Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

Summary: Microsoft is rolling out the promised NoDo Windows Phone 7 update as promised in early 2011, yet many of us are talking it up like it is a major problem that is way behind schedule.

SHARE:

After reading Ed Bott blame AT&T and James Kendrick blame Microsoft I wanted to ask the first basic question about the Windows Phone 7 update, "Is there a real problem here or is this more of a perceived issue that only those in the press even care about?" It looks like Microsoft is right on track for its promised "early 2011" release of the update and you can't beat the exponential growth in Marketplace applications with Microsoft reaching 10,000 apps faster than any other platform to date.

As regular readers know, I have been using Windows Phone 7 since last July and my T-Mobile SIM primarily remains in either an HTC HD7 or a Dell Venue Pro. The operating system is so good and functional that the lack of copy/paste, true multi-tasking (there is multi-tasking with native apps), tethering, and some other advanced features has very little impact on my smartphone usage and I consider myself a fairly serious smartphone user. I don't think "regular" people are having many issues with Windows Phone 7 and likely do not even know about any upcoming update.

Last fall when Windows Phone 7 devices were released Microsoft's Andy Lees stated that an update with copy and paste would be coming in "early 2011". We later heard rumors of a January, then February release of the update, but there was nothing official from Microsoft about these releases. Official word of the release was March and as we know the Sprint HTC Arrive launched with the update, the AT&T HD7S will launch with it, and it is rolling out to non-carrier devices in Europe. So here we are in March, which I think we can all safely agree is indeed early 2011, and the update is rolling out. Are we all overhyping the apparent lack of responsiveness by Microsoft when there really is very little to be concerned with?

I admit to being a bit frustrated with the lack of status of my updates, but Microsoft just released a lookup site to at least provide some information and for now that satisfies me. My Dell Venue Pro and HD7 are still fantastic Windows Phone 7 devices and the upcoming update just enhances the experience while nothing has changed to take away from the experience I paid for and understood was in place when I purchased my phones.

After reading the Windows Phone Blog it sounds like Microsoft is a bit frustrated too and they would love to have the update out sooner rather than later. However, due to the nature of Windows Phone 7 with a large number of manufacturers and carriers involved the update process can never be as simple as the iPhone where Apple has a single device lineup and controls the carriers.

Is there really an issue here or am I giving Microsoft too much credit?

UPDATE: Tim Ferrill posted a great article over on WPCentral that shows a timeline comparison between the NoDo update and Froyo release. As Tim shows, it took a couple days longer from the official announcement of Froyo to get it on Android devices than it took Microsoft with NoDo so it seems the update status is getting a bit overstated and dramatized, likely because people roll that way with Microsoft. As I said too, we agree that a comparison to Apple is not a valid one since there is a vast difference in how the hardware and software is managed between Microsoft and Apple.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Smartphones, Software, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

108 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

    Yes, the WP7 NoDo is completely out o f proportion. Ed Bott at least will use a WP7 device. James Kendrick has shown his bias against Microsoft. Basically for him if its not Apple or android then the device couldn't possibly be any good.

    There is no issue and you are not giving Microsoft too much credit. I believe they are doing everything in their power to make the patch rollout go as smooth as possible. It seems like the carriers are the ones sitting on the patches and have no care in the world for them. The patches are there, just need testing and deployment. All the WP7 are willing to wait to get this patch, rather wait and have it done right than have a patch that may damage the phone. Basically this is more media frenzy than anything else.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

      @Loverock Davidson What's the deal? There are usually hundred sof Apple-philes and MS-phones trashing you by now. Maybe ZDNet could add a little "Loverock Posted Here" icon to attract attention. <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink">
      Bill4
    • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

      @Loverock Davidson
      Be careful, Loverock Davidson. The trolls will come and attack you post very soon.
      illegaloperation
    • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

      @Loverock Davidson Nah, not going to troll him. Windows Phone 7 took an interface they thought would appeal to the largest base and locked it down to all their own services. If you fall in the group of users they targeted and don't mind big brother, great. If I remember Loverock posted previously he doesn't actually have WP7. But, I have no doubt he is exactly the type of person Microsoft is trying to keep. I'm not, many of us are not. I could write my own article about all the reasons...but suffice it to say I believe those that use iPhone or Android and like it will not soon become WP7 users (ever)...some WP7 users like it or not, will become Android or iPhone users out of necessity, paranoia, the need for cut and paste, multitasking, or the ability to tether. I believe few of those will switch back either...
      Socratesfoot
      • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

        @Socratesfoot .... erm ... how EXACTLY did Microsoft lock-down the WinPhone interface to their own services when:<br><br><ol><br><li>The WinPhone UI integrates very smoothly with Facebook today</li><br><li>The WinPhone UI will integrate very smoothly with Twitter this fall</li><br><li>There is (already) a huge marketplace of apps offering alternative user experiences for Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and most other apps you can think of</li><br></ol><br><br>While it is more than a little frustrating to have the carriers too lax in their testing procedures, both MS and the carriers are learning a lot about how and how not to release updates in the future. Hopefully, the issues thus far will help grease the path for Mango and result in it being a far smoother delivery than NoDo has thus far been.
        bitcrazed
      • As about as overblown as the iPhone antenna issue

        @Socratesfoot
        I think its much more accurate to say that [i]some iPhone or Android users, like it or not, will become WP7. I believe few of those will switch back either... [/i]
        I just wanted to correct the mistakes I yhink you made.
        John Zern
      • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

        @Socratesfoot I assume you, as most bashers, speak mostly out of ignorance. How exactly is the WP7 phone locked down? Compared for example to the iPhone, where Apple ruthlessly polices not only which apps you run, but the data those apps are allowed access (eBooks anyone?).

        I own a 3GS, an Android tabled and a WP7 device. Much to my surprise, the WP7 device has quickly become my primary device simply because it is superior to the other two. Particularly UI, but compared to the iPhone, also connectivity.
        terjeb@...
    • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

      @Loverock Davidson

      The issue here is that if they weren't ready to put out an update (that fried some peoples phones) they never should've put it out there to begin with. I personally have gotten along with out the copy/paste feature.....However, it looks REALLY bad for a professional software company such as Microsoft to make a series of blunders such as this and then write it off as no big deal to their consumers. It would have looked a whole lot better for them to make sure their QC was on track and fully vetted before putting out a patch that would never come to fruition. Is the patch being overblown? Perhaps. But in the business world where reputation drives your products' future to the consumer, then no, it's not. Like a parent with kids, "Don't promise something and then take it away before giving it to them. If you don't want them whining about why they don't have it, don't put it out there for them to want, and they'll not be so demanding for it.".
      richardanelson000
      • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

        @richardanelson000
        From what I've understood. Samsung made some no-no customizations to the ROMs of certain models that interfered with the update process. Those particular roms must not have been part of the testing, sinced it wasn't caught before the update rolled out.
        floopydoodle
    • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

      @Loverock Davidson

      I don't see the delay in the update as any big deal. Given Microsoft's habit of slipping delivery dates, why would anyone expect any less from them?

      As for the carriers sitting on the update? Given the number of reports of updates bricking phones, they just might have a reason for paranoia. After all, the phone's owner is not going to go to Microsoft and scream, they'll be going back to the carrier to scream, demand a new phone, the clerk's left ovary and/or testicle, etc.
      DNSB
      • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

        @DNSB
        Good job, that was the most well thought out response so far.
        My question is this, if Microsoft can roll out patches for Windows (which has at least 1,000 times the user base), why can?t they roll out this patch?

        Another thought: Maybe the OEMs and Carriers are treading very cautiously, having seen the Plays For Sure drama, maybe they don?t want to go through that again?
        Rick_K
      • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

        @Rick_K - because the smartphone marketplace is a far more difficult place in which to operate.

        While the current batch of WinPhone handsets are built around a fairly common set of hardware, each OEM can <b>and has</b> modified the firmware and/or drivers for each of their handsets. The OEM's must also often modify their firmware and/or drivers for each carrier.

        Each carrier also customizes the software on each of the phones they carry.

        This results in a big and complex testing matrix in which many subtle issues may arise.

        Now compound this with most carriers requiring phones to pass their device certification test suite before they're allowed to connect to the network. In order to certify said devices and/or OS', the OS must be tested on each device by each carrier.

        This is an even bigger and more complex test matrix to schedule and coordinate with several tens of carriers around the world offering 1-3 WinPhone devices each from different OEM's ... each with their own customizations and oddities.

        While Microsoft COULD have shipped the update and said to hell with the carriers, they'd be stupid to do so. If they were to annoy the carriers like this, then the carriers could just block any updated handsets from connecting to their network and could quite easily and entirely withdraw WinPhone products from their retail channels and networks.

        So:
        1) Be careful what you wish for
        2) Give MS a chance here - they're a fledgeling team doing something very new which requires some learning - both for Microsoft but also for OEM's and carriers.
        bitcrazed
      • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

        <a href="http://cupu.web.id/deal-special-dari-kriskros-com/">Deal Special dari KrisKros.com</a>
        <a href="http://www.seo.corsva.com/">Deal Special dari KrisKros.com</a>
        <a href="http://www.seoweblog.net/deal-special-dari-kriskros-com/">Deal Special dari KrisKros.com</a>
        upinson
    • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

      @Loverock Davidson Watch the channel 9 video of the laughing clown and then come back here with your silliness.
      Graham Ellison
    • The Windows Phone 7 Disaster

      Look at the long list of features that Android's Froyo update brought.

      Android's update brought Tethering, turn your phone into a wireless hotspot, Flash 10.1, hardware compass access to the browser, app manager to run apps off the SD card, plus lots more.

      Windows Phone 7 update? It only gives Copy & Paste.

      Microsoft is way behind in mobile, and falling further behind. Matthew, it is surprising that you are trying to excuse Microsoft for its platform development tardiness.
      Vbitrate
      • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

        @zndac <br><br>It also adds CDMA support. Albeit that doesn't help existing customers, but that is a big feature for the platform that opens it up to two more carriers. Then there are performance fixes and Marketplace updates to improve search. There are some other things too if I remember correctly, but certainly it is not the case that it "only gives Copy & Paste".
        luxsphinx@...
      • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

        @zndac <br>Did you forget the huge performance the update bough? To this day, Android is very laggy compare to Windows Phone 7 on the same hardware.

        Oh, I forget. Troll doesn't even know.
        illegaloperation
      • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

        @zndac
        Talk about uninformed. Copy & paste is just one small part of the the update that whiners wanted from first release. C&P is so overrated and hardly anything to worry about. People tend to forget that Apple took 4 years for that feature and they only had one version of phone hardware to make that happen! The other 9 tweaks in NoDo in addition to CDMA support is hardly mentioned and I find it odd no one has taken a closer look into the final build. The performance enhancements alone are worth the wait!
        The problem with the hype of updates is with Microsoft's definition to updating the phone's os. They are treating their phone updates like they treat updates to their windows os. Minor tweaks and improvements. If you want to compare android with WP7 when it comes to updates, then people need to realize the current Nodo update puts WP7 at the stage where Android was running at 1.2. Froyo is in fact a totally different os from what Android started out to be and I see WP7 with NoDo as still a 1.2 device! For a 1.2 device, it's way more stable than any version of Android and doesn't need a dual core processor and special gpu just to run smoothly without lag!
        Riopato
      • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

        @zndac
        You as an Android user say that Google had LONG list of updates to add to the phone with Froyo... yet where was all the complaints about Google not shipping this from the beginning with the Adroid software like we are seeing with all the "complaints" with Msoft not including something as trivial as copy and paste? I have Windows Phone 7 and it's awesome, and I'm not complaining about not having copy and paste, or tethering or any of those features that you mentioned that possibly are not included with the phone yet. Why? Because it's an awesome phone, not some cheap Apple iOS rip-off that you enjoy so much. The reality is, it's not the WinPhone 7 users that are complaining about anything, it's the one's who don't use WinPhone 7 that are making such a big deal over nothing like a bunch of little babies. Keep your stupid Android phone, get married to it since you're so in love with it.
        charlesdjones1
      • RE: Is the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update getting blown out of proportion?

        @zndac
        Ditto! Think you hit it right on. At first I was excited to get NoDo, then realized that it just wasn't much. Supposedly the "real" update will be mango, coming out later this year. What?! Later this year?! PS-NoDo is on my phone now. Yes, copy and paste is there. Other than that and marketplace search enhancement, don't see a whole lot. Now to be fair, I've only had it on for a day.
        Someone else said that MS locked down the phone and someone else said that MS didn't. May I clarify. MS did lock the phone down in the ability to customize as you wish. In other words the only customization allowed by MS is thru the marketplace. Sideloading of apps is possible, but unlike before, now you must "jailbreak" the phone.
        hawaiiskies22@...