Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Feb 2011 23:56 UTC, submitted by gogothebee
Windows Ah, something Microsoft really couldn't use right now: problems with the very first update to its Windows Phone 7 operating system. In this very competitive marketplace, in which WP7 is a late newcomer, it can't use major problems like this. The thing is though - how big of a problem is this, really? And, is it even Microsoft's fault at all?
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LOL
by WorknMan on Thu 24th Feb 2011 00:42 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I feel bad for Samsung customers. If you have one of their WP7 phones, there's a chance that an update will brick your phone. If you have one of their Android phones, well... they probably won't even bother with any updates.

Reply Score: 5

RE: LOL
by unoengborg on Thu 24th Feb 2011 01:05 UTC in reply to "LOL"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

I feel bad for Samsung customers. If you have one of their WP7 phones, there's a chance that an update will brick your phone. If you have one of their Android phones, well... they probably won't even bother with any updates.


Actually, Samsung has been quite good at updating Android phones lately. E.g Android 2.2.1 is just out for Samsung Galaxy S. Unfortunately you need windows to do the upgrade. I would say that OTA upgrades would be preffered but, they should of course not brick your phone or damage your data.

Hard to tell who is to blaim in this case. Ultimately I would say Microsoft, as they should have done more testing before rolling out the upgrade. One of the big advantages of WP7 phones is that Microsoft handles the upgrades. If Microsoft doesn't test properly before upgrades some of that advantage goes away.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: LOL
by mrhasbean on Thu 24th Feb 2011 01:42 UTC in reply to "RE: LOL"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Actually, Samsung has been quite good at updating Android phones lately. E.g Android 2.2.1 is just out for Samsung Galaxy S. Unfortunately you need windows to do the upgrade. I would say that OTA upgrades would be preffered but, they should of course not brick your phone or damage your data.


Ok, just so that I have this right, they released 2.2.1 just in time for the release of 2.3, they're only just about to release 2.2 for the Captivate (http://www.slashgear.com/samsung-captivate-android-2-2-froyo-update...), and they don't update OTA which is supposedly one of the really you-beaut iOS killer features of Android, yet ""Samsung has been quite good at updating Android phones lately".

And we Apple crowd get called "one eyed"...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: LOL
by patrix on Thu 24th Feb 2011 02:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: LOL"
patrix Member since:
2006-05-21

Samsung has been really good about updating the Galaxy S, Froyo (2.2) for the Galaxy S phones has been out for months, officially, all over the world --- only the US seems to have seen huge delays...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: LOL
by Soulbender on Thu 24th Feb 2011 02:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: LOL"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

And we Apple crowd get called "one eyed"...


Awwww, someone feels persecuted.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: LOL
by unoengborg on Thu 24th Feb 2011 02:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: LOL"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

It doesn't matter much if you run 2.2.1 or 2.3 on Galaxy S, as it doesn't have the hardware that is needed for most of the new stuff in 2.3. Sure, there is the new keyboard, and the black status bar, but that's about it.

Android 2.3 is known to have had issues with the phones rebooting now and then on Nexus S, and Galaxy S might have the same problem. The problem was fixed just a few days ago in Android 2.3.3. So Samsung might have had very good reason not to upgrade beond 2.2.1. At least not until now, when 2.3.3 is out.

Updating is not just about having the highest OS version number, it's about getting a good, working product.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: LOL
by Moredhas on Thu 24th Feb 2011 01:44 UTC in reply to "RE: LOL"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

After the mass disappointment, Samsung seem to have gotten the message that releasing an entirely "new" handset, only different in that it has a MINOR software update applied, is not acceptable. See Samsung F480 and F480i. VERY little difference between these two, yet it somehow justified a new handset release.

I was extremely disappointed that my Galaxy i7500 never saw a 1.6 update, but Samsung were releasing practically identical phones (i5700, same but with a worse camera, basically) with 1.6 on them. These days, they seem to be pretty diligently updating their phones, I imagine they got a lot of bad press. Not the kind that gets splashed across the headlines, but the type that gets bandied about in phone shops. At least, that was my sales pitch for choosing Nokia over Samsung. At the time, you couldn't expect any manufacturer support after the sale, not even from Samsung's Customer Service or Tech Support lines, they just fob you off onto your carrier. I imagine I wasn't the only salesman saying this, 18 months ago.

Reply Score: 3

RE: LOL
by mlaporte on Thu 24th Feb 2011 03:09 UTC in reply to "LOL"
mlaporte Member since:
2006-01-07

Untrue. We have a couple of Android Samsung phones here that shipped with Android 2.1, and we upgraded them to Android 2.2. And some of them were bricked in the process. See? ;)

Reply Score: 1

Troll
by puelocesar on Thu 24th Feb 2011 01:28 UTC
puelocesar
Member since:
2008-10-30

So they have, what? 3 phones? And still can't test them properly?

What happened, they where too busy taking over Nokia?

Edited 2011-02-24 01:29 UTC

Reply Score: 8

Eh,
by vaette on Thu 24th Feb 2011 01:50 UTC
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

Eh, certainly Microsofts fault, but it is the first update on an all-new OS, and they went all out and had a bunch of OEMs involved from the get-go. Having it all work out perfectly would almost have been too much to hope for. I would be surprised if the bricked phones even number in the hundreds really.

Reply Score: 2

expecting everything
by stabbyjones on Thu 24th Feb 2011 02:14 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

Before android I've only ever had to update a phone firmware once. Smart phones are so disposable these days if you stuck to 1 year contracts and upgraded every year you'd never be too far behind.

Either deal with what they dole out to you or put on a custom ROM. Since when has it been a requirement that phones stay with the latest version of their OS? They have no obligation to do anything at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE: expecting everything
by unoengborg on Thu 24th Feb 2011 02:49 UTC in reply to "expecting everything"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Since when has it been a requirement that phones stay with the latest version of their OS? They have no obligation to do anything at all.


No, you are right, phone manefacturers have no obligation to upgrade, but at least when I buy a new smartphone, I look at their track record on upgrades of previous models. If I find out that a specific brand of phones is less likely to get upgrades, chances are that I buy another phone.

Phone makers are slowly starting to realize that you can't sell phones that cost as much as a laptop, if they leave their customers to hang out to dry, as soon as the money changed hands. The fact that Microsoft does the upgrades not the phone makers is the major advantage of WP7, or at least it should be.

Reply Score: 4

RE: expecting everything
by Radio on Thu 24th Feb 2011 08:00 UTC in reply to "expecting everything"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Since when has it been a requirement that phones stay with the latest version of their OS?
Since (smart)phones have become targets for hackers. (And also since Google/Apple/MS release buggy/faulty/incomplete software... Android 2.1 can send your text to the wrong person, you don't want that, do you?)

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It may be a small point but you obviously mean "smartphones are becoming targets for [criminals]".. why not use the word "criminal" when what you mean is criminal intent. At least when talking on a tech focused website frequented by Hackers, consider using the term correctly. Hackers are interested in extending the functionality of there own smartphones, not breaking into yours or any real criminal actions.

Now, in terms of criminals now targeting smartphones, I'd agree. As more personal information becomes stored on phones, crminals will look for ways to exploit them. Smartphones have already become general purpose computers under the hood. Software vulnerabilities are a primary method of exploiting that device for criminal gain. Patches are the most effective way to address vulnerabilities in the software design or implementation. Patches are as critical for today's smartphones as they are for any of the big box OS. Even missing or buggy functions need to be promptly patched, if only for QA purposes.

Patches and newer firmware should not be leverages as a way to push future hardware sales. If I buy hardware, I want those firmware updates flowing for a reasonable lifespan of the hardware; don't tell me six months later that I have to replace perfectly functioning hardware just to get patches and firmware. Give me current firmware and patch; let me decide when the hardware has aged or lacks enough standard functions to justify replacement.

Reply Score: 4

RE: expecting everything
by dsmogor on Thu 24th Feb 2011 11:39 UTC in reply to "expecting everything"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Smartphone (as opposed to a dumbphone) is a platform device and part of its value is being able to remain viable as a software platform bearer. So if they sell an application phone yes it's their very obligation to maintain its ability to run apps.

Reply Score: 2

The phones
by Nelson on Thu 24th Feb 2011 02:59 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

were not hardware bricked. They had a soft brick, which only requires you to hit the button combination which reflashes the firmware onto the device.

A more severe form of a brick is where the ROM which stores the recovery image and the bootloader become corrupted, from which there is no return without JTAG.

Basically you call Windows Phone Support, they tell you to hold down three buttons, and you get a factory reset phone.

You'd swear the sky was falling the way some of these articles were written.

Reply Score: 3

RE: The phones
by atsureki on Thu 24th Feb 2011 04:40 UTC in reply to "The phones"
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

were not hardware bricked. They had a soft brick, which only requires you to hit the button combination which reflashes the firmware onto the device.


No.

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/02/everything-that-can-g...

"For lucky individuals, the process merely hangs on step seven (out of ten); rebooting the phone resurrects it, albeit without the upgrade. For a minority of unlucky users, the process fails at step six, and corrupts the phone's firmware. What's worse is that for some of them it appears to be bricking the phone completely, rendering it useless."

Next paragraph goes into detail about the button combination, and how it sometimes doesn't work.

I remember Eugenia's recent article about older iOS products being "bricks" because two features have ceased to work after an update. Meanwhile the first WP7 update has made actual, real, for serious bricks, and that word is conspicuously absent. To be fair, the iOS issue is systemic, and this is relatively isolated. But to be actually really fair, these are actually really bricks, and the iOS devices actually really aren't. Just sayin'.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The phones
by Nelson on Thu 24th Feb 2011 04:58 UTC in reply to "RE: The phones"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29



Yes. Don't take what Ars reports as gospel. Along with their sensational headlines, that part is plain wrong. You need not look further than the XDA forums where Omnia7 users have reported success in reflashing their phones to a restored firmware.

The "brick" does not prevent any phone from entering download mode and having a new firmware reflashed with Samsung's tool.

There has been no confirmed case of a completely irreversibly bricked phone. At all. Sensationalism at it's finest.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The phones
by Drumhellar on Thu 24th Feb 2011 04:41 UTC in reply to "The phones"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

From Ars' coverage:

Those unfortunates with apparent firmware corruption can try forcing the phone into download mode (turn off the handset, then turn it on while holding the camera button and the volume down button) or firmware reset mode (turn off the handset, then turn it on while holding the camera button and volume up button; then choose the "format" option) or perhaps even a different download mode (turn on while holding camera, volume up and volume down). If this is successful, it should allow the handset to recover its original firmware and resume operation. But not everyone can get this to work, indicating that the devices are truly bricked, with the only option being to return them to the network operator and have them replaced under warranty.


(emphasis added)

Perhaps the article should have mentioned this, but yes, the worst case did happen for some people.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The phones
by ruinevil on Thu 24th Feb 2011 05:25 UTC in reply to "RE: The phones"
ruinevil Member since:
2009-01-08

Or the users in question could just be incompetent. Unbricking tends to be fairly complicated.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by t3RRa
by t3RRa on Thu 24th Feb 2011 03:10 UTC
t3RRa
Member since:
2005-11-22

Not long after Eugenia has posted about Apple's iOS App update problem... very interesting haha ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by t3RRa
by Neolander on Thu 24th Feb 2011 07:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by t3RRa"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Probably some sort of competition... "The world's most crappy smartphone update system".

Anyway, who needs any other thing than security updates ? Look at all those people still using Windows XP without major problems in the desktop world, that's the way it should be done ;) As long as app compaibility is kept at this level, there's no reason to replace a firmware that works with something that may work, but could be an absolute disaster (cf iPhone 3G iOS 4 update and now this), just for the sake of aesthetics.

New phones should use the latest version, to ensure that gradually it becomes widespread, but that's it.

Now if it's vendors and developers who want that users keep their phones up to date, in order to be able to use the latest releases' functionality in their applications, that's another story. In that case, they must do with their impatience by making a new release which works on all devices and installs flawlessly. Preferably simply by downloading and running a file on the phone : no silly desktop application, no need to depend on the carrier's nonexistent good will. Afaik, that's not quite the way it workd ATM.

Edited 2011-02-24 07:27 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by t3RRa
by t3RRa on Thu 24th Feb 2011 09:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by t3RRa"
t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

But many of people play games, newer games require more processing powers and demand more features for better graphics from graphic cards and DirectX (on Windows of course) which requires upgrade to the OS (at least up to Vista or preferably 7). Windows XP is soon going to die for gamers. It would soon only be useful for offices..

And phones are emerging as gaming devices nowadays and yes we could see similar problems to desktop systems somewhat surprisingly. And we are confronting those not-used-to-be situations. It is not a problem only for Apple but everyone.

I hope OSNews staff members would only report the facts but their own personal opinions showing their preferences or hates ... at least should not emphasize too much as seen these days. Otherwise, as I have already called.. its a blog! nvm

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by t3RRa - artificial issue
by jabbotts on Thu 24th Feb 2011 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by t3RRa"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The DX9/DX10 issue is mostl artificial. Microsoft could have simply released a DX10 build for XP but it was leveraged to premote Vista and now Win7 sales. Hence, gamers will eventually have to migrate to win7 if they haven't already due to artificial scarcety of DX10 for XP.

My issue becomes the games that won't run on win7. I've got some great older and highly replayable titles that are due to go the way of Longbox2. Maybe Shogun Total War will run clean on my desktop hardware and win7 but it sure doesn't like my notebook and win7. I may be looking at a tripple boot; winXP for games, win7 for games, Debian for real work.

Reply Score: 4

Updates are like ...
by lemur2 on Fri 25th Feb 2011 12:31 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Updates are like ...

http://i.imgur.com/UEpPB.jpg

... and on WP7 ... apparently

http://static.arstechnica.net/assets/2011/02/winphone-7-brick-ars-t...

... bricked winphone.

Edited 2011-02-25 12:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2