There has been a new update, the release of which has been published on the Microsoft website. The update is for Windows Phone 7.5 and has been named build 8107, and has been released in order to fix a bug which makes the soft keyboard disappear on some occasions which has left some users with no way of inputting text. This bug can affect any certified carrier or phone; hence there is a sense of urgency in releasing this fix. Microsoft has not revealed any details as to whom or when the fix would be released. Eric Hautala (General Manager of Customer Experience Engineering at Microsoft) announced through a blog post that the new update would be available only at the discretion of individual carriers and may not reach all users. Further, he said that no posts pertaining to updates will be entertained on the Windows Phone blog.
This policy is quite new in Windows Phone history since earlier Microsoft released updates to all users, irrespective of carrier. However the response in this case has been extremely hostile and has been met with disappointment by both analysts and users alike. Many customers believe that it is their right to know what the operators are throwing at them.
The ability to update immediately was a feature which distinguished Microsoft from Android, whose fragmentation issues are well documented and a source of major irritation for most users. Android updates are distributed by carriers and not by the company. Only Android’s flagship phone (the Nexus series) is updated on an immediate basis, with some latest phones over the past year still stuck with the stock build they came with since the carrier has neglected to support such devices further.
The entire justification for approval and carrier testing is vague, with Microsoft accepting that Apple doesn’t bother allow carriers to modify or decide the availability of updates to its platform. Carriers should never be given such control, but an attempt to make the phone networks happy wasn’t necessary. Hiding the release of these updates from the consumers denies them a handful of benefits. Knowledge about various updates can provide a consumer with a better understanding about his phone. The refusal by an operator to allow distribution of small, low risk updates surely demands a little introspection.