Windows Phone 7 Update Freezes Out Some Users

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Microsoft is investigating reports that a number of Windows Phone 7 devices stalled and froze during an update

Microsoft is investigating reports that the latest Windows Phone 7 update is causing problems for an unknown number of users.

Microsoft first made the download available on February 21, describing it to media as a “smaller infrastructure update that will help future updates”. Within a day, some users reported their Windows Phone 7 devices were stalling in mid-update. On the company’s Windows Phone 7 help forum, commenter threads sprouted with titles like, “WP7 Stuck on Step 7 of 10. How long should this update take?” and “Update error with Optimus 7”. Many affected users seemed to be reporting stalls when the update reached either Step 6 or 7 out of 10.

“We are investigating reports related to the Windows Phone update process,” a Microsoft spokesperson emailed to eWEEK, “and will provide additional information and guidance as it becomes available.”

A Bigger Update Next Month

The company’s roadmap suggests another much-anticipated update, introducing cut-and-paste and faster mobile-application loading, will appear in the first two weeks of March.

“While it may not sound exciting, it’s still important because it’s paving the way for all future goodie-filled updates to your phone, such as copy and paste or improved Marketplace search,” Michael Stroh, a writer for Microsoft’s Windows team, posted on February 21 on the Windows Phone Blog. “You’ll need to connect your phone to your computer and update it using either the Zune software for your PC or the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac.”

Microsoft claims that Windows Phone 7 is selling at a rate comparable to other first-generation smartphone platforms, but the exact number of devices reaching consumers’ hands remains unclear. At the end of January, the company confirmed that manufacturers had sold some 2 million Windows Phone 7 units to retailers. Analytics firm Flurry noted an uptick in third-party developers starting Windows Phone 7 applications the week that Microsoft and Nokia announced Windows Phone 7 would appear on the latter’s smartphones, probably by sometime in 2012.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft announced further Windows Phone 7 updates for the second half of 2011, including multitasking, Twitter integration with the platform’s “People” Hub, and Office document sharing and storage via Windows Live Skydrive. The company will also add an Internet Explorer 9 Web browser to the platform.

“Now that we’ve had a strong start, it’s important for us to accelerate our innovation and deliver it to more customers than ever before,” Andy Lees, president of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business, wrote in February 14 posting on the Windows Phone blog. “Our recently announced partnership with Nokia is a significant next step in this journey.”

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