Windows Phone 7 update recalled

Process made some smart phones unusable

Microsoft issued its first Windows Phone 7 update on Monday, but it has since announced the removal of the update, which caused trouble for some Samsung phone owners.

Microsoft said in a statement on Wednesday that it had found "a technical issue with the Windows Phone update process that impacts a small number of phones." A Microsoft support forum contains complaints from users of the Samsung Focus and Omnia 7 smart phones. In some cases, the phones were "bricking up" or becoming unusable after starting the update process.

Microsoft's advice in the forum is to remove and reinstall the battery in cases where the phones have bricked. The idea is to boot the phone's software back into its original state on the firmware. However, some respondents in the forum found that the trick did not work for them. The phones seem to require a sequence of button pushes to get the reboot started, as described in the forum.

Ironically, this first update to Windows Phone 7 devices was supposed to have been an update to the update process itself. It wasn't the update promised by Microsoft earlier this month at the World Mobile Congress event in Barcelona, Spain. At that time, Microsoft announced it would to deliver copy-and-paste functionality with the first update. A second update is planned for the second half of this year that will integrate Twitter social networking, the Internet Explorer 9 browser and Windows Live SkyDrive access for file storage.

A post by Michael Stroh at Microsoft's Windows phone blog explained the purpose of Monday's update.

"This first update for Windows Phone is designed to improve the software update process itself," Stroh wrote in the blog. "So while it might not sound exciting, it's still important because it's paving the way for all future goodie-filled updates to your phone, such as copy and paste or improved Marketplace search."

It's not clear when the issue with this update will be resolved. A Tuesday post in Microsoft's support forum by moderator Patrizia R of Microsoft support suggested that another update will be coming this week with a fix.

"We would recommend at this time, not to retry the update, as subsequent attempts will fail similarly," Patrizia R wrote. "While we continue to investigate the issue, we would ask that you not attempt the update until your device alerts you of another update opportunity, in approximately 3 days' time."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.


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