Let’s see now, the “early 2011” Windows Phone 7 update (now known as NoDo) from Microsoft turned into a March update which in the case of AT&T customers is now starting to look like a late April or even May update. Microsoft, sadly, is still being kind to its operator partners by downplaying the delay. At first I thought that maybe this was a Samsung Focus specific problem, particularly since we know there was a problem with a small number of Focuses when they tried to deliver a pre-NoDo update. But this delay is also impacting the LG Quantum and HTC Surround. So, what’s going on here?
I have no idea, but the fact that it is impacting NoDo delivery for all AT&T phones suggests that AT&T is really screwing this up. In fact, even if it is a Microsoft problem I think AT&T is screwing this up. Ok, they both are. Why not come out with a statement that either says “hey, we didn’t start testing soon enough and we are sorry for the delay” or “we found some issues in our testing and we are working through them”? Or why not provide a more precise target date (which yes, they could embarrassingly miss yet again)? Instead we get near silence, and enough consumer displeasure to make one want to write a letter to the FCC asking them to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile (who shipped NoDo for the HTC HD7 a while back). The current status of an indeterminate testing period (with a completion period that has already passed…it still says early April although it is now mid April) just makes both AT&T and Microsoft look incompetent.
The standard by which Microsoft is being judged is Apple’s iPhone. Now certainly with multiple devices and many carriers Microsoft’s task is far more complex than Apple’s. But you would think that the “Premier Launch Partner” for Windows 7 would have worked with Microsoft to make sure the leading Windows Phone 7 device (the Focus) would have been first in line to get NoDo. Instead this situation is tarnishing everyone. Microsoft, AT&T, and even Samsung.
Right now if I could get a HTC HD7-like world phone on Verizon I’d dump AT&T in a heartbeat (and not just because of the update debacle, that is just the last straw). And while my patience with Windows Phone is likely to last until the end of the year, it isn’t going to last forever. Apple is going to have the opportunity to woo me back to their fold with the iPhone 5. And though I’m not particularly a fan of Android, there is such rapid innovation going on in that space that there is an outside chance a device will come along that I just can’t resist.
So Microsoft, you and AT&T need to get the situation around updates fixed asap. You are still screwing up the communications as well as the delivery. And customer patience is wearing thin.