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.