Microsoft Resumes Windows Phone 7 Update

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Microsoft has resumed its suspended Windows Phone 7 software update for Samsung smartphones

Microsoft has resumed its latest Windows Phone 7 software update to Samsung smartphones, which it had suspended after reports of technical problems.

“Starting today, we plan to resume rolling out the February update to Samsung phones,” Michael Stroh, a writer for Microsoft’s Windows team, wrote in a 23 February posting on The Windows Phone Blog. “Meanwhile, we’re continuing to dispatch the update to other Windows Phone models. As has been the case, the software patch is being sent out on a rolling schedule.”

Moreover, Microsoft’s engineering teams have apparently “pinpointed and fixed problems” causing some Windows Phone 7 devices to stall in mid-update, Stroh wrote, adding: “We apologise again for the delay and continue looking for ways to improve the update process.”

Small Update

Microsoft had originally described the update as a “smaller infrastructure update that will help future updates,” including one scheduled for the first two weeks of March that will add cut-and-paste and faster mobile-application loading. “While it may not sound exciting, it’s important because it’s paving the way for all future goodie-related updates to your phone,” Stroh wrote in a 21 February posting on the Windows Phone Blog.

Within a day of the update’s rollout, however, users began reporting it had stalled their smartphones. The company’s Windows Phone 7 help forum sprouted with commenter threads about the issue, bearing titles like, “WP7 Stuck on Step 7 of 10, how long should this update take?” and “Update error with Optimus 7.” Samsung customers in particular seemed to be affected by the issue.

Microsoft then went into damage-control mode, claiming in a corporate blog posting that only 10 percent of users’ smartphones had stalled because of the new software. “Has the update process gone perfectly? No – but few large scale software updates ever do, and the engineering team here was prepared,” Stroh wrote in that 23 February missive, also claiming that some “90 percent of people who’ve received an update notification have installed the new software patch successfully.”

10 Percent Failure

He also claimed that, of the other 10 percent whose smartphones had stalled or outright bricked, “nearly half failed for two basic reasons – a bad Internet connection or insufficient computer storage space.” Microsoft also suspended the update for Samsung smartphones while its engineers worked to fix the issue.

Windows Phone Update requires space on a PC to create a backup image of the user’s smartphone, in addition to downloading the update.

Microsoft is planning a series of updates to Windows Phone 7 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. Internet Explorer 9 will also be added to the platform at some point.

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