By Jared Newman | Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm
So far, Microsoft’s Windows Phone update process hasn’t gone too well. A February update went awry after it disabled a small percentage of handsets, which in turn forced a delay in this month’s delivery of the long-awaited copy and paste.
But instead of bottling up and hoping the whole ordeal would blow over, Microsoft has responded with the one thing that touches a journalist’s heart: information. To let users know when they can expect the latest software, Microsoft has created a website, dubbed “Where’s My Windows Phone Update?”
“When an update is available, a message appears on your phone letting you know,” the website says. “But we understand that it’s hard to wait, and that many of you want a better sense of when to expect your update.” Amen.
Each phone’s update statuses are divided into three phases. The first is testing, which can either refer to general quality assurance or tests by wireless carriers. The next stage is scheduling, which typically lasts about 10 days. Finally, the update moves to delivery, which can take several weeks as the updates are delivered in batches. Currently, no Windows Phone updates are being delivered in the U.S., but hey, at least you know where they stand.
I wish something like this existed for Android. The platform’s fragmentation is problematic enough, but it’s made worse by a lack of clarity on when certain phones can expect updates, if ever. Over at Computerworld, my pal JR Raphael has spent countless hours compiling a hectic, ever-evolving Froyo upgrade list, drawing on scattered information from forums and blogs. He shouldn’t have to. I know Google isn’t as involved in the upgrade process as Microsoft, but from a consumer standpoint, Android could really use some centralized, reliable upgrade information.
Anyway, I don’t want to turn this into an Android rant. Mainly, I’m glad Microsoft is owning up to its mistakes and trying to make good by keeping customers in the loop.