The update process for Windows Phone 7 hasn’t exactly been the buttery-smooth process that Microsoft promised when the new mobile OS made its debut last year. With approval for all updates on carrier-sold devices resting with the operators themselves, and many operators dragging their heels on approving those updates for deployment, what could have been a quick and easy process instead turned into a long and tedious one.
Owners of Samsung WP7 devices suffered more than most with some handsets being bricked by unsuccessful updates, while owners of some Samsung Focus handsets on AT&T still haven’t received a single update, despite three updates having been pushed out to other phones. The problems on the Focus stemmed from Samsung’s decision to ship more than one version of the handset’s firmware; version 1.4 of the firmware suffered unique issues in combination with the Windows Phone OS updates, resulting in the updates being held back from those handsets.
Eric Hautala, General Manager of “Customer Experience Engineering” at Microsoft, announced today on the Windows Phone Blog that AT&T has finally completed its internal testing of the updates; notifications will be pushed to owners of Focus v1.4 handsets in the next few days, letting them know when they’re able to download those updates and install them. There are three updates in total that will be installed in two batches: the first is 7008 (once somewhat optimistically referred to as “the February update”) that updates the phone to prepare it for more updates; the second batch combines both 7390 (aka NoDo, “the March update” or “the copy and paste update”); and 7392, which is essentially a small but important security patch.
With the deployment of these updates to the Focus, the first full wave of Windows Phone 7 updates will finally be complete. Given how long it’s taken Microsoft to deliver these relatively small improvements in the OS to end-users, one can only wonder how long it will take to deploy the much larger and more complex Mango update with its 500 new features, later this year.
Update: Eric Hautala has confirmed that these updates are now being delivered to devices, so if you've got a v1.4 Samsung Focus, look out for an update notification on your phone, and remember that you'll need to connect your handset to your computer in order to download and install those updates.