Microsoft delivers first over-the-air update for Windows Phone 8

Microsoft delivers first over-the-air update for Windows Phone 8

Summary: European HTC 8X Windows Phone 8 users are starting to see the first over-the-air update for their devices. No word yet when U.S. users should expect them.


Microsoft and its carrier partners have started pushing an over-the-air update to Windows Phone 8 users, starting with those outside the U.S., as WPCentral first reported.


The update includes the promised fix for the random reboots reported by a number of Windows Phone 8 users. Microsoft officials said a couple of weeks ago that an over-the-air fix for this issue would be available in December.

The update also seemingly includes other updates and fixes. Among them are an always-connected WiFi capability and some new SMS-focused capabilties, such as select-all, draft saving and call rejection.

(Thanks to reader Ermanno Ferrari, who confirmed the existence of the 8X update and the list of features it provides. He said he has an unlocked HTC 8X on Swisscom and received the set of updates today, December 11. The screen shot he sent also confirms that the update is build number 10211. The base Windows Phone 8 OS was build 9905.)

According to WPCentral, this first update is codenamed "Portico." This isn't the same as the first full update to the Windows Phone OS which will be applied to all handsets, not just the HTC ones. That Windows Phone 8 OS update is supposedly codenamed "Apollo Plus" and may include VPN support, among other features. Apollo Plus sounds like a 2013 deliverable from what's leaked about it so far.

On Verizon here in the U.S., there is no sign of this first batch of operating-system updates for us HTC 8X users. There also is no mention of them on Microsoft's Web site. There doesn't seem to be a Windows Phone 8 OS update history page (yet?), akin to the Windows Phone 7 one.

Microsoft officials wouldn't talk specifics about the features included in the OTA update, but did acknowledge its existence.

"This build contains improvements throughout the product and we’ll continue to improve Windows Phone over time," a spokesperson said.  

I asked when U.S. users would receive the update and have yet to hear back.

Microsoft officials said in June of this year that Microsoft was committed to make Windows Phone updates available over the air, as of Windows Phone 8. At that time, they said Microsoft was taking steps to stop carriers from failing to deliver updates to users who want them. Starting with Windows Phone 8, every Windows Phone customer has access to every update for 18 months after the device launches, officials said.

In other Windows Phone update news, WPCentral is reporting that Nokia Windows Phone 7.x users are going to get a handful of updates simultaneous with Windows Phone 7.8 that will go beyond what Microsoft is providing to all Windows Phone 7.x users. Bluetooth Share (for DRM free media files); the Cinemagraph animation option; new camera lenses; updated contacts-transfer and contacts-share capabilities are all part of the coming refresh, WPCentral says.

Microsoft officials have said the 7.8 update already is on some new phones and will roll out to existing Windows Phone 7.x users by early next year. Resizable tiles, new accent colors, the ability to use Bing images on the lock screen and PIN reset protection are part of Windows Phone OS 7.8.

Update: Microsoft officials are not commenting on whether the OTA update that includes the fix for the rogue rebooting also will be coming to users with Windows Phone 8 devices beyond the HTC 8X. (Any Lumia users out there receiving the update, by chance?)

Microsoft officials also are not commenting on when HTC 8X users in the U.S. should see the update. A spokesperson sent the following statement: “We’re working closely with our hardware and carrier partners to get it tested, approved and rolled out. Some customers are starting to receive the update now.” (I think the reference to some getting the update now refers to Europe only at this point.)

Topics: Smartphones, HTC, Microsoft, Windows


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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  • Wow all that sounds very un HTC 8X specific. I wonder why users of other

    oems models have to wait longer for their reboots, sms, etc. to be fixed. Also if you talk to them again be sure to ask for a list of which WP7.x models and on which carriers will be getting the 7.8 update. If I get screwed I'd really like to know if it was AT&T or MS who did it.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Wow

      Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
  • Big deal

    "Microsoft delivers first over-the-air update for Windows Phone 8" - over three years after Palm did it with webOS.
    • What do you mean?

      Windows Phone 8 just came out, it didn't exist 3 years ago. How would you expect MS to deliver an OTA update for a device that didn't exist?
      • Time Travel

        Definately time travel would have to be involved.
        William Farrel
      • Excuses, excuses

    • breathe, step back and think

      perhaps MJF meant that this is the first OTA update for WP8 since it shipped 6 weeks ago. Not the first OTA update in the history of the world.
    • Huh?

      Palm used WebOS three years ago to deliver an over-the-air update to Windows 8?

      Michael Alan Goff
    • Actually...

      ...Microsoft did OTA updates for the KIN phone a few years back, it's just that the service providers wanted to treat the phone as if it were the iPhone data contract wise which made it unattractive to potential customers, so the KIN was killed off and some of the technology developed during the KIN timeframe has made it's way into WP8.
  • As long as these update are independent of the carriers!

    I'm happy that Microsoft is pushing out updates. As long as the update process isn't inhibited by the carriers, it will be fine.
  • An unfortunate unlocked HTC WP7 device!

    I don't have USSD and the ability to share the internet on my officially unlocked AT&T's HTC surround device. I am using it in Asia for last 18 months. HTC asked me to contact AT&T and AT&T doesn't acknowledge me as their customers. Microsoft should come forward and provide us the due update. XDA has ROMs for phone which enables Internet sharing feature, but its a hack!
  • the way it should be

    having the carriers involved with 7.5 updates was a horrible decision. AT&T will refuse to update with every single breath. For AT&T it requires too much time to test, time to prepare the update, too much man power, and too much bandwidth. Let Microsoft decide when it is ready and push the button.
  • My 920

    is version 9903. What's up with that?
    • HTC 8x @ 9903

      My HTC 8x is also 9903. The firmware is 10006!
      Stan Lee 2066
  • Nokia 920

    I am hoping that the update comes to the 920. I also have build 9903 and I have issues with random freezing/rebooting especially while using the Audible app (which I use everyday while I am work...Darn Leo Laporte & Paul Thurrot for adding another addiction to my addiction list). It does not happen every day and might go 1 or 2 days without issues but then other times I will freeze/reboot 5-6 times in an 8 hour period of time. Very frustrating especially since the audible app wont always recall when you stopped listening and will restart the book from the start sometimes... but that is an audible issue... not a phone issue.
    Kyle R
  • Difference in Model #

    The model # for the individual with the updated phone shows as "Model: HTC Windows Phone 8X by HTC" and mine (Verizon) shows Model: HTC HTC6990LVW"
    My OS version is 8.0.9905.12 which is what came with the phone I think.
    I moved from AT&T Windows Fusion Windows 7 mainly due to signal strength in my rural area but another reason was the updates were pitiful from AT&T. For example I had to manually force the Mango update even though every one else seemed to have it already and it never did do the 3 updates after Mango (7.5). I hope Verizon does a better job sending out the updates.

    I haven't had a random rebooting problem but have had a couple of freeze ups which required a reboot. Since there is no access to the battery I wonder how a complete reboot is possible. On the Fusion I had to take the battery out numerous times to get signal when the cell tower had a lightning strike (or some storm related problem). Otherwise it wouldn't lock back on to that tower.