Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

Summary: What's the latest with the Windows Phone 7 update saga? Will NoDo show next week? And has Mango gone soft?

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This week, Microsoft released a "fixed" version of its first software update for Windows Phone 7 that was designed to alleviate problems reported by a number of Samsung users. However, the Samsung WP7 fix doesn't seem to install correctly for a number of them.

Update 1: Microsoft officials said at the very end of the day on March 4 that the company believes only about 100 Samsung WP7 users have reported problems installing the "fixed" update. The workaround that Microsoft is suggesting for "error 800705B4" is, basically, to delete and reinstall content. Not an optimal solution, by any stretch.

I contacted Microsoft on March 3 to see what the company planned to do now, and waited for an answer more than 24 hours since the first reports of problems began filtering in. On March 4, I was told by a spokesperson the company was looking into the situation, but had nothing further to say.

Makram Daou, who runs MobileTechWorld.com, and was the first to post about the problems with the Samsung WP7 fix, had some interesting observations about what seems to be going wrong.

"From what I'm seeing (the Samsung WP7 update problem) must be related to the phone's storage, probably the way apps and content are installed on the phone. Some are on the ROM and others on the NAND flash (both are formatted as one big partition and seen as such by the OS). I don't know why it's only an issue on Samsung devices, because LG's handsets essentially have the same setup (but not the same NAND type/manufacturer)" Daou told me.

He noted that some WP7 Samsung users were able to apply the first and revised updates after they erased most of the content on their phones. And he had an interesting suggestion for those WP7 users having problems. Instead of going the Microsoft-suggested route of applying the update, which is downloaded on the host PC before the phone is backed-up and then updated. Daou suggested that users do a hard reset of their phones before trying to update as this currently seems to be the safest way to do it. The resulting update process does take longer, but it seems to be a way to alleviate the update issue, he said.

Microsoft -- at least until this WP7 update fiasco began on February 23 -- was expected to begin rolling out the first "major" update for WP7 on or around March 8. That update, codenamed "NoDo," is slated to add copy-and-paste functionality, CDMA support, and improved performance and marketplace search, to WP7 devices. I'll be curious whether NoDo hits next week or not, given the ongoing update issues.

Meanwhile, Windows Phone Secrets author Paul Thurrott has said that he hears it will be next-to-impossible for Microsoft to roll out its second major WP7 update this year. That release, codenamed "Mango," includes IE 9 Mobile, among other new features.

Unlike Thurrott, I didn't write a book about Windows Phone 7. In fact, I'm still using a loaner device, since there is no WP7 on Verizon. But I will say I am hearing that Microsoft recently promised its OEMs and carriers that they will get the Mango bits by early fall at the latest, enabling them to ship WP7 phones running Mango in time for holiday 2011. So unless Microsoft has gone back very recently and told those partners "Just kidding!" -- I still am betting we'll see WP7s running Mango in 2011.

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

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

    Don't get me wrong ... i am a die hard fan of the WP7. I have a Samsung Focus and am one of those people who are waiting on the side lines for the "OK!" on the update, but Microsoft needs to get this update process under control! It's only hurting business that they desperately need if Windows Phone 7 is going to be as big of a success as they want to to be!
    Justin071894
    • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

      @Justin071894 ... Agreed! They need to release a "feature pack" every month, or at least every other month.
      GoodThings2Life
      • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

        @GoodThings2Life - The servicing costs of a monthly update pack would be astronomical, not to mentiont the impact on users.

        I would much rather Microsoft settle into a nice 6 month cadence and focus on building substantial updates into each release.

        After all, its mostly the apps one runs on the phone that you want updated on a regular basis, not the phone OS itself.
        bitcrazed
      • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

        @GoodThings2Life How often does Apple update the iOS ?
        Justin071894
      • Apple iOS updates

        @Justin071894: You can see the update iOS update history at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS_version_history. Paul Thurrott complained about the lack of WP7 updates vs. iPhone within the same time frame at http://windowsphonesecrets.com/2011/01/18/software-updates-windows-phone-vs-iphone/.
        ac3_z
      • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

        @GoodThings2Life - I guess on average Apple releases a new iOS every four months. 6 months is no stretch for MS to release. Just make it twice a year and MS will be fine. But DO release more often (like Apple does) when a problem is found!
        The Danger is Microsoft
    • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

      @Justin071894 : the problem's not WP7 as is, but the crummy underlining architecture Microsoft selected for the "behind-the-scenes" work.<br><br>As you might recall, all apps are based on a modified Silverlight and all Xbox apps are XNA.<br><br>With the release of Windows Embedded Compact 7, we now know that the UI for WP7 must have been done on a very early version of "Silverlight for Embedded" which is XAML with C++ objects.<br><br>The problem was that WP7 uses the Windows Embedded 6.0 R3 kernel&mdash;not Windows Embedded Compact 7 kernel&mdash;which most systems integrators can tell you is just crap, and bolted a pre-beta "SL for Embedded" framework. So you have pre-beta UI manager above unstable kernel with the upgrader built on both "technologies".<br><br>At this point, I assume NoDo is stable "Silverlight for Embedded" bolted on the existing kernel, with UI and C++ changes to support the change; and Mango, I guess is a full upgrade of the OS to WEC7. But you still have the crummy updater... so chicken and egg.<br><br>The worst part is that all this mess evidences that Microsoft pushed WP7 out the door when the underlining bits weren't ready for prime-time (just the fancy UI, which caught everybody's eyes, but concealed the REAL THING below).
      cosuna
      • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

        @cosuna
        And in which way is this related to an issue with some precise Samsung phone firmware version?
        I don't know where you get your information from but the last thing the 3rd party application model could be described is "unstable". The reliability of WP7 is outstanding for an initial release of both the consumer and developer experience.
        TheCyberKnight
      • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

        @cosuna I must agree with @TheCyberKnight. I think the overall stablity of the OS is great. I have only encountered two bugs (Marketplace & Camera settings) and have very few complaints about it.
        Justin071894
      • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

        @cosuna Actually, Windows Phone is a hybrid OS. It uses mostly Windows CE 6 R3 and bits and pieces from CE 7(EC7). They most likely would've used the Silverlight portion of CE 7 on WP7. Look at the Zune HD, it uses pure CE 6R3 with no bits from anything else. That's why it isn't compatible with Silverlight. It also shows parts of CE7 was used when you look at the processors the phones use. The Snapdragon processor is a ARMv7 proc., and CE6 doesn't support it. CE7 has support for ARMv7. That's the other reason why the Zune HD uses the older ARMv6 Nvidia Tegra because there isn't any support for it in it's kernel.
        xrobinson
    • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

      If it is only 100 people who have reported this latest update error could it be this is only affecting individuals who have installed certain microSD cards in their Samsung Focus?
      cool8man
      • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

        @cool8man
        BINGO
        mikroland
      • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

        @cool8man
        ..and speaking of microSD cards, are they (MSFT/Samsung) ever going to publish a list of approved cards?
        inahurry
      • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

        @inahurry<br><br>I believe there is already a list out there. I do know that some Patriot cards are approved and SanDisk has a Windows Phone 7 Compatible 8GB card out that they officially announced back in November.
        luxsphinx
  • I think NoDo will be a go

    They're fixing the firmware issues, so it should be okay.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

      @goff256 I hope "NoDo" & "Mango" are both go! I would love to see WP7 dominate over Apple lol
      Justin071894
      • I don't care who dominates

        But competition is good for the end-user.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

        @goff256 this is true ... i just would like to see WP7 become a success and maybe earn Microsoft some respect lol
        Justin071894
  • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

    Nice bit of FUD. The first major update isn't supposed to arrive for a week and already the sky has fallen because a small percentage of phones are having problems.
    pdskep
    • RE: Windows Phone 7: Will NoDo show? Has Mango gone soft?

      @pdskep

      Well the iphone 4 death grip really only effected a small percentage of users of that phone as well, but people had no problems claiming the sky was falling for that.
      yoshipod