Microsoft on Windows 10 Mobile: We “will decide when to send the updates out”

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We’ve received a lot of questions and comments about the Windows 10 Mobile update process, especially since earlier this year there was a rumour of Microsoft taking direct control of Windows 10 Mobile updates from carriers.

Some eagle eyed viewers may also have noticed that during Panos Panay’s announcement of the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL he spoke of “The power of the Windows Update keeping things fresh”. We reached out to Microsoft to see if we could clarify the meaning of that statement and were told that Microsoft will offer [app] updates to all Windows 10 phones and pcs at a regular cadence, keeping them all fresh and up to date. When asked for more clarification on the carrier update situation, we received the following statement.

•    “Microsoft is working closely with mobile operators to leverage their testing and our flighting to meet and exceed current quality bars. We will use their input but will decide when to send the updates out based on input form Mobile Operators and our Windows Insiders.”
•    “The optimum way to ensure our customers are running the best Windows is to get them the latest updates for Windows 10. Delivering Windows 10 as a service means we can offer ongoing security updates, new features and capabilities – we’d like to make sure people can get access to the latest Windows 10 updates as soon as they are available.

What this implies is that Microsoft will from now on be pushing Windows Phone updates directly. The carriers will be in the loop and doing some testing along with insiders, but Microsoft is the one with complete control here over when the updates roll out. This tallies with what we’ve seen from Vodafone Australia carrying out “pre-testing” of Windows 10 Mobile builds for its 640 and 630 devices.

Whether this means quicker updates for Windows 10 Mobile devices or not is another issue, Microsoft can now dynamically push out bug fixes, but for large feature updates, it is likely that those will still be like the Windows Phone GDR updates, just pushed out quicker once testing is completed.

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