back to article Windows Phone 7 gets 'goodie' update

Windows Phone 7 users – both of them? – are about to be treated to their first software update. But even Microsoft admits that it's no big deal. "Starting today, some of you might see something new on your Windows Phone: A message announcing that a software update is available. Woo hoo!", effuses Michael Stroh on the Windows …


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  1. Kevin (Just Kevin)


    Really? What's wrong with ActiveSync that's built into Win7? Now I'm going to have to install some silly music hungry app that goes around my machine looking for all media it can, ingesting it into "libraries" and all the other insane things that these programs do. I don't have a Zune. I don't want to Zune.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Sounds familiar

      A resource hungry bloatware music app that you have to install in order to update your phone. Hmmm, where have I heard that before...

    2. Tzael

      Re: Zune?

      First: Zune facilitates the synchronisation for WP7 devices, much in the same way that iTunes works for iPhone users. While not essential for using the phone, Zune will ensure that a complete backup of your phone's data is taken prior to an update being applied, and will allow you to roll back to a previous version should any problems arise.

      Second: Zune only goes searching your entire computer for audio if you tell it to. It will _offer_ to check your "My Music" folder but you can opt to decline if you like.

      Third: You don't want to Zune? Well tough titties! You know that little user guide (aka instruction manual) that came with your phone? Well have a look-see, Zune is more than just a piece of software to accompany media players. It provides many useful features for managing your phone, features which are completely independent of audio playback.

      I hear what you're saying Kevin, and I understand, however I believe your concerns are ill-founded based upon my own direct experience of using the Zune software in conjunction with the phone. There had to be _some_ software component, at least PC users get a much better name for that software than "Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac" :)

      1. Timjl


        "Windows Phone 7 Connector" is a better name than Zune.

      2. Kevin (Just Kevin)

        @Tzael - Zune

        Yeah, I'm sure Zune is very useful. My point is that forever we had to install extra software to connect a WinMo phone to a PC. Then Vista & Win7 came along with built-in capability for phone-sync, data transfer, etc and as soon as that happens you have to install some mega piece of do-everything software just to interact with the phone?

    3. bolccg
      Thumb Up

      Amen to that

      Number 1 reason I grew to hate my iPhone was iTunes reliance. Similarly, being able to drag and drop on my HTC Desire from any laptop, including my work machine, is a god send. Zune sounds like a bad move.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      yes you do...

      If you have a WP7, then you have Zune services, and the Zune software is how it syncs.

      If your question about ActiveSync is serious, then I doubt you've made much use of pre-WP7 devices. A few issues:

      1.) Many devices couldn't support 'advanced' features (e.g. internet access via PC) and required tweaks in their connection settings ("disable advanced features") to communicate with the PC. On occasion, devices that used to work before would suddenly stop working with ActiveSync until this was disabled.

      2.) ActiveSync stopping Outlook from closing.

      3.) Couldn't backup the device without 3rd party software on both PC and device.

      4.) Pretty unreliable firmware updates (typically ActiveSync only used to trigger reset of device into bootloader, and but often firmware updater would give up before device had reached bootloader).

      And, compared to Media Player and iTunes, Zune is amazing. Excellent user interface, great features and does the job well.

      Back to your original question - if you *really* have a WP7 device - have you really never connected it to your PC? If you had, you'd know you needed to use the Zune desktop software. If you don't have a WP7 device, then sorry - but please stop complaining - it doesn't affect you.

  2. SilverWave

    both of them?


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Thank god...

    The updates dont require a 3g connection or some such rubbish. Last thing you'd want is to waste money getting updates via expensive mobile data. For a while I was thinking this was the route they would take.

    1. Kevin (Just Kevin)

      @Thank god

      Some people have bundled data. Many people have wifi. Do it on the phone without forcing people to install software they don't want. At least give people the option.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Most people have bundled data. However most people would like to use their bundled data for stuff for browsing, email etc, you know, the reason why they have a smart phone.

        It's not exactly hard plugging in your phone into a usb port to get an update whenever you next have time. It's not usually a super critical thing that one needs to waste expensive mobile data on (even if bundled) since you should be using it for other things.

        I also prefer not being able to fiddle with the OS via mobile data. Keeps the telco's nose out of it should they get any ideas.

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        @Thank god +1

        My Android phone (HTC Wildfire) offered the system update from version 2.1 to 2.2 and gave me the choice of using the phone network or WiFi only. I chose the WiFi option as much as for speed as anything else, since the updated was "only" 81MB and not a huge amount of my monthly 500GB allowance.

        So back to the original point - any phone that NEEDS a sucky and OS-restricted utility to do the most basic of tasks is a failure in my mind. MS has Zune, Apple has iTunes, both of them appear to suck in my books, and neither is available for Linux (in spite of half-hearted ports to their opposition's OS).

        Fail - for the sucky companies.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        You really want to risk it?

        I think it's pretty wise to back up a device before a firmware update (i.e. require a PC connection). I've seen a couple of iPhones require restoring from backups due to software updates failing. Most people would have access to a PC or a Mac to do the update.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @You really want to risk it?

          Risk what? With most Android phones, your contact, calendar, etc data is in the cloud and photos/music/video are safely stored on an SD card.

          The only issue would be having to reconfigure the phone and install the apps again - for which there are apps to also store this data on the SD card/cloud as well...

          I never have to sync my android phone with a computer and that's exactly how I want it! However, I can plug it into any computer I like and copy files to/from it via drag and drop if the need arises.

  4. Lance 3

    Lack of planning

    "This update, in fact, is merely an update that improves the process of updating."

    If they didn't even put much thought of updates into it, no wonder why it sucks. And yes, I have used a WP7; game it back to the Microsoft person that had it and said no thanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "And yes, I have used a WP7; game it back to the Microsoft person that had it and said no thanks."

      So by used, you mean half-heartedly poked the screen for approximately 3 and a half minutes?

      There is nothing wrong with updating the update application, but just because it's Microsoft, we'll get a boot in 'ey?

    2. Tzael

      Re: Lack of planning

      Windows Update had been around for a few years, even now Microsoft releases patches that improve the Windows Installer component that is used to deliver updates. Bad Planning? No, just evolution of a product to improve its usefulness.

      As for your WP7 experience, essentially you got to use a Microsoft rep's phone for a few minutes, is that what you're saying? Remind me never to send any products to you for review, even the really good expensive toys!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ding dong, the show has begun

    An update that is a prelude to The update. This is amazing Microsoft, with all the gloom going on you still find it in you to entertain us with your silly little ways.

    Thanks very much.

    Can't wait for that copy & paste update. Will it be coming in two separate updates too? Maybe paste first for greater hilarity?

  6. JonAlb

    Exciting :)

    as one of the two WP7 users I have to say this is exciting :)

    1. Daniel Wilkie
      Gates Halo


      I love my HTC 7, no really. Like in a freakish apple fanboi kind of way...

    2. Tzael

      Re: Exciting :)

      I thought I was the other user but reading this comments section makes me think that maybe there are three of us, not just two as stated in the article :)

    3. Paddy 2

      Re: Exciting :)

      Just applied the update. Smooth as a breeze.

      I'm happy with my HD7.

      I do have a wishlist, but I'm willing to give WP7 a little more time to settle down.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Me and my mate are the two Windows Phone users, you are obviously in imposter.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: No

        I think El Reg means two users in addition to all the Microsoft employees who don't work in Mac Business Unit.

  7. alwarming

    Update for update ?

    Something I should've done with my dating career - a date for the real date.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Nothing new

    Early version of Android did the same thing - an update was pushed to v1.5 handsets to enable the OTA update to 2.1. As for the "both of them" jibe. A cheap shot. I and I suspect many others expect better from the Reg, or does the fact that the entire world is not using iOS really twist the knife that much?

  9. Jim Coleman


    I see The Register doesn't have a problem with biased reporting then, the anti-MS force being strong in this article.

    I assume by "both of them" you mean "both millions of them", way more than that by now.

    That jibe was even more eye-rolling considering Nokia are now on the bandwagon. Someone might have to eat their words soon.

    But I guess it's still trendy to insult Microsoft isn't it, even if they have made an awesome phone OS that's smoother than Android and more open than iOS.


    1. Not That Andrew

      Err, Did you look at the header?

      "Biting the hand that feeds IT" ring any bells? Notice it's color? Heard of the term "red top"? El Reg is biased against just about everyone.

    2. Paul M 1


      "an awesome phone OS that's smoother than Android " by using modern hardware to power an OS with the same capabilities as the iPhone Version 1.0. I'd be very worried if it wasn't smooth.

      "more open than iOS" - come again? I mean, it's actually very hard *not* to be more open than iOS but it looks to me like Microsoft are trying very hard.

      And a quick note to the Reg - if both the MS and Apple fans think you're out to get them, you must be doing something right :-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As one of the two...

      This is just how the reg reports stuff - they take the piss out of apple/linux/MS just as much. When the respective fanboys stop complaining you know they're doing something wrong.

      A bit like Labour saying the BBC is too right wing and the Tories saying they're too left wing - as soon as one side stops complaining, you know something is up.

    4. Frank 2
      Thumb Down

      It's called

      A JOKE. Please try and get a sense of humour, you're giving the other WP7 users (both of them...boom boom) a bad rep.

  10. Bonnie
    Paris Hilton

    Elop, well done!

    Nokia engineers will be thrilled. If they were apprehensive about WP7 earlier, I'm sure this novel "cut and paste" feature will win them over.

    Paris, because she should've made Nokia CEO.

  11. Christian Berger Silver badge

    @What's wrong with Active Sync?

    The time when mobile devices didn't have filesystems so you actually needed some bit of Software to get data onto them, should long be gone. Just think about it, if you need to sync your documents with your desktop computer before travelling, you might as well edit them right there.

    Microsoft should have played it's strengths instead of just trying to out-apple Apple. Like a mobile OS with access to network file shares, an RDP-client and seamless integration with most VPN vendors could have been a success, as it actually fills a gap.

    1. Jim Coleman
      Thumb Down

      *another sigh*

      It might be worth you checking your facts before you post. WP7 phones can access documents synced to Skydrive, so no, there is no need to sync over a cable before you leave home.

      Nice try at spreading FUD though.

  12. Mikel

    The updater is a core piece

    And now we find it shipped with one that's barely good enough to download a newer one before the update can be performed. And this is the crew that's going to port Windows Phone to a basket of Nokia platforms they've never seen before, with the assistance of a crew of Nokia engineers who've never seen Windows Phone before, before the year is out. Thanks for the heads up. Any word on multitasking, and customizable ringtones?

  13. Tomislav

    An update to enable future updates?

    Why doesn't this surprise me? How many Windows updates had that line in the description?

    Simply shows how unfinished the product really is. I will not be buying one for myself, at least not before SP2 comes out :).

  14. Magnus_Pym

    This is so Microsoft

    In order to prepare for the actual update you must install something on something else. By the time the fabled 'cut 'n' paste' update comes along they will start by telling you you need to be living in a Microsoft house and drive a Microsoft car etc in order to get it. Your Windows phone is a cuckoo in you nest. You will wake one night to find it rounding up all the other phones in your house and pushing them out the door.

  15. OpenSauce

    Have they learnt nothing?

    "The update won't be sent over the air – you'll need to hook your phone up to your computer using a USB cable, then..."

  16. Shonko Kid

    THIS is the future?!?

    This has FAIL written all over it. In fact, it's papered with FAIL wallpaper, then had FAIL graffitied over that, only to be boarded up and have FAIL tape covering all the entrances.

    Getting excited about cut and paste.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    shirley this is just WGA?

    it's Windows Genueen Advantige for WinMo7 to check if you haven't stolen the WinMoOs from somewhere, as if

  18. dave 46


    Why does anything to do with MS, Apple, Google cause so much hate? You don't get this with an article about some new HP kit or a SAP update.

    Read some of the above comments, it's foaming at the mouth nuttyness.

    I updated my old hero over the air (wifi for speed) and I recently updated my (work) iPhone with iTunes because I had to use it for putting copilot on and it prompted me to. Neither option caused me to rage around the building for half an hour.

    Is it me?

    1. Greg Fawcett

      It's RIDICULE, not hate.

      MS have to update their updater before they can do any updates? Lame...

      But the big one is that Android updates itself - you don't need a PC. Given that their phone is the ONLY computer that the majority of mobile users have (think developing countries), isn't it a wee bit short-sighted to have updates only possible through a PC? This kneecaps both WP7 and iPhone in the biggest markets in the world.

      You'd expect these sorts of glitches from the first device in a space, but when you're trying to enter a market four years after the leader, and two years after a massively popular (and free) alternative, you'd better have ironed all the glitches out out of your product. And if you haven't, and you're a multinational that thinks it's the pinnacle of software development, prepare to be ridiculed!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns

      Microsoft is doing it to themselves

      Why not to hate Microsoft? It is company that hates and tries to destroy everything that is not Microsoft. They hate me, make my life harder, so why I shouldn't hate them?

      "You don't get this with an article about some new HP kit or a SAP update." << Microsoft is company that sends it's munchkins to attack everyone who doesn't like them, while HP and SAP don't do that. As result, HP and SAP get blasted if they do something stupid, and then left alone. While Microsoft munchkins start defending their sugar daddy, and by doing that, they make straisand effect

      Also, other companies pay for companies they acquire, while Microsoft goes around infiltrating and hijacking competitors for 0$, turning them into zombies whose only purpose in life is promoting latest M$ garbage. So all the hate in the world is not enough for Microsoft. They single handedly destroyed computer industry, and turned real computer companies into low margin box movers and screwdriver shops. Now they try to do same with phones. They want to remove smartness from smarphones, and they should be hated for that.

      When they go out of business, I might stop hating them. Not before.

      AC, because I don't want munchkins stalking me.

  19. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Jim Coleman


      I agree, Android is indeed a joke.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  20. sleep-er

    The other WP7 owner

    As the other WP7 owner I an slightly disturbed by this update as I have a Omnia7 and am not brave enough to try it yet

  21. stim
    Thumb Down

    great reporting... *eyesroll*

    "both of them?" - wow, you're funny, let me guess you write M$ too... and you're actually writing the article!? Apple/Android fanboi by any chance..?!

    ...what a loser...

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. stim


        i think you'll find it's the users that call them freetards, not the authors!

        yes, i did buy a WP7 - I have used and owned most of the smart phones out there - and this WP7 wipes the floor with all of them!

        Android/Apple/MS - i'm not fussed who makes it if it's good, and this certainly is...

  22. Mark .

    No one cares about market share anyway

    "A cheap shot. I and I suspect many others expect better from the Reg, or does the fact that the entire world is not using iOS really twist the knife that much?"

    I agree. And it's a joke that market share actually matters anyway - I have a Nokia, and could therefore make similar "both of them" jokes about Iphones, since Nokia smartphones far outsell them. But instead you just get tonnes of hype in the media about the Iphone anyway, despite being less popular than Android and Symbian. (Although at least The Reg is somewhat critical of the Apple hype, sometimes.)

    (Plus when Nokia switches to WP as their OS, even if Nokia's share does fall, it's not inconceivable that the help to WP's share will push it to being more popular than IOS. I look forward to the smile being wiped off their face when that happens.)

    A similar inconsistency applies to copy/paste. When the Iphones didn't have it for years, it was deemed unimportant. When WP doesn't have it for a few months, it's considered a major flaw.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge


      "When the Iphones didn't have it for years, it was deemed unimportant. When WP doesn't have it for a few months, it's considered a major flaw."

      This would only be an "inconsistency" if they had been released contemporaneously. Would you claim I was inconsistent if I criticised a new make of car because it didn't have airbags, and I hadn't taken into account that the first Fords didn't have them either?

  23. NoneSuch

    Microsoft Development Stages

    1) Develop Alpha code and install files

    2) Release software

    3) Let users debug

    4) Release numerous patches

    5) Release service pack

    6) Repeat Step 5 four times

    7) Get half decent product three weeks before end of life and cancellation.

  24. Anonymous Coward


    1st update from MS and its gone and bricked a load of phones. Nice to see MS quality still as good as ever.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Copy and paste != bleeding edge tech

    >>copy/paste. When the Iphones didn't have it for years, it was deemed unimportant. When WP doesn't have it for a few months, it's considered a major flaw.<<

    Erm no - IMO it's way beyond pathetic in both. It would have been merely a major flaw on a 1980's Mac, or PC running DESQView of even s*dd*ng Windows 1.0 - only they all had it - with a tiny fraction of the RAM and CPU of today's 'smart' devices - all built with primitive tools and probably way less development time/resource.

    Sorry to be a grumpy old man - but I just don't get this. Mine's the one with the 30 quid dumb phone, a netbook and still a ton in change from the price of an iGimmick in the pockets.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Calm Down

    Microsoft will come to the same conclusion that Apple did. Trying to implement copy & paste digital rights management is just impractical and they will have to push the update without it.

  27. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    monumentally stupid both times

    "copy/paste. When the Iphones didn't have it for years, it was deemed unimportant. When WP doesn't have it for a few months, it's considered a major flaw."

    The Apple fanbois said it was "unimportant" but surely it'll turn up in an update. Everyone else said a supposed smartphone that didn't let you install your own apps (i.e. force install ONLY through an app store), couldn't cut and paste, and couldn't multitask, was monumentally stupid and barely counts as a smartphone. And now, with the hindsight of seeing even Steve Jobs couldn't persuade his fans that they are "unimportant" features, Microsoft does the exact same thing. It is monumentally stupid this time too.

    And, sorry, both IPhone needing iTunes *AND* Winphone7 needing Zune are BOTH fails.

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