Microsoft's first update for Windows Phone 7 is now available, as of this week. Unfortunately when some users have hit "download"; this is what they got:
An error prevented the restoration of your phone to its previous version.
Your phone can't be used in its present condition and there are no restore points for it on this computer. The phone might restart and return to normal if you disconnect it. For further assistance, contact your mobile operator.
"Restart?" "Return to normal?" Not likely! Complaints are rolling in that certain phones are actually "bricked" (dead, unable to reset). From what's been learned, so far, it is only affecting certain Samsung models. The best guess is that its a firmware conflict. Microsoft has pulled the download for Samsung users until the glitch is fixed.
So is this a big deal or a small deal?
I have no doubt the Microsoft faithful will be quick to blast me on this one. It's only affected a small percentage of users (true!). It's not even Microsoft's fault (probably true!). You're Apple's poodle (Ha! The Apple faithful think I hate them too!). I'm already seeing some comments on other blogs comparing this to the iPhone 4's antenna problem last summer, which clearly blew over pretty quickly and so this should, as well. Right?
Sorry, this is a big deal.
Windows Phone 7 and iPhone 4 have one really big difference. When Apple messes up, it has a bottomless pit of goodwill capital with the gazillion of iPhone fans to spend. When Microsoft messes up, that sliver of smartphone marketshare known as WP7 users (and those considering buying one) go from nervous to anxious.
Microsoft's snakebit mobile division cannot afford ANY bad press, whether it's their mess up or not.
I will add this, it's a bad sign when longtime Microsoft reporter, Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet, admits in her blog she still hasn't worked up the nerve to buy a WP7 for herself. She's covered Microsoft for over 20 years and is as straight up fair as they come in her coverage.
"My biggest qualm about buying a WP7, as I stated last fall, was that the device — in spite of the '7″ in its branding —is a version one product... As Windows Phone Secrets author Paul Thurrott said, if the first update is any indication, I don't have a lot of faith in what's going to happen with the later ones."
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