be possible after all". How disappointing.

Dot Matrix said,
Misleading title is misleading. Here I thought I could upgrade my Titan II.

Unless they changed the title, I don't see how it is that misleading... :-/

M_Lyons10 said,

Unless they changed the title, I don't see how it is that misleading... :-/


The title of the article is misleading because it seems that the news are from MS and they are not...
Title:
"Microsoft details......... etc. etc."

In reality the article is based on what an Italian site says and in fact reading the article you will see:
"None of this has been verified by Microsoft, but it stands to reason that the update process will be improved and tweaked with the introduction of the new Windows Phone 8 devices."

So yes the article is misleading.

Having access to updates before carriers release them is a great option to have. Count me in on that program

ajua said,
Having access to updates before carriers release them is a great option to have. Count me in on that program

Of course it will probably void your warranty or allow the carrier's customer service staff to spit in your face or something ridiculous like that.

ajua said,
Having access to updates before carriers release them is a great option to have. Count me in on that program

Agreed. Same here.

Muhammad Farrukh said,
18 months is a good thing. Although 24, at this point, would've been pretty awesome

I agree - most smartphone contracts I've seen these days last for 2 years rather than the 12 or 18 months of the past.

Muhammad Farrukh said,
18 months is a good thing. Although 24, at this point, would've been pretty awesome

I'm sure you guys will survive without updates for at most 6 months. It says minimum and if they can roll it out, they will hopefully

DHAP said,

I agree - most smartphone contracts I've seen these days last for 2 years rather than the 12 or 18 months of the past.
Try 3 years in Canada

Muhammad Farrukh said,
18 months is a good thing. Although 24, at this point, would've been pretty awesome

Most likely this was to allow them to continue taking advantage of technological advancements... They will, I'm sure, support devices longer if they can. And also, you should check your contract. A lot of carriers, even with 2 year contracts, allow device upgrades at 18 months...

Muhammad Farrukh said,
18 months is a good thing. Although 24, at this point, would've been pretty awesome

Most likely this was to allow them to continue taking advantage of technological advancements... They will, I'm sure, support devices longer if they can. And also, you should check your contract. A lot of carriers, even with 2 year contracts, allow device upgrades at 18 months...