Microsoft has resumed the roll-out of its Windows Phone 7.8 software update following the resolution of several issues.
The news, initially reported by WPCentral, confirms that the company has ironed out bugs in the Live Tile homescreen, as well as problems with a constant data connection resulting in poor performance for earlyWindows Phone 7.8 users. Having started the roll-out last month, it was halted on discovery of the issues.
With these problems fixed, the roll-out will now continue, with Microsoft hoping to be back on schedule in the near future, although no further details have been released on an expected completion date.
Despite the resolution, the incident is the latest in a difficult period for Microsoft and its software roll-outs, with Windows Phone 7.8 proving a trouble-filled endeavour that may only now be drawing to a protracted conclusion.
Having announced it in summer 2012, the launch of said software has been punctuated by persistent delays and hold-ups that will have tested the patience of Windows Phone users to the limit. Although WP 7.8 was touted as an appeasement for Windows Phone 7.5 users not being able to upgrade to WP 8, such a drawn out process could have ruined WP 7.8’s chances before they even start.
On paper, Windows Phone 7.8 is a clever solution to a difficult problem for Microsoft. Taking the best features of new software and watering them down for an existing platform was never going to please everyone, but it was an identifiable effort from the Redmond-based company to reach a compromise.
The main fact is, that a large portion of WP 7.5 users are still yet to sample the aforementioned delights, more than six months after plans were initially released, is a major faux pas. Add to that Microsoft’s initial hinting at a simultaneous launch with Windows Phone 8 and you have a situation that reflects badly on the company no matter what spin is put on it.
Factor in the mixed reception of WP8 and things look less than comfortable for Microsoft at the moment. Despite positive first impressions and the establishment of a small but dedicated fanbase, Windows Phone 8 has failed to capture the public’s imagination in the way envisaged by the company. Thanks to a combination of stiff competition and a lack of “wow factor” enjoyed by other recent releases, Windows Phone remains a scrappy also-ran rather than a leading name.
A lukewarm reception to both Windows 8 and Windows RT hasn’t helped, either. Having totally redesigned its desktop variant of the OS to fall in line with the mobile versions, a mixed response would have been the last thing needed. Yet, with such a bold and drastic overhaul, it’s hard not to think that such feedback was expected. Microsoft should know better than most the truths of the “you can’t please everyone” adage, and it will certainly be something to bear in mind at the current time.
Yet, provocative software and intense competition aside, Microsoft must iron out the things it has control over to stand any chance of making ground on the leading pack. Having Windows Phone 7.5 sorted and ready to roll will be a massive boost, but there’s no hiding the fact that it has come much, much too late.
The aforementioned issues should not detract from what is a user-friendly collection of platforms, and one that deserves more recognition that it’s currently getting. But, if any progress is going to be made, Microsoft must first learn to help itself.