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Microsoft reveals what went wrong and right on Windows Phone 7 update

John Cox | Feb. 28, 2011
Two days after it Windows Phone 7 users began reporting problems due to a "relatively small" firmware update, Microsoft has revealed some of the causes for what went wrong, and right, in the process. Samsung phone users have to wait a bit longer.

FRAMINGHAM, 24 FEBRUARY 2011- Two days after the first Windows Phone 7 update become available, and problems began surfacing for some users, Microsoft has released some details about why.ine of 10 Windows Phone users who were notified that the firmware update was ready installed it with no problem, according to Microsoft (MSFT). For half of those who did, the two most common culprits were a bad Internet connection or not enough backup space on their PC.

A "small number" of users were affected by a "technical issue with the Windows Phone update process" that for some reason affected some Samsung phones. Microsoft still has not explained why or how. In its first public assessment of its first firmware update, and the first since the update became available two days ago, the company says it is "working to correct the problem as quickly as possible." Until then, the update remains suspended for Samsung phones, but not for other brands, such as HTC and LG.

The details were revealed in a post late yesterday on the Windows Phone Blog by Michael Stroh, a technical writer now with the Windows Phone group. He joined Microsoft in 2007, after a decade of writing on science and technology for a range of publications, including Popular Science and The Los Angeles Times.

Stroh leads off with a narrative technique known as "in media res," Latin for "in the middle of things," creating the setting: "It's been roughly 48 hours since we hit the send button on our first Windows Phone software update. The rooms around me are buzzing with folks monitoring the rollout, sifting carefully through incoming phone health data (from customers who provide it) and pouring [sic] over the anecdotal update reports you've been posting around the web."

Stroh strikes an upbeat tone. "Contrary to some of the gloomy headlines out there, our preliminary internal data paint a very different picture about update progress...." Ninety-percent of those who received the 'update available' alert had no problems; and 50% of those that did either had a flakey Internet connection, or didn't have enough disk space on their PC. For updates through Microsoft's online Zune store, the Windows Phone handset is cabled to the PC, and then creates a backup on the PC's hard drive of all data on the phone.

He uses rhetorical questions to contrast the "gloomy headlines" with a dose of realism. "Has the update process gone perfectly? No — but few large-scale software updates ever do, and the engineering team here was prepared."

 

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