One of the biggest advantages in forcing OEMs into very tight hardware specifications for their Windows Phones was that they could make upgrading super easy. Since the phones are all so similar, it wouldn’t take long to move their updates across all their devices, in a way similar to what Apple does with their iPhone and what could only be a pipe dream for Android owners. Microsoft reinforced this by maintaining a page that listed when specific phones on various carriers were getting the newest updates.
Well, for some strange reason, they’re not going to be doing that anymore.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like anything good from this end. Microsoft says that the newest version of their mobile OS, a smallish maintenance build, is available to carriers “that request it”, which honestly sounds like a slippery slope around the blogosphere. Microsoft has been holding carriers under some strict regulations in keeping a cornucopia of Windows Phones up to date, but now it seems as if they’re easing off it. This can go two ways:
- Microsoft’s poorly-selling Windows Phones are getting something in exchange from the carriers for not being as strict about these things in the future. Maybe it’s marketing dollars, who knows. Only half of the nation’s carriers have gotten Mango-generation hardware so far (that being AT&T and T-Mobile) and they’re trying to get Verizon and Sprint into the deal as well? Purely speculation.
- Maybe Microsoft will release their tight reins on hardware specifications and allow a bit more flexibility in phone designs and carriers. No one on Android is dying because they can’t get Ice Cream Sandwich, so maybe it wouldn’t hurt to entice new customers to the fold with the vaunted ‘superphones’ that they’re promising later this year with the release of their major Apollo update.
Source: Windows Phone Blog