Earlier this week I was relieved to hear that update 8107 for Windows Phone was beginning to rollout to fix the “disappearing keyboard” bug, that I suppose was one of the 500 new features we got with the Mango update. That disappearing keyboard thing is one of those dark WP secrets that we fanboys (and girls, or maybe fanpeople) don’t talk about when touting how amazing our phones are. But it has honestly been a super PITA since it first appeared. Especially when the keyboard would vanish, after spending 5 minutes to write a thorough and concise response to an article on MD or other sites, while you were working on the final, “making my point”, sentence.

So I was a little more than dismayed when I read a couple days later that Microsoft is rolling the update out, “to those carriers who request it”. WTH! Anyone who has waited for a Carrier update knows what that means. I wonder what the current line in Las Vegas is for AT&T (and other US carriers) making this update available for any WP, and especially discontinued Gen1 devices. Of course there are reasons for not making the update available, first and foremost because they need to dedicate resources for “TESTING”. But we all know in mobile speak that means, “we want you to buy a new phone from us, preferably on contract so we can lock you in for another two years”.

Let me try to understand this. Microsoft released the highly touted, and long anticipated Mango update that every WP handset was eligible to receive. AT&T, along with every other Carrier, had many weeks, probably months to TEST this update before it was released to their customers. But yet they overlooked; the disappearing keyboard bug, the GMail syncing bug, the Exchange missing forwarded message bug, the voicemail notification bug, and the location allowed access bug. Ok, these are OS issues and I guess AT&T was not looking of them, but then what do they need to TEST in order to “allow” an update to be pushed through on their network. Why do these updates, which include bug fixes and features, need to be bundled? Why can’t Microsoft push bug fixes, that have absolutely nothing to do with the OEM or Carrier, stand alone and over the air. Why does AT&T have to test a bug fix, essentially a defect. Does your local car dealer TEST every manufacturer recall, and decide which one to make available. Help me to understand, please!

I have PCs, a laptop and a notebook, at home and at the office all running version of Windows, built by different manufacturers and using Bright House and AT&T as service providers for Internet/Data access. And I get updates from Microsoft every few days for each of them. Plus, if I check Windows Update, I often get updates for peripheral devices attached to these machines. Do Bright House or AT&T check these updates to make sure I still have an Internet connection after they are installed? No, why not?

Sure, I know that I can get this update manually by following Ramon’s well written directions here, but I have always been a stay between the lines kind of guy. I don’t install custom ROMs because every one I have read about fixes one thing and breaks or leaves off another. Basically, the only ROM I would be happy with would be one that I brewed myself. The Farmer Ted way of thinking. Now, I will be at my nearby AT&T store on March 18th looking closely at the Nokia 900/Ace and will most likely leave with one in hand, making my current Surround fair game for whatever I choose to do with it. But it does cause me to stop and think, do I really want to be at the mercy of my Carrier for another two years, “hoping” they “request” updates from Microsoft. I really can’t afford it, but an unbranded phone sounds better to me every day. Something to think about.

8 COMMENTS

  1. this has previously been one of my favorite parts of WP7: timely updates and removable bloatware. I’m hoping that while the wording changes, we still get our updates. It has been stated before that if one update is skipped by a carrier, they next update will come through. Carriers won’t be able to skip more than one update. So anyone who hasn’t gotten 7740 yet “should” be guaranteed 8107. Time will tell, right?

  2. True Murali, but have you ever seen the actual Microsoft/Carrier Update Process posted anywhere. I have heard plenty about it, and each interpretation seems to sound a little different. But I have yet to read an actual statement from Microsoft clearly explaining the process.

    Point is right now my phone is broken, because the keyboard dissapears when I try to type. Someone; HTC, AT&T or Microsoft are responsible for fixing it. And as it actually became broken with the Mango update, that Microsoft developed and the OEM/Carrier’s signed off on,which became officially available before my one year warranty expired, they have an obligation to correct it. If AT&T wants to hold back this essential update, then I should be entitled to a replacement phone of equal or greater value with the most current OS update AND a working vitual keyboard. I will take either. Their choice.

  3. Bell gave me 7740… I don’t have voicemail and I don’t use exchange so it’s functionally useless for me. However, I do *occasionally* type things on my HD7, so hopefully they don’t decide to skip this one… Such bullshit. I have 2 ½ years left on contract with this phone… I NEED THIS FIX!

  4. Microsoft should test the phones, not the carriers/oems. They made a similar mistake with Vista, expecting the oems to proactively write drivers for all their current and old devices. No incentive for them to do so. They make money by selling new equipment.
    MS could easily set up phone testing labs. They have much more experience in testing..

  5. Would an unlocked or unbranded device give you direct access to OEM or OS updates, skipping the carrier?

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