Wild Windows Phone 7 Update Ride Continues

Microsoft's bumpy take off for its new smartphone operating system appears to be evolving into a bumpy flight as users apparently continue to encounter problems with a recent system update for Samsung phones.

This time, however, instead of physically damaging users' phones, the updated update is simply failing to install on some small percentage of Samsung devices.

The problems began when Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) started distributing the first system update for Windows Phone 7 (WP7) in mid-February -- an update that is meant to "improve" the system update process. (The update is being rolled out a bit at a time so not all WP7 devices have received it yet.)

Most users' updates went as planned, but some "small" percentage of Samsung Omnia7 Windows phones ended up useless, or "bricked," meaning they have been permanently disabled, Microsoft officials admitted.

Microsoft immediately pulled the Samsung update fixed it, and restarted distribution to Samsung phones earlier this week, according to a post to the Windows Phone Blog on Wednesday by company spokesperson Michael Stroh.

"During the past week the engineering team has pinpointed and fixed problems that were preventing a small percentage of Windows Phones from installing the February software patch," Stroh's post said." We apologize again for the delay and continue looking for ways to improve the update process."

However, that's not all for some subset of Samsung users.

Soon after the Samsung update was re-released, some users began complaining on Microsoft's WP7 Answers user forum, saying that their Samsung devices were not being bricked, but they weren't successful at installing the update either.

Instead, they get an error code: 800705B4.

"When it gets to step 7, saying it's installing updates, no progress is ever made ... and the phone eventually reboots," was characteristic of many posts to the forum.

The user forum activity was initially spotted by a few tech enthusiast sites, including Engadget, and Ars Technica.

Microsoft has acknowledged the latest spate of problems.

"We are aware of the error code and are looking into it right now to find a resolution. Thanks for your patience," said a tweet from the WinPhoneSupport twitter account, Thursday.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.


Microsoft, mobile, smartphone, Windows Phone 7, mobile os