Windows Phone 7 Update Continues To Crash

Despite an attempted fix, Microsoft’s WP7 update is still causing problems, according to forum complaints

Some Windows Phone 7 users are reporting fresh issues with the latest software update, which Microsoft re-issued for Samsung smartphones after some well-publicised technical glitches.

“At this time some Samsung devices are able to apply the update and some aren’t,” read a March 4 Tweet from the tech support staffing Windows Phone Support’s Twitter feed. “For those who are not able to update, we are looking into the issue.”

That followed several similar notes from the Twitter feed. “We are aware of this issue and are looking into it,” read one example, posted the afternoon of March 4. “We would suggest holding off doing the update again.”

Tweaked Update Issued A New Error

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s forums filled with users complaining that the new – and supposedly tweaked – software update stalled their devices. “The new update is failing as well but gives a new error (800705B4),” one user wrote, repeating an error code mentioned by others over the course of the day.

Microsoft was supposed to have fixed earlier issues with the update, which is intended to pave the way for future updates such as the addition of cut-and-paste and faster app loading. Following the update’s release in late February, a small percentage of users began reporting it either stalled their smartphones or entirely locked them up, rendering the hardware as a very expensive paperweight.

In the wake of the incident, the company shifted into full-on, 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,” Michael Stroh, a writer for Microsoft’s Windows team, wrote in a February 23 posting on The Windows Phone Blog.

Of the 10 percent whose Windows Phones had stalled, he added, “Nearly half failed for two basic reasons – a bad Internet connection or insufficient computer storage space.”

On March 2, Microsoft announced it would resume the software update for Samsung smartphones.

“Starting today, we plan to resume rolling out the February update to Samsung phones,” Michael Stroh, a writer for Microsoft’s Windows team, blogged. “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.”

Stroh added that Microsoft’s engineering teams had apparently “pinpointed and fixed problems” that caused some Windows Phone 7 devices to stall in mid-update. “We apologise again for the delay,” he wrote, “and continue looking for ways to improve the update process.”

Microsoft hopes that Windows Phone 7 will allow the company to reverse its declining market-share in the mobile space, where it faces fierce competition from the likes of Google Android and the Apple iPhone. Throughout the second half of 2011, the company intends to release further software updates that will add multitasking, Twitter integration, and more to its smartphone platform.

A Microsoft spokesperson told eWEEK March 4 that the company had no official comment for the time being.