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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 24, 2011 at 11:33 AM

WP: Can Microsoft deliver Mango update for Windows Phone on time?

NEW YORK — When Microsoft sent its last software update to Windows Phone owners, many complained that it was late and confusing. That update, code-named NoDo, included only small changes, such as adding a copy and paste feature.

Now that Microsoft is planning a major update with more than 500 new features in the fall, some are wondering whether the company can be relied upon to deliver the update on time and smoothly.

Stephanie Ferguson, general manager for product management at Windows Phone, said today, “Absolutely. Users will start to get it in the fall. Some will get it on a new phone and people who already have a phone will get it in an update.”

It still wasn’t clear whether all Windows Phone owners could be assured they would receive the update by Dec. 21, the last day of fall this year.

Ferguson declined to give a deadline, saying the company would give more specifics later.

Larry Lieberman, a senior product manager for Windows Phone developer support, said, “It’s a complicated system updating an operating system. We dealt with challenges with NoDo and we learned a lot. That learning is going into what we’re doing now.”

Will Stofega, analyst at research firm IDC, said how reliably and quickly the Mango update gets to people’s phones depends on the carriers, including AT&T Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile USA.

“On a major upgrade they are going to want to do it,” he said.

Michael Cherry, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, said of the delays with the last Windows Phone update: “I would have to think the bigger thing that is hurting them is all this discussion about updating and problems. … If they can roll out the next incremental improvement — well, if they can do it smoothly — it’s the thing people are asking for that could have a driving factor” in sales.

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