Microsoft confirms some carriers are blocking Windows Phone 7 update

By Tom Warren, on 22nd Feb 11 6:40 pm with 34 Comments

Windows Phone 7 update

Wondering where that elusive first Windows Phone 7 update is for your device? Microsoft has confirmed some carriers are blocking it.

Microsoft is slowly pushing out its first Windows Phone 7 update designed to improve further updates on the platform. The software giant is pushing the updates out in stages to various devices and carriers around the world. Some users may experience delays seeing the update whilst others may see the update immediately. However, others may never see the update according to Microsoft.

An official support person for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 support team confirmed on Tuesday that carriers are able to block the first update. “Some Mobile Operators have the right to skip one update if they wish,” said Diego T of Windows Phone support. “However, they can’t skip the next one, which would be an acumulative update and would include the previous one” he added. Diego says that “if your mobile operator decided to block this one” then you’ll still get the “NoDo” update in early March which will also include the improvements contained in the smaller 7008 update issued on Monday.

The confirmation that carriers are blocking the first Windows Phone 7 update follows on from previous comments by Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore. “If a carrier wants to stop an update, they can. But they will get it out on the next release,” said Belfiore in an interview with Paul Thurrott in November. “Carriers could in fact block updates to sell you a phone. That can happen,” he said. “We don’t expect that to happen. We are not going to push updates onto carrier networks that they have not tested. Microsoft is being very trusting of the carriers here. It’s very different from the situation with Windows Mobile, where every phone was very different and a full test pass was required on every phone. Here, there’s no impact on OEM code, network code, etc. There are upgrades that will require a full test pass. Most will not.”

Microsoft also confirmed on Tuesday that it is looking into reports of issues with Samsung Windows Phone 7 devices post update. “Microsoft is investigating reports related to the Windows Phone update process and will provide additional information and guidance as it becomes available”, said a company spokesperson. The issues stem from a Windows Phone 7 operating system update issued on Monday. The update, more of a patch, was ironically pushed to improve the platform update process. A number of Windows Phone 7 users applied the patch on Monday and some Samsung Omnia owners devices have been left in a “bricked” state. Devices simply instruct users to connect them to a PC, hard resetting the device or connecting it to a PC does not appear to solve the issue. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 support team is recommending users return their phones to stores to get them exchanged.

  • Chex88chex

    How can a carrier block this minor update??

    • http://twitter.com/bkwmiata Brian Washington

      The real question is why would a carrier block this update. Since they just sold these phone to customers 3 months ago why would they even bother since they can’t sell them new phones.

  • GP007

    NOthing new here, we’ve known about this one block limit for a while now. At least MS released this close to the NoDo update so people will just update then if they didn’t get this little bug fix right away.

  • Pedromorgan

    vodafone uk – no update yet.

  • http://twitter.com/TheGeek411 Jd Carey

    AT&T no update here but I am not surprised after all the Galaxy S still is running 2.1 on AT&T love it.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6G3ZZJCHOLYP3S5CRCIHQ7WDSE MVIM

    If I was a carrier and I had the choice to block one update to encourage my customers to buy new devices, I certainly wouldn’t block the one that adds no functionality for the end-user. Moreover, it seems silly anyway since most Windows Phone customers on AT&T and T-Mobile will be under contract until at least November 2012 if not later. Who is going to “upgrade” their Windows Phone now?

  • http://twitter.com/tun32 Tun32

    T-mobile, Nothing here too

    • UNLT

      Same here. T-Mobile yet nothing! This SUCKS

    • Aj Zapata

      Yeah, T-Mobile as well and still have not received any notifications -_-

  • http://twitter.com/Kierankay1 Kieran Kelly

    o2 UK no update yet

  • Anonymous

    I’m a little confused as to what the carriers are allowed to do, are they allowed to skip 1 update all together or are they allowed to skip every other update?

    Also will carriers be allowed to skip major updates like Mango? With new phones coming out around that time carriers would most definitely prefer to skip the software update and sell new hardware

  • http://twitter.com/jgmis Joshua Greene

    Lame…

  • Anonymous

    AT&T No update here..

  • http://twitter.com/StefEBear Stefan R. G.

    Nothing for Telstra in Australia either.

  • Crispin

    vodafone NZ no update yet!

  • http://twitter.com/yardmanflex yardmanflex

    HTC HD7 – T-Mobile US no update.

    • Aj Zapata

      same phone and carrier, no luck in my end.

  • Alanyvr

    Canada – Telus – no update yet!

  • cuco

    had the message 25hours ago. already uodated on my Omnia 7. with no probs…

  • Jows

    No update here in The Netherlands KPN/Simyo

  • http://thommck.wordpress.com Thom McKiernan

    I use “3″ in the UK as my carrier and haven’t received any update notice yet. I’ve got an Omnia7 so I’m not that bothered anyway.
    I was wondering how this update process actually works though as my phone is unlocked and I could put any SIM I like in it (including companies that don’t even sell phones) so why would they have anything to do with the update process? Would I need to put the original SIM in the device to get an update noticed?

    • Anonymous

      I was wondering the same. If thats true then thats really lame. I have an unlocked phone too. what business does any carrier have with my device. And how do I even get updates

    • http://thommck.wordpress.com Thom McKiernan

      Somebody told me on twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/MichaelStolzen/statuses/40353644054319104) that if your device is unlocked you should get updates directly from Microsoft.

  • psge68

    Silly question probably, but why can’t we just download the update over the internet and then send to the phone via Zune. I thought it had to go via Zune anyway, why does it matter how it got to Zune in the first place?

    Also, what about unlocked devices, does the phone have to have original SIMs in for teh update?

  • psge68

    Silly question probably, but why can’t we just download the update over the internet and then send to the phone via Zune. I thought it had to go via Zune anyway, why does it matter how it got to Zune in the first place?

    Also, what about unlocked devices, does the phone have to have original SIMs in for teh update?

    • digitus

      You can’t simply download it and then apply it to your phone through Zune. Yes you can be notified of an update when connected to your Zune or over WiFi or through the phone network but this is controlled intially by Microsoft and ultimately by your carrier. The Zune client cannot act independantly – when you are connected to Zune, it proxies the push notification and then downloads and performs the update which includes backing up your phone to your PC.

      Microsoft has said that unlocked devices should always be able to recieve updates as thse are not under the control of the carriers so you shouldn’t need the original SIM.

  • http://twitter.com/databasejase Jason Coombes

    This statement seems odd:

    Diego says that “if your mobile operator decided to block this one” then you’ll still get the “NoDo” update in early March which will also include the improvements contained in the smaller 7008 update issued on Monday.

    Everything I’ve read says that this 1st update is simply to improve and make the update process more reliable. If that’s the case how can you get the 2nd update without the 1st?

  • http://twitter.com/TheGeekNextDoor Bryan Gilomen

    I do software development, so I have all 3 major platforms. The only one you can actually rely on getting an update as long as you have semi-current hardware is the iPhone. I have to hack my Nexus One to stay truly fresh (as do just about any other android users). The average user is at the whim of carriers for android updates as well as Windows Phone updates. I would much prefer to pay $500 for a phone direct from the handset manufacturer that had no carrier restrictions on it, so it could always get the freshest update of all. Oh wait…that happens with my iPhone.

    I don’t care about cut and paste with this update. I want reliability. I want my phone to not drop out of the market half of the time I go out there and force me to restart just to be able to enter the market again. I bought my Windows Phone about a year and a half too soon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1193308166 Marko Šjor

    I made an video about this updating WIndows phone 7 , if someone is having trouble with it. http://www.nokiawindows.co.cc/windows-phone-update-february-21/

  • Patricsio

    True that carrier reserves the right to block any updates but let’s face it… Where are the customer’s right to get what they want when they had to pay for the phone and the service? If the carrier was not ready to fully support the phone they should not have signed up for it. The competition goes on…

  • Mykv

    I smell a class action law suit…

  • Andrew

    AT&T Quantum, no update. :(

  • DaveG

    I think the reason MS released this little featureless update was to trick carriers. Think about it: MS doesn’t want them to block the first feature update (NoDo), so by sending this little update out (and letting the carriers block it), then they’re not allowed to block the real one that MS wants to send out (remember – they’re only allowed to block every second release). Smart move by MS I think – surprised noone has twigged onto it…

    • SarahAlli

      I thought the same thing but really… carriers aren’t that dumb.
      I originally thought that it meant in the long run that MS can force carriers to release big updates. By releasing a minor update a week or so after the big update, they can ensure that everyone gets the big update at relatively the same time.

      By the way, right now carriers don’t stand to benefit from withholding updates. It won’t be until a new generation of WP7 devices are released that they have any real reason to withhold updates. Right now, US carriers’ decision to block updates should theoretically be for testing purposes only- and in light of the Samsung debacle that decision seems prescient. AT&T’s WP7 flagship Samsung Focus would have taken a major hit if that update had been pushed out.