On Friday, I posted a video from the Channel 9 MIX Countdown Show where Joe Belfiore discussed some of the issues with the latest Windows Phone update.If you read the comments on that videos page, you would have noticed an increasingly-frustrated Windows Phone users base and their comments. Now, it seems, that on that same page where the video for the interview occurred, Joe Belfiore (Windows Phone VP), has responded to some of the criticisms made against the Windows Phone team for how the update has been handled to this point.
I have complete faith that the comment response comes directly from Joe Belfiore because the video post itself was updated with the following text from Channel 9:
UPDATE: This interview has created a great deal of conversation and many of you have expressed angst with the update process. In true Channel 9 fashion, Joe has responded to your feedback and will continue to engage you in conversation at MIX11. Please see his reply.
So, without further ado, here is Joe B’s response:
This is from Joe Belfiore:
Many of you are making critical comments here which are certainly fair. First, I was wrong when I said “most people have received the February update.” There are many of you who have yet to receive it, and I don’t blame you for speaking up and pointing out my mistake. Second, I referred to our updates as “complete” because I was thinking of the internal process where we pass completed software to another group who delivers them – but of course no update is complete until you all have it. Plus, at the time I did the interview we had started the NoDo (“march update”) delivery process and I knew “it was going well” from our perspective: people were officially getting it, the success rate of its deployment on real-world phones was looking good, and we were happy that the process had STARTED well. Still—these are NOT the same as all of you getting it and I’m sorry that I came across as insensitive to that fact.
I am a very, very big advocate for all our end-users and developers, and it bothers me a lot if I sounded out of touch. I wasn’t as prepared for this interview as I should have been—I walked into the studio with an informal state of mind, thinking about MIX and what we WILL be talking about, and I didn’t have the right up-to-date information to give a good explanation on updates which I know to be a very high-interest topic right now.
I have read all of the comments here (and many of them on the other blogs) and so has pretty much everyone in our management team. We know it’s been frustrating to wait for features/fixes and (probably worse) to hear little from us on specific dates. We are sorry the process has been rocky. The “where’s my phone update” table is our first step to try to remedy this in the face of technical problems that have made our first wave of updates take longer than we expected. We know the table would benefit greatly from more detail, and we are hoping to add more to it by working with the Operators who own the “testing” phase to get more clarity. If your phone is shown in “scheduling”, it’ll be worth checking the table next week.
In the spirit of “MIX as a conversation” – I will make sure that when I show up in Vegas that I’m well prepared to give an update in person and to try to answer your questions as best I can. You folks are obviously a very important audience for us and it’s right for you to expect us to communicate and execute better. I know at this point it’s our actions that matter… The main thing we are trying to do is to get the updates out to everyone in a way that is reliable and works, and then make our process better and more transparent in the future.
There you have it. His reply sounds sincere and I certainly believe that the Windows Phone team means to do well, but has been hindered by carriers and their own inexperience in this particular mobile market. I like that they have taken more opportunity to address the users lately, but they still need to do more.