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.