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Microsoft Bug Cellphones Handhelds Upgrades Windows

Windows Phone 7 Update Jams Some Phones 177

Posted by timothy
from the bit-of-an-oopsie-there dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft's first Windows Phone 7 update is apparently causing some users' phones to not work. Microsoft has advised at least one person to take his device into a store for a fix. The company's WindowsPhoneSupport Twitter account shows the responses to a variety of queries from users who have experienced problems over the last half-day. Microsoft released the update on Monday but played it down. The update was designed only 'to improve the software update process itself,' wrote Michael Stroh on the Windows Team Blog. One user, Alex Roebuck, wrote on Twitter that the update had bricked his Samsung Omnia 7. 'We're very sorry for the inconvenience,' Microsoft responded on Twitter. 'For this issue we would suggest taking it to a store.'"
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Windows Phone 7 Update Jams Some Phones

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  • NOK is in trouble. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki.cox@net> on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @09:12PM (#35286276)

    This is the user experience with Windows Phone 7?

    Seriously?

    Nokia's in serious serious shit.

    I hope that Nokia can help iron out problems like this before they launch WP7 devices.

    • by microbee (682094)

      And the next thing you know, the sky is falling.

      • by beh (4759) *

        All you cynics!

        Don't you realize what Microsoft is doing?

        So many people complain about Apple's 'walled garden', and the 'necessity' to jailbreak your iPhone if you want to be able to do more - at the risk that an update might brick your jail-broken phone.

        Now - Microsoft is giving you the (more or less) open phone - no walled garden - and all that without having to give up the thrill of bricking your phone on an upgrade...

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          So many people complain about Apple's 'walled garden', and the 'necessity' to jailbreak your iPhone if you want to be able to do more - at the risk that an update might brick your jail-broken phone.

          Sadly, it's actually quite difficult to brick an iPhone. Apple's put in some really lowlevel code that exists in silicon that ensures that iTunes can pretty much restore it always. If the basic OS can load, the "restore" optoin works. If not, you can put the phone into DFU mode which basically reformats the stora

    • As opposed to Samsung Android devices, which are perpetually several updates behind?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Old is better than broken.

        • by Zelgadiss (213127)

          Sadly Samsung phones are, half the time, both - old and broken.

          I would never buy from them again.

          Fooled me once, shame on you;
          Fooled me twice, shame on me;
          Fooled me twice despite warning from everyone I know, shame me who lacks common sense.

        • There are old coders, and there are bold coders. But you won't ever find a coder that's both old and bold.

      • by 6ULDV8 (226100)

        Samsung is not the only manufacturer to trail the bleeding edge. At least with an Android phone, you have the option of reaching out on your own for replacement firmware with all the fancy features.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @10:40PM (#35286796)

      This is the user experience with Windows Phone 7?

      Seriously?

      Nokia's in serious serious shit.

      I hope that Nokia can help iron out problems like this before they launch WP7 devices.

      What did people expect? Microsoft's been promising that WP7 would "bring the Windows experience" to your phone; I can't think of a more quintessentially "Windows experience" than getting completely fucked by a random update.

    • by deniable (76198)
      Why? Did Nokia say Windows Phone or Windows Phone 7? There's speculation that they'll be waiting for WP8 and that uses a different code base.
      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        By the time "WP8" will be in any way usable, the platform everyone but Apple will be running, will be called Ubuntu Phone Remix or Qt-Android. The latter will be double ironic if Nokia itself didn't support it. Triple if Qt will be BSD-licensed because Nokia abandoned it in favor of .NET.

      • Well that changes by the week and who does the talking. Last week MS said Nokia phones won't be ready until the end of 2011. Seeing there is no launch date or definite plans at the moment for WP8, the phones will probably use WP7. This week Nokia said that phones will be ready in a few months. My take is if the two can't get their stories straight now, it's going to be long time before they get something ready. By then it really will be WP8.
    • by DrXym (126579)
      I'd say give them a break. It's not hard to find firmware fuckups on other smart phones and devices.
    • Yeah, and they only compounded it with their stupid advice. Broken phones don't need fixing, it just means you aren't holding it right.
    • In fairness to MS, the update was "designed only 'to improve the software update process itself'", and in that sense it is a success -- by bricking these phones, the surface area for future problems has now been reduced! Plus, the bad publicity will likely have a small impact for future sales which *also* will reduce the problem surface area. Well done Microsoft! :D
    • I am willing to bet if we switched Windows 7 and Microsoft with Android and Google respectively that we would get a slew of comments like (well bugs happen in early versions, this is just for a small number of people....) Please I implore you don't let your hate for Microsoft effect your overall judgement. We are supposed to be geeks who think scientifically not just jump to rash judgement based on our feelings.

  • the update had bricked his Samsung Omnia 7. 'We're very sorry for the inconvenience,' Microsoft responded on Twitter. 'For this issue we would suggest taking it to a store.'"

    After all, that's where the Returns counter is, right?

    According to some comments on the mini microsoft blog [blogspot.com], between 50% and 80% of what few WP7 phones are being bought end up being returned, so take a number, and get in line ...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @09:35PM (#35286410)

      The only thing I found that said the return rate was 80% was from a comment from a Anonymous.

      "The AT&T dude told me that WP7 phones had -- listen closely -- an 80% return rate."

      • by deniable (76198)
        Was the next unquoted line "but we have these nice iPhones over here. Would you like to look at one?"
    • by Jaktar (975138)

      According to comments on a blog...

      According to my comments I'm right 100% of the time and the Win7 phone never crashes.

      It's retarded to get bent out of shape over one user being sent back to a store over a broken update. It's happened plenty of times with Android phones (and every other phone that's been upgradable) and I've yet to see an article posted about it here.

      This story is a non-story.

    • According to some comments on the mini microsoft blog [blogspot.com], between 50% and 80% of what few WP7 phones

      According to some comments on some blog, Android devices have a 99% return rate. It's true because it was a comment posted by an anonymous on some google blog.
      Sadly though... your comment was modded +5 insightful without giving any real evidence. Also this is only happening to a few phones, (what I've read is the minority). This is their first phone update, there's bound to be a few problem
      • First, a lot of the comments on the minimsft blog are posted anonymously because both mini and the commenters work at Microsoft.

        Second, Microsoft has been trying to puff up the disappointing numbers [electronista.com] by quoting units shipped to stores, and not units activated.

        So, since Microsoft won't release hard numbers, we have to go with what we can find elsewhere; the fact that Microsoft doesn't want to talk about activations and return numbers is a good indicator that the anecdotal evidence is, if not 100% accurate, at least in the ballpark.

        Of course, if your product only had lost 50% market share in the last year, and was down to 3%, and Android in the same time went from 2% to #1, you wouldn't want to give out the real numbers either.

    • Meh... those users should just wipe it and install Linux.

    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      Android devices all over the world have a 97.6% return rate.

      It must be true since I'm posting it here, in the comment section. Everyone knows this is the best source of reliable information in the planet. Oh darnit, I didnt click the Post Anonymously box!!! That destroys my credibility... I'll learn from that guy in that blog's comment section next time and remember to post this Anonymously for maximum credibility!

  • by hsmith (818216) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @09:31PM (#35286392)
    Should have been renamed Windows Mobile Vista
  • Update the Zune software first, so you can update your phone with software that will help with future updates. And users get what exactly out of this process? I love instructions pages that mention the first thing you should do right at the bottom of the page, after you have completed all the other steps... way to go! Instructions on that page are a prime example of how MS has no idea about designing computer user interfaces for people!
    • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)
      Microsoft updates have a history of breaking things, I'd expect their phones to not be an exception.
  • I dislike Microsoft as much as anyone but even I have to cut them some slack for the first update to essentially a version 1 product.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What part of windows phone 7 is confusing? The 7? MS has been doing shitty phones for a long time. This is not a version 1 product.

    • Re:Version 1 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @10:58PM (#35286890) Homepage Journal

      Yea it isn't like Microsoft has been producing Phone OSs for the last ten plus years! I mean they are new to this market... Oh..... Wait Windows phone 7... Humm....

      • by jappleng (1805148)
        To be fair, I think he (she?) meant the first real phone. Every other OS prior to WP7 was crappy to say the least. The more I see posts against Microsoft, the more I feel like a fanboy trying to defend them =/ There are certainly some amazing products being dished out by microsoft but then there's the not so great apps like IE, IE, and IE. I say this three times because they have three different (supported) standards and it makes CSS compatibility hell >: | But, I still love the big M for the other great
        • Re:Version 1 (Score:4, Insightful)

          by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @10:51AM (#35290034) Homepage Journal

          Yes Microsoft has come out with some good products like the XBox and the flight sim series. I will even give Office it's due except that it has created a virtual monopoly but Excel is actually really good Access is just Evil. Powerpoint is tool of unlimited evil and boredom and Word is well Word.. That and the document formats are terrible.
          IE, Outlook, Visual Basic, and MFC all should be considered crimes IMHO.

          WP7 the first real phone OS? Really? What about Windows Mobile? What about WIndows Mobile 6.5 that Microsoft is still selling? I am not going to give Microsoft any slack for WP7. It right now is a non-completive product in my opinion. First of all let me say one thing. announced features are not real. If it isn't shipping it doesn't count.
          WP7 does not have multitasking or even task switching like WebOS, IOS, and Android.
          WP7 does not have free turn by turn navigation like Android.
          The mobile browser on it is not as good as IOS, Android, or even WebOS and Symbian's.
          It lacks the Enterpise management features of BlackBerry OS and even IOS.
          I do not know what is in the new update so I will say that at launch it also didn't have even cut and paste and custom ring tones.
          Microsoft has had four years to answer the iPhone and three to answer Android and this is what they came up with? Really the largest software company in the world and this is all they came up with. Let us not forget that they bought and destroyed Danger as well. Microsoft entered the smartphone market back when it was only Palm and Symbian. They sat and didn't innovate and now they have not even caught up. Throw in the disaster that was the Kin as well and I must ask why give them any slack? I don't get it. If say Sony or Nokia had come up with this OS at this time people would be laughing in their face.
          If I was a on the Microsoft Board I would outraged at the current state of affairs.
          Considering the time and resources that they had to work with they should have come up with a phone OS that would be an world beater and frankly it is an also ran with a pretty face. I will say the UI isn't bad and was very fast when I used it. But the OS is feature incomplete.

    • I know that some people don't get the meaning of simple words and we call them republicans. But failing to grasp the meaning of a single digit number?

      Exactly what is so confusing about "7"? Windows Phone 7. That is the name. Can you even grasp the notion that this means there was a version 6? A version 5 etc etc? And unlike Vista, 6 and 6.5 were named just that for phones.

      MS is a decades old company with experience in PC's, phones, consoles and they can't get a simple update right on a very high profile pro

    • by Malc (1751)

      This is not a version 1 system. We had HTC mobiles running Windows four or five years ago. Then again, Windows Update never worked on that version of the OS (depended upon the vendor, not Microsoft).

    • The update was designed only 'to improve the software update process itself,'

      You know you screwed up when your update's update breaks the entire device. LOL!

  • Really, the term "bricked" has been misused so much. If the phone is beyond repair and the only way to get it functional is to basically replace everything on the inside, it's bricked. It's not bricked if installing another update or rolling back the update or resetting the memory fixes it. More details please.
    • by rritterson (588983) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @10:36PM (#35286774)
      It's really bricked. See here [arstechnica.com]:

      "... If this is successful, it should allow the handset to recover its original firmware and resume operation. But not everyone can get this to work, indicating that the devices are truly bricked, with the only option being to return them to the network operator and have them replaced under warranty."

      The article has more details; the problems appear to be restricted to a few samsung firmware versions. Given how religious MS is about testing every combination of everything come patch time (how many times have we bitched about the slowness of a patch), I'm going to speculate the source of the cock-up is a miscommunication regarding which firmware versions are out there (MS didn't know they existed) or what the differences between them are (MS thought the differences were irrelevant come patch time) and at least half the blame lies with Samsung.
      • by js3 (319268)

        I have a Samsung Focus, I got an update notification this morning. I performed my update and everything was fine. All I see is a few people either didn't wait for the thing to complete or whatever and the microsoft bashing ensured

        • by Anonymous Coward

          js3's update worked therefore there is no problem!

          Suppose the bricking only occurs

          • With only certain firmware versions.
          • When connectivity is lost during the process.
          • If certain applications are installed
          • For a ton of other reasons

          Would these all be the fault of people being stupid? I have no idea if hysteria is warranted but "it works for me" is not a valid argument.

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        That sounds pretty plausible, especially because it seems that there was a bug in the Samsung firmware that would lead to possible problems with updates, and this update was supposed to fix that. You'd think they would test against the specific problem they were trying to fix, which suggests some miscommunication

  • Hey guys, I totally overheard that Microsoft was jamming some cellphones and I was ready to jam with them, but it seems you guys aren't as radical as Microsoft is. I think they are EXTREME! *plays air guitar* I think you should give Microsoft a chance, after all, jamming is only one of things they are good at doing, they're also great at making dev kits *plays air drums*
  • What does it mean to "jam" a phone? I've heard of bricking, etc. but to "jam" it? Raspberry or Strawberry?

    The radar has been jammed, sir.

    Raspberry. There's only one man who would dare give me the raspberry: Lone Star!

    • by 517714 (762276)
      Jamming is used when smuggling cellphones into prisons. It has also been proposed as a solution to smuggled cellphones in prison.
  • This is truly sad news for MS and the new Nokia relationship. I know their are a lot of hardware variations out there but bricking a paying customer's phone is truly bad form, especially when you are paying $400-$500 for a phone that isn't an iPhone. While everyone hates that Apple fan boys, one nice thing that Apple has going for them with the iPhone is a very controlled hardware platform. This simplifies patch testing to alleviate problems like bricking phones. This also begs the question, who is on t
    • The phone is probably still under warranty. Whether the manufacturer or MS has to pay for a new phone is not as important as the customer gets a free phone.
      • Yes... but the point of the post above is that, once the phone is out of warranty, will people be confident to install updates? Right now, all Windows Phone 7 phones are in warranty, by definition. What about in a year's time when that's not the case?
  • "Microsoft's first Windows Phone 7 update is apparently causing some users' phones to not work. Microsoft has advised at least one person to take his device into a store for a fix." The other fifteen windows phone 7 users have not yet been in touch with technical support, but Microsoft is very concerned.
  • Wireless carriers invariably insist on controlling the phones they sell. They also insist on obnoxious branding but that's another matter.

    The reason the carriers insist on controlling the phones and the updates to them is to minimize these problems. In this case, it would seem Microsoft has complete control over the phones and can push updates at will. The action of Microsoft can create tremendous cost for the carriers and also cause them to lose customers should they become too frustrated with the probl

    • by dido (9125)

      Not outside of the USA they don't. Most places you don't buy phone handsets from the mobile carrier, but from an independent phone shop, and insert a SIM from a mobile carrier and off you go. Sure, you can get a phone from a mobile carrier with subsidies (which wind up costing more) the way it's done in the USA but that's the exception rather than the rule most everywhere else. The kind of extremely tight dependence on mobile phone handsets and mobile carriers seen in the USA is almost nonexistent elsewhere

      • That's not the case in the UK, and I would guess most of Western Europe too, although I'm willing to stand corrected. In the UK, at least, the vast majority of people have no idea how much a phone really costs, and only buy 'subsidised' phones where you essentially pay the full price of the device over the duration of the contract.
  • So Microsoft's fallback for all this newfangled all-connected-all-the-time Internet era is... a physical store? Really?

    Which store do they mean, anyway? The Verizon/AT&T/T-Mobile store, staffed by people who are, to be polite, not rocket scientists, especially with a just-released operating system? Or a Microsoft store, which are outside easy reach of 99.9% of customers?
  • http://www.neowin.net/news/bricked-wp7-this-is-how-to-fix-it [neowin.net]

    On a side note, I hate the term "bricked" given this is a recoverable problem, although someone did point out that "bricked" is a perfectly acceptable term to describe a non-functional device during the period of time in which there is no known fix.

  • by 1s44c (552956)

    And so begins the long drawn out death of Nokia.

    Such a terrible shame.

  • Should state "Windows Phone 7 Update Jams Phone", as this is basically what's being reported.

  • ... that you can't see our apology, considering that you use your phone to read Twitter...

    > 'We're very sorry for the inconvenience,' Microsoft responded on Twitter.

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