For a moment there, I thought that Microsoft were improving. After a bad start in the process for rolling out updates for Windows Phone, they began communicating more transparently about the updates, and began rolling them out in a more timely manner. They even had Eric Hautala, General Manager, Customer Experience Engineering, posting weekly on the Windows Phone Blog about updates and their availability.
Alas, all those improvements would appear to have come to a screaming halt. Yesterday, Hautala posted about a new Windows Phone update – 8107 – but also stated that it would only be available to those Carriers who requested it. Cue instant uproar from Windows Phone users who fought for improvements in the update process in the first place because Carriers were delaying the release of updates. And then to rub salt into the wounds, Hautala also wrote that Microsoft won’t be individually detailing country, model, and carrier details on the Where’s My Phone Update? site any longer.
So much for a more transparent process.
And what is in this update – 8107 – that carriers can elect to request, or not? Well, according to Microsoft it seems to have some pretty important bug fixes:
- On-screen keyboard. Fixes an issue to prevent the keyboard from disappearing during typing.
- Email. Fixes a Google mail syncing issue.
- Location. Fixes a location access issue. With this fix, the Me feature in the People Hub sends anonymous information about nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers to Microsoft only if you agree to allow the Check In function to access and use location information.
- Security. Revokes digital certificates from DigiCert Sdn Bhd to address an encryption issue.
- Email threads. Fixes an email issue related to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. With this fix, when you reply to or forward a message, the original message is now included in your response.
- Voicemail. Fixes a voicemail notification display issue that occurs on some European and Asian networks under certain conditions.
With the exception of the last bug fix, none of these are carrier-dependent, so why on earth is Hautala saying that we will only get these fixes if our carrier requests them? Frankly, I find this a staggering misstep by Microsoft. How to destroy customer trust overnight… I really am scratching my head trying to work out how an organisation that sets up a function called “Customer Experience Engineering” can do any worse.