Carriers Can Block Windows Phone 7 Software Updates, Force You to Upgrade Hardware? #wp7

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The inner workings of Windows Phone 7 and its upgrade process have been detailed many times over during the last few months leading up to the Windows Phone 7 launch. During that time it seemed like all was ready and good to go. Windows Phone 7 had an open-esque nature yet a tight control by Microsoft that allowed them to keep the experience fairly consistent. And best of all, carriers wouldn’t have as much control as they do with Android.

But the song of happiness is now trotting along to a different tune. There are two big changes to Windows Phone 7 now that it’s officially out. First, OTA updates are caput. During development, smaller updates were handled over the air while larger updates required a USB cable and computer. But the real kicker (sad, sad kicker) is that carriers can (and you all know they will) block updates.

Why block updates? It’s simple: Carriers don’t make money off of your old phone getting new features and a prolonged life. They make money off you dropping $200-$300 every year or two. If they can hold off an update with a critical bug fix or bleeding edge feature and thereby reserve it for a new piece of hardware, they’ve succeeded and you’ve lost.

Of course, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore said that carriers can only delay updates by one update cycle. Once the next update rolls down the pipeline, all (the past delayed update and new update) packages will be pushed out regardless. So there is some protection to carriers milking the system.

Unfortunately, next to car dealerships and network TV companies, cellular carriers are the biggest crooks you’ll find. With that said, while I have confidence in Microsoft’s ability to market WIndows Phone 7 in a way that pleases both consumers and carriers, I’m not writing off the latter just yet.

With that out in the open, is your outlook on Windows Phone 7 changed/damaged? Or is it simply business as usual?

Source: Ars Technica

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Author: Mike

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Gadget lover, smartphone collector, and beer connoisseur. I've been writing about gadgets for three years now and loving every minute of it. Outside of the digital landscape, I enjoy being active outdoors. I'm always up for a good conversation, so feel free to drop me a line!