10 percent of Windows Phone 7 update installations failed

10 percent of Windows Phone 7 update installations failed

Summary: Microsoft has admitted that things haven't gone very smoothly as far as its first Windows Phone 7 platform update is concerned, with as many as 10% of installations failing to install correctly.

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Microsoft has admitted that things haven't gone very smoothly as far as its first Windows Phone 7 platform update is concerned, with as many as 10% of installations failing to install correctly.

Michael Stroh, writing on the Windows Team Blog, had the following to say:

Contrary to some of the gloomy headlines out there, our preliminary internal data paint a very different picture about update progress:

  • 90 percent of people who’ve received an update notification have installed the new software patch successfully. (So when your turn to download it arrives, chances are good this will be a non-event.)
  • Of the 10 percent who did experience a problem, nearly half failed for two basic reasons—a bad Internet connection or insufficient computer storage space. Luckily, both are easy to fix.

Putting the gloomy headlines bit aside (I think I might have written a few gloomy ones), Microsoft here admits that 10% of Windows Phone 7 updates failed. That makes a pretty gloomy headline of its own (see above).

10% - That's an awfully big number. In fact, it's a shocking failure rate. Not only that, it's very bad for the brand that 10% of WP7 early adopters have seen errors on the very first update.

Of that 10%, nearly half are down to two very basic issues - dodgy Internet connections and insufficient free space on the computer. This raises a few concerns for me. For example:

  • Why doesn't Microsoft's Zune software inform users that there's insufficient disk space before attempting the install?
  • How much free disk space does a WP7 update require if so many people are affected by it?
  • Doesn't the Zune software feature a download manager to counteract any problems caused by a bad Internet connection?

These failures are so basic that I would have expected the Zune software to anticipate them in advance, and handle them gracefully. If nothing else, this update has proves how fragile the Zune software is when it comes to handling critical updates, and clearly shows that the software needs to be improved significantly before Microsoft starts pushing more updates down to users.

OK, so nearly half of that 10% failure rate is down to two named variables - what about the other half? What are these failures down to? Are these all bricked Samsung's? We don't know. We don't know because Stroh goes on to offer a faux Q&A which only barely touches on the bricked Samsung issue before going on to cover unrelated issues.

Microsoft, you could have, and should have, handled this first update to your flagship mobile platform a lot better. You've already got a lot of catching up to do, so stumbles like this really don't help.

How do you think Microsoft has handled the whole WP7 update issue?

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

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66 comments
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  • iPhone updates

    I had a client who did the 4.2 update on his iPhone 4. His PC disconnected from the internet half way through the update and his phone was toast. It wouldn't restore off the PC he was doing the update on. He had to go home and restore an older backup from his home iTunes.

    Not saying that the failure is excusable, but let's not act like Microsoft made a mistake while the other OS'es are perfect. I know a few people who got the 2.2 OTA update on their Droid and had it cause massive problems, e-mail stopped working, contacts got whacked and merged, etc. Although none of them are quite as bad as the phone being totally bricked. But we still don't know what percentage that really is.
    LiquidLearner
    • RE: 10% of Windows Phone 7 update installations failed

      @LiquidLearner

      Correct. I mentioned iOS in the other posts. It seems people quickly forget others undoings when Microsoft has a misstep.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Quick, change the topic to the iphone...

        @Cylon Centurion 0005
        [i]It seems people quickly forget others undoings when Microsoft has a misstep.[/i]
        How dare he not blame the iPhone for Microsoft's update issues! How dare he!
        Tigertank
      • If 10% of iPhones failed for an update...

        we'd have every blogger on ZDNet writing about it for weeks.

        Stop apologising for MS, you should be demanding quality improvements.
        Richard Flude
      • RE: 10% of Windows Phone 7 update installations failed

        (...) you should be demanding quality improvements.

        Richard Flude
        ************************************

        OK.... I demand that you stop iTrolling Microsoft related articles and leave, taking your fellow iTrolls with you. That would be a great improvement.
        Hallowed are the Ori
    • RE: 10% of Windows Phone 7 update installations failed

      @LiquidLearner:

      So a 0.0001% (probably less) failure rate risk for iOS updates, versus 10% for WP7.

      Gee... which one would I choose again? Oh, wait - all the windows fanboys all say that I should always choose the obviously more brick/problem-prone of the two, because it has their ideologically correct logo on it.

      Do you fanboys even *think* before you post?
      Random_Walk
    • Sorry. Not buying it. The update doesn't occur

      until the update firmware is fully downloaded from the internet. Once the update begins, whether or not your computer is connected to the internet is totally irrelevant.
      fr_gough
      • That is my question...

        @frgough@...
        Reading it above and the reason for the failure, it appears that they are actually streaming the firmware from the servers to the ROM in real time. Otherwise, flaky internet would be a non issue as you say.

        TripleII
        TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
      • RE: 10% of Windows Phone 7 update installations failed

        @TripleII - ITunes fully downloads the update before it attempts to update the device, there is no streaming. I agree with frgough@... - the story of the iPhone bricking is fishy (not to mention anecdotal).
        rbgaynor
      • So for a flaky internet connection to matter...

        @frgough<br>Maybe the download was incomplete or corrupt, but it didn't verify its own checksum before trying to apply itself?<br><br>This (hypothetical) scenario <i>would</i> allow a flaky internet connection to brick a phone, but would again indicate a procedural failing on the provider's part.

        And MS <i>is</i> blaming the quality of the internet connection.
        Zogg
    • Comprehension problems? ;-)

      @LiquidLearner
      - The article is about WP7
      - The article is about the WP7 that is going to go on Nokia en masse
      - The article is about "nobody is perfect" but to position WP7 well MS should bring the chances of such hiccup to 0.01% or less if it wants more people on board with WP7.

      Now, how is saying that iPhone & Android had hiccups as well helps?
      No data/references provided on that. Was it a 20% or 5% failure on the mentioned platforms or was it higher?

      Why don't you mention desktop OSs as well then? You remember how many times Windows updates screwed desktops/servers?

      Bottom line - finger pointing is not the best argument. ;-)
      Solid Water
    • RE: 10% of Windows Phone 7 update installations failed

      @Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

      Adrian stop acting like your precious crApple never has any problems.
      I HAVE A SAMSUNG FOCUS AND MY PHONE IS NOT BRICKED.
      It is the best phone I have ever used and I have used iphones, droid phones, blackberry's, WM phones, but I haven't used a webos phone.

      You haters are foaming at the mouth, anything at all to bash MS and you are going to do it. You all fail to mention how awesome the OS is and how much better it is than anything else out there. But are so quick to jump on the smallest bit of negative news out there that you can say - see look how junky the new windows phone 7 is, see I told you. But guess what, I hate to break your bubble, but it ain't gonna happen. This is a VERY MINOR stepping stone to get past in the grad scheme of things. When its all said and done, WP will be the crown jewel of smartphone OS choice. Just typical reporting thats all. Reminds me of how MSNBC covers the King Obama regime (Apple in this case). They act like it is the best thing ever, even though it is actually the worst. When it does something good which is very rare, they can't stop talking about it. But when it often does something bad, they make it sound like it's no big deal....
      On the other hand, when MSNBC reports on W Bush administration (Microsoft in this case), everything was their fault and they didn't do anything correct.

      HUGE DOUBLE STANDARD.
      mikroland
      • Wow, decaf time?

        @mikroland
        I re-read the article. MS stating that 10% failure rate is not news and MS bashing? Is this statement true or false?
        [B]Microsoft, you could have, and should have, handled this first update to your flagship mobile platform a lot better.[/B]

        Now, is it really a minor stepping stone? They are trying to break into an extremely competitive market. At this point, perception is critical to it's success.

        Now, point me to where, in the article, Adrian is an MS hater, extols the virtues of Apple (surprisingly, replace MS with Apple and your comment is seen often as Adrian is called an Apple hater).

        And bringing politics into the discussion...

        Anyway, this looks really really bad for a new device wanting to break into the market. And for the record, I do hope WP7 becomes a player. Apple via Jobs are control freaks, Google, well, the SMS problem still unresolved and some other actions (included apparent bloat in 3.0) means we need another player, but seriously, 10% (or 5%) upgrade failure, MS has to take the lumps for this one.

        TripleII
        TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
      • mikroland, understand its his job to twist stuff

        @mikroland
        if they didn't who would come here and post?
        John Zern
      • Adrian's job? Hardly!

        @John Zern
        <b>Everyone</b> seems to claim that Adrian is biased, when he is actually just posting something in opposition to their particular viewpoint.

        That should be blatantly obvious to anyone who has read Adrian's blog as much as both you and I seem to have done.

        So seeing you claim that "twisting stuff" is Adrian's "job" is nothing short of despicable. What's <b>your</b> job, BTW?
        Zogg
    • And you never will.

      @LiquidLearner
      Apple is more then happy to go out of their way to tell us how many phones they sold, but are silent as a church mouse when a problem occurs. they even go so far as to erase any mention of problems on their own forums.

      Google on the other had probally has no real idea as once the manufacturers get it, they do as they please so it might be tough to gather such information from so many different sources and phones.
      Will Farrell
  • RE: 10% of Windows Phone 7 update installations failed

    Wow another Microsoft is doomed article from AKH. I must bring myself to correct you each and every time though. 10% is not gloomy at all, its a pretty low number and that Microsoft should be glad that only 10% failed instead of anything higher. But since you want to play the numbers game its really 95% that didn't have issues because 10% did, but only half of that which is 5% had issues because of their own doings and through no fault of Microsoft. So that just raised successful rates up and failure rates down. You seem to want to blame this user error on Microsoft, its not going to happen. You also seem to think that Microsoft should have every issue fixed, even the unimaginable ones. Again, not going to happen.

    [i](I think I might have wriite a few gloomy ones)[/i]
    You do each and every time you write one of your click bait articles. How about you invest in a spell checker instead?
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: 10% of Windows Phone 7 update installations failed

      @Loverock Davidson<br>And in that 10% majority had internet connectivity or computer storage issues. Only a minor number (of course it shouldn't have happened) of users with Samsung Omnia with older firmware had the real issue. Why Samsung didn't inform their consumers of Samsung Omnia 7 about the update of their Firmware is out of knowledge. But one thing definitely comes to mind, we shouldn't buy Samsung products because their CRM sucks or they are more egotistic than succesful American companies and thus they simply ignore their customers.

      Also as an english speaking writer, AKH should write more better english than me (I am not from english speaking country, and also my english is learned english while going to school than mother tongue). Look at the following paragraph...
      >>Putting the gloomy headlines bit aside (I think I might have wriite a few gloomy ones), Microsoft here admits that 10% of Windows Phone 7 updates failed. That makes a prety gloomy headling of its own (see above).
      He could have written with simple statements and also should have used spell checker before posting, look at the spelling for heading, huh he wrote <b>headling</b>. :-).
      Ram U
      • RE: 10% of Windows Phone 7 update installations failed

        @Rama.NET
        Exactly. Half were due to user error and not the Samsung firmware.
        Loverock Davidson
      • RE: 10% of Windows Phone 7 update installations failed

        @Rama.NET <br>Let me Guess, youre Darryl form the Microsoft help Center in Bangalore? <br>Why didnt Microsoft warn users that unless you have updated Firmware; their bug patch would Brick the phone? Hmmm, lets see. Windows phone 7 series is not selling all that well. Now say a good 40,000 phones get bricked, then Microsoft can claim there were 40,000 more licenses sold. I smell something fishy here, and I do not trust Microsoft as far as I can throw a bus.
        Rick_K