back to article Whoops! Microsoft accidentally lets out a mobile-'bricking' OS update

“A small portion” of Windows mobile users hoping the unexpected cool new update would start the month off the right way got burned yesterday. Microsoft “accidentally” released a development build of Windows 10 that can transform your phone into jelly if you try to install it. “We apologize for this inconvenience,” said …

  1. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    Seems so long ago

    Since they killed off the iPhone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems so long ago

      “Today was a great exercise in our whole team coming together to solve a singular problem,”

      Such postive spin takes me back to the day we carried that large foam iPhone brick collectively, the real Winphone bricks are in our pockets, now, and forever will be.

      "It's dead Jim"

      1. nematoad Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Seems so long ago

        "Today was a great exercise in our whole team coming together to solve a singular problem..."

        Presumably said problem being how to kick off those few die-hards still using Windows mobile.

      2. ControlShiftLeft

        Re: Seems so long ago

        "Today was a great exercise in our whole team coming together to solve a singular problem," Sarkar tweeted. Well let's hope Sarkar doesn't accidentally run into a dictionary or their day will go from bad to worse. "Singular" = Exceptionally good

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Seems so long ago

          '"Singular" = Exceptionally good'

          ----

          Not precisely, no. A lot of words get misused and thus misunderstood. This looks to be one of them:

          singular

          adjective

          1.

          extraordinary; remarkable; exceptional:

          a singular success.

          2.

          unusual or strange; odd; different:

          singular behavior.

          3.

          being the only one of its kind; distinctive; unique:

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems so long ago

      Hit me and several others I know too. Hard reboot doesn't work. Can't believe something so universally terminal to devices got released. Shouldn't they check it with some phones at Microsoft first?

      I think most people won't know how to use the WDRT and many will probably be returning their devices under warranty, etc...

      1. GoingGoingGone

        Re: Seems so long ago

        There are no W10M phones left at MS, or at least nobody is using them.

        The utter contempt for their own creation is such that the announcement for the recent W10M Creators Update release was done via Twitter FROM AN IPHONE (by the same Microsoft Windows and Devices Group software engineer Dona Sarkar the article refers to, who is also the public face of the Windows Insider program, and much to the despair and incredulity of the few remaining loyal users).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Seems so long ago

          Yeah, Windows Phone is over. It is well known. I'm not sure if they will release any new models. They have a few OEMs, HP, who have put out newer models, but the platform is done.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      iPhone funeral

      Wow, I forgot all about that. The air certainly was thick with hubris back then, when Microsoft thought by just throwing something out there people would abandon the iPhone. Did they really believe people actually loved Microsoft products, instead of merely tolerating them because they had no choice?

      1. Planty Bronze badge
        Stop

        Re: iPhone funeral

        Microsoft still believes that, the arrogance is still very strong at Microsoft even in the nadella era.

        Microsoft are losing consumer on industry confidence left right and centre, for good reason. Average is no longer sufficient.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "the arrogance is still very strong at Microsoft even in the nadella era"

          Actually, under Nadella it increased a lot. The contempt towards users was never that high.

        2. tin 2

          Re: iPhone funeral

          C'mon, MS products have never reached the dizzying heights of average.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: iPhone funeral

            "Average is no longer sufficient."

            True, MSFT is getting by because average, if it is already in place, will work for corporations, or IT will pretend it works. Corporate IT departments seem to not want to replace MSFT even though the users would welcome it. The average IT bod who works on MSFT thinks users still really want MSFT... they don't at all, but they have been keeping up the charade so they don't have to deal with change. Users generally want the latest and greatest (i.e. Apple and Google). IT wants whatever is in place, generally, so they don't have to do work. Not in all cases, but generally true. They fought iPhone and Android until they released the users were going to come after them with pitchforks if they didn't support it. The crazy part about this one is that it would really not be much more expensive to outfit users with MacBook. It would be dramatically less expensive to outfit users with Android/ChromeOS and G Suite... probably cut their end user expenses in half and users would like the move. It's just silly.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: iPhone funeral

              > Corporate IT departments seem to not want to replace MSFT

              Cost, Retraining, Apple lock-in

              All those shitty MS certificates on their CV

              There isn't a *nix desktop that's corporate ready unless you swap for Apple.

              I work in design, one of the most Apple friendly environments and still they save hardware dollar on some Leveno crap running Windows for the spreadsheet monkeys.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: iPhone funeral

                Why does the operating system matter anymore? Most businesses would run 100% cloud, and just run anything that has a modern browser.

            2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: iPhone funeral

              Corporate IT departments seem to not want to replace MSFT even though the users would welcome it.

              There are multiple reasons for that:

              1. Business workflows have accreted over time and a sensitive to versions, let alone applications.

              2. Users don't necessarily welcome it - the most familiar complaint is "but I was used to the old one!".

              3. In some cases (AD/SQLServer) there no easy way to replace the functionality. Yes, I know OpenLDAP/MariaDB/Postgresql exist but I refer you to point (1).

              4. It takes a good deal of vision/guts/money/time to rip out existing business processes and rebuild them from scratch. That combination of 4 factors is very, very rare. To quote Sir Humphrey "that's a very bold step" and that's not something IT directors & senior execs want to hear..

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: iPhone funeral

            C'mon, MS products have never reached the dizzying heights of average.

            Commonly called "the overwhelming win for marketing over substance"..

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Interesting

    Tim Coulling, a senior analyst at Canalys, thinks the issue's reach is fairly minor because the install base for Microsoft mobile devices is relatively low and people with those devices would have also had to choose to install the update immediately (unlikely).

    Come on MS, admit it, this platform is as dead as the proverbial Dodo. Put the few people still running it out of their misery.

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: Interesting

      By making us get phones running boring iOS or clunky Android? No thanks. :p

      If I don't have the option of a phone running Windows when I next upgrade, I'll get myself a feature phone instead and to hell with the 21st century.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Interesting

        "to hell with the 21st century."

        The cry of a Windows fan!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting

        Clunky Android?? Perhaps sub £100, but spend a reasonable amount from a decent manufacturer that doesnt load it up with bloat, and of course make sure it's sim-free (so a carrier doesn't load their bloat on) and it's anything but clunky. It's fast, feature rich and secure.

        I think you need to either unplug from the internet (as you can't spot fud when it's passed your way), or need to stop being a cheapskate, and spent a more reasonable amount of money on your device. A couple of hundred quid will get you a pretty decent mid range android phone.

        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: Interesting

          ...or need to stop being a cheapskate...

          I have a LG G3 bought a few months after it was launched (I bought it for testing more than general use), and a Lumia 950 bought a month after launch (my everyday phone). I also have a low end Samsung (DuoS) also for testing, and an old HTC 8X. All bought unlocked. Trust me, money isn't the issue.

          I also have three iPads kicking around here, and access to half a dozen other iOS and Android devices at work.

          Windows and iOS feel smooth and responsive. Even iOS 9 on my ancient iPad 2 (providing I turn off Javascript in Safari). Android on the other hand just feels ever so slightly laggy - as if the UI has a special treacle simulator turned right down to low. It has always compared unfavourably to the other two in my opinion.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Interesting

            "Android on the other hand just feels ever so slightly laggy"

            Have you tried the Google Pixel phone... it is pretty awesome.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting

        "I'll get myself a feature phone instead and to hell with the 21st century."

        Spoken like a true MSFT fan. The future = bad.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting

      Just walk into Carphonewarehouse, and say (in an ITCrowd Moss voice) I'd like a Windows Phone please. And check out the facial expressions in terms of responses...

    3. Nolveys Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Interesting

      Come on MS, admit it, this platform is as dead as the proverbial Dodo. Put the few people still running it out of their misery.

      I don't think MS's relationship with Samsung is all that great at the moment, they'll probably have a hard time getting their hands on the proper batteries to finish the job.

  3. Goit
    Gimp

    Seems a tad sensationalist

    To say 'bricked'

    If you can hard reset it, then it hasn't been bricked.

    Oh you lost all your data? You mean it was that important and you never backed it up?

    That's a DFU error.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems a tad sensationalist

      True, but they get clicks for bricks.

      It all pays the same.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems a tad sensationalist

      "If you can hard reset it, then it hasn't been bricked."

      You can't even hard reset it. What ever you do (other than reinstall the firmware via the WDRT) it's a brick that intermittently displays the Microsoft logo.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems a tad sensationalist

        it's a brick that intermittently displays the Microsoft logo

        Al user-level requirements have been met!

  4. Justice
    Facepalm

    What's that???

    You didn't back up your device before applying a major update?

    Oh, boo hoo hoo.

    You must be so lost without all the data you acquired since you last found the motivation to get up off your arse and sync it with your box with lights.

    Gutted.

    Probably because it takes up a whole three minutes of your valuable time and could really have been done while you were watching cat videos instead of just leaping in there.

    What a personal disaster.

    Ray. The permanently sarcastic man.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: What's that???

      "You didn't back up your device before applying a major update?"

      Windows phone automatically backs up apps, config and settings. Most people use OneDrive to backup everything else.

      And most people use the default settings to automatically install updates when the phone knows it isn't being used. Usually overnight...

  5. Richard Jones 1
    Joke

    MS Mobiles or Smoke Signals

    “Today was a great exercise in our whole team coming together to solve a singular problem,” Sarkar tweeted yesterday.

    I guess they were not eating their own dog food (using the company devices) if they managed to communicate. Though on second thoughts perhaps they came to the same room to communicate because they ate at the company dog bowls?

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: MS Mobiles or Smoke Signals

      -“Today was a great exercise in our whole team coming together to solve a singular problem,” Sarkar tweeted yesterday.-

      A problem that would have never existed if they'd done their job correctly in the first place.

  6. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Windows

    so a subset of a subset of Windows phone users ?

    Both of them ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: so a subset of a subset of Windows phone users ?

      Nope, just a small child who got one for a birthday.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: so a subset of a subset of Windows phone users ?

        A poor unloved small child, I might add. Nothing like getting an obsolete Windows Phone, as a child to feel so unloved.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: so a subset of a subset of Windows phone users ?

          The child was also an orphan who had no money. The child had to work 23 hours a day 7 days a week just to get some food. They had no worldly possessions such as toys and lived in nothing but rags just eking out an existence in such a cruel society.

          Yet the worst thing that ever happened was getting a windows phone.

          1. cambsukguy

            Re: so a subset of a subset of Windows phone users ?

            You really are AC.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: so a subset of a subset of Windows phone users ?

              All the down votes do make me chuckle, it's like some people can't take a joke, come on, you bought a windows phone. You must have a sense of humour.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: so a subset of a subset of Windows phone users ?

                you bought a windows phone. You must have a sense of humour.

                If they brought a Windows anything then it's pretty clear evidence they're lacking in sense. Humour or otherwise.

    2. Planty Bronze badge

      Re: so a subset of a subset of Windows phone users ?

      Surely must be in fractions of users by now.

  7. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Message decoded.

    "Today was a great exercise in our whole team coming together to solve a singular problem” - that we ourselves created - by deleting all of our users' data. Solved!

    FTFY.

  8. wolfetone Silver badge

    I bet 2 out of the 4 people who use Windows Mobile are really, really annoyed right now.

  9. Halfmad

    Well on the brightside

    At least it's more secure now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well on the brightside

      Or, all the Winphone obsolete "free giveaway" 15GB Azure Cloud services that can now be re-deployed to actual paying customers, at the same time making users aware, first hand, for the need for cloud backups.

      What's not to like.

  10. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    It's hard not to feel sorry, somewhere ...

    I actually quite liked Windows Phone. But the deafening silence of apps made it pretty much a novelty in any setting.

  11. Boohoo4u

    I hope everyone got a free phone for being beta (alpha?) testers, and have all their work on a real phone.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia 8810 Classic.

    I did take out my Nokia 8810 Silver slider phone the other day and look very fondly at it, reminiscing to the days of small phones with great battery life. Yep, it still worked. There may be hope yet for Windows Phone, but sadly not for another 15 years.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Headmaster

      Re: Nokia 8810 Classic.

      How dare you use the N word in a story about microsoft.

  13. bob, mon!

    “Today was a great exercise in our whole team coming together to solve a singular problem.”

    Yes, they have now worked out a rock-solid methodology for closing a barn door once the horse has bolted.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: “Today was a great exercise in our whole team coming together to solve a singular problem.”

      it's also why 'mandatory updates' are bad.

      "See we told you so", Micro-shaft.

      (corrected spelling - tiny fonts hard to read - but previous version was funnier without the 'f')

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: “Today was a great exercise in our whole team coming together to solve a singular problem.”

      Unfortunately, yesterday was a great exercise in their whole team coming together to create a singular problem.

  14. jnemesh

    seems to me...

    That these folks got what they deserved for running a BETA version of a substandard OS! Seriously, guys, Windows Mobile is NEVER HAPPENING! Get over it and move on already!

  15. whileI'mhere

    Brick or Jelly?

    Brick or jelly? Which is it? I feel there may be a slight difference...

    Or is it this: http://www.instructables.com/file/FXINSU9FN82TMFF/

  16. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Unhappy

    Oh Look!

    That bridge building company used MS software and now they're sorry for the 'inconvenience' those falling bridges caused.......Oh dear.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No more updates for Windows 10 Mobile...

    Do Microsoft have a big red button saying 'No more Windows 10 Mobile updates'? because they need to press it once and for all, hard. This would be a very good time to stop, I think.

  18. tedleaf

    They should have stuck to winmo 6.5..

    The last decent mobile anything ms created..

  19. Sureo

    "...and the only way out is to wipe it and start over..."

    Nothing changes.

  20. A. Coatsworth
    Joke

    Joke's on you!

    I can't "upgrade" my phone from WinPho 8.1

  21. YARR
    Facepalm

    I'm not being Sarkar-stick when I say...

    Less than 2 years after I bought it, it's a relief to know that my Windows phone no longer qualifies for updates.

    Mission accomplished Microsoft.

  22. MelmIT

    I use a lumia 650 from my employer and i actually like the thing w10 mobile. It does what it should do without any fuss. Has expandable memory and a replaceable battery,works well with o365 and the oled is easily readable. Oh yes and i can make a phonecall with it too.

    Too many of these chintzy phones has blinded most folk as to what a " smartphone" is for.

    Oh and i do not need to download any unnessesery apps to check how long my toenails have grown in the last hour.

    1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Microsoft App Store achieves a major win

      it keeps you safe from unnecessary toenail measuring apps.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Windows

      "Oh and i do not need to download any unnessesery apps..."

      Like a spellchecker?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We knew the risks"

    Of shut the fuck up and just get bricked!!

    1. aqk
      IT Angle

      Re: "We knew the STFU risks"

      Hey, my phone IS a brick! That Bakelite is as sturdy as hell! And the rotary dial works flawlessly.

      But after some deliberation, MS told me that unfortunately I cannot run Win-10 on it.

      Yet.

    2. MelmIT

      Re: "We knew the risks"

      Have you ever actually a winphone??

      Or do you get a new android or apple every 2 years from your provider, using such salesspeak like "bezel" and "curved" to turn yo on?

      It's probably slower than when you first got due to all the useless"apps" and photos from imgur.

      Like your inflatable doll you should empty it now and again.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: "We knew the risks"

        "It's probably slower than when you first got due to all the useless"apps" and photos from imgur."

        Aha- so that's why the MS app store is so empty; to stop winphones from getting laggy!

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: "We knew the risks"

        Like your inflatable doll you should empty it now and again.

        Someone sounds a little butt-hurt.

        Typical.

        That's what you get for buying MS. Do they at least give you a reach around?

  24. aqk
    Windows

    OMG! Thank goodness I have a Grandpa Box!

    Yes, I have one of those old big beige boxes that has seen a multitude of mainboards, processors (usually AMD) and more than one PS that has burned out.

    No one would ever steal it- they'd sniff "Ha! This old geezer is still running Win 3.1!" as they went for my 48"TV set. Mind you, the big LED screens might be a giveaway...

    But hey! I'm still current! Running Ubuntu 17.04 and Win-10 (fast) Build 16199, which both work great!

    So... what's all this nonsense about telephones turning to jelly and frying?

    You mean I can run Windows-10 on my rotary-dial phone now? Wow! This IoT thing has really got outa hand!

  25. Mikel

    Reboot loop

    Considering Windows mobile team is also stuck in a reboot loop, maybe *they* should be wiped and reflashed.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very secure phone after update

    There, MS just secured your devices.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Got an MSI GS30... a 13'' laptop 4th gen i7 with Iris Pro Graphics that docks to a dock( sic! :) ) containing a full size desktop GTX 1060 6GB vid card on PCIe X16 full speed bus. Dock also contains a SATA SSD drive and speaker/ PSU. Plus many USB ports and ethernet card...

    All the communication with dock devices is through the port on the back of laptop's motherboard that slides into when in desktop mode.

    Few days ago I've noticed some errors on the docked SSD - which didn't make sense as the drive's health is fine...but still it had issues communicating with that sata.

    After creators update, noticed stuttering after a couple of hours of gaming Star Wars Battlefront (a demanding game). Restart will solve it, disabled brand spanking new feature 'game mode'..

    Two days ago however, whilst looking at my desktop and speaking on the phone, I noticed the screen go fuzzy rgb pixel soup - like a video card or south bridge/ pci bus failure.

    Had to completely wipe and reinstall windows to get it back to its senses, as with the Iris Pro graphics, I could use that Windows install, but in device manager it would show the nVidia GTX 1060 card as 'display adapter' with an exclamation mark. Any attempt to uninstall or re-install nVidia driver would result in 'failed to detect compatible hardware'.

    SFC scannow from powershell had not found anything wrong with the system...

    After re-installing windows 10 it just came back to full working order, therefore I suspect the driver for my 'non-so-common' rig must have been borked big time!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who are the dunces who are still using Windows phones today?!

    Seriously, the ship has long sailed. Not even the carcass of Nokia could revive Microsoft's mobile fortunes.

    And Microsoft had already given up by porting its own apps to iOS and Android.

  29. Deimos
    Gimp

    I suspect the dark side is showing

    I think the win 10 phone version and many other M$ products are actually the output of a huge misery producing AI. After trying to setup my first personal M$ crud in five years (a laptop and Xbox one s), I finally reached the conclusion that M$ are actually fuelled entirely by pain and suffering.

    Obviously mainstream products have dedicated teams of pain goblins to cause enough horror to feed the dark lord bill but what of rarer products? How can you ensure that every tiny bit of Redmond crud reduces people to gibbering insanity?

    Thus was born the super pain AI, itself entirely powered by people's despair at trying to not crap-grade to win 10. An AI designed to do nothing but hurt people, so entirely undistinguishable from actual interaction with M$.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I suspect the dark side is showing

      Fuelled by incompetence and hubris. Marketing tripe over technological expediency.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is nothing that would get me to even pirate a Microsoft product. Toad shell funking shy hat.

    I'm just amazed how many billions they make out of otter reet hards.

    Wish Thy Fish

    1. MrAverage
      Coffee/keyboard

      Just found my new password key phrase

      Thanks for the inspiration.

      p.s. new keyboard please

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the users were a burden anyways

    So what is the best way to force them off the platform? Wipe their data so there's nothing keeping them there any longer. That two percent market share very quickly does to fractional percentage and makes for a super fast drop of the support expenses.

  32. Kiwi Silver badge

    Seems par for the course..

    My understanding (and being a Linux fanboi I could be wrong here) is that these releases are for those who wish to experiment with the latest versions before the last[cough] of the bugs are ironed out? Kind of a pre-alpha release (with the actual release version for the normals being the alpha release, and enterprise users getting a pre-beta quality release?)

    So.. First, don't keep valuables on dev/test systems

    Second, back your valuables coz bad shit happens (especiallly with phones being light and so quick and easy to steal, or just easily dropped into bad places like toilets, drains, concrete etc etc)

    And most importantly 3rd, if you think you know your shit enough to use a testing release, you know your shit well enough to do a backup, and you know the risks. If you don't know how to backup or don't know the risks, don't use the test releases!

    MS aren't alone in releasing test versions of software that breaks things.

  33. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Joke

    Windows phones bricked?

    All three of them?

  34. Planty Bronze badge

    Intentional???

    I heard they were desperately trying to get the 4 remaining stubborn users to leave, do they could turn the lights out.

  35. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Unexpected cool new update

    '“A small portion” of Windows mobile users hoping the unexpected cool new update would start the month off the right' ..

    Do you have to repeat that marketing waffle in the first sentence?

  36. Ian Joyner

    Haste makes ...

    Usually it is Samsung that rushes out faulty products. OK, quickly getting out a security update, the imperative is to get it to users before hackers can cause them damage. However, it does seem that MS has rushed this somewhat. MS (and Android) have a big problem in that there are so many different devices to test against.

    I'm not saying this is impossible to happen on an Apple platform (and it has in the past), but Apple have far fewer devices to test for - that is the advantage of integrated hardware and software. Apple is also very careful to do the testing - especially when it comes to product releases. They don't rush to market to get competitive advantage.

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