The announcement overnight by AT&T in the US of its new GEN2 WP7 handset range was exciting for its information about the new Samsung handsets. However, the most interesting and positive element of their press release was actually their service committment on providing the Mango update to existing customers “…among the first carriers to deliver the Mango update to existing Windows Phone 7 customers“. It looks like the ghosts of NoDo past might be laid to rest with the handling of this weeks expected Mango release by Microsoft!
In hindsight (with some distance, perspective and the imminent release of Mango) it is quite ironic – almost funny – that the Italian word for Knot or Tangle is Nodo. The shambolic release of Microsoft’s first major update to Windows Phone – whilst inherently a sound and positive platform update – was overwhelmed by the negative press and poor customer experience globally in its availability and OEM/Carrier issues which plagued the rollout and Microsoft’s management of it. A repeat of this experience with Mango could well deliver a near terminal blow to Microsoft’s great mobile OS, and hand a “free-kick” to their competition in iOS and Android.
So AT&T’s statement overnight – pretty much amounting to a service agreement or committment to it’s US customers, is welcome news indeed. Microsoft are certainly not stupid. They would have been mortified by the NoDo rollout feedback and difficulties (done to death by now – so no cited examples!), and this will have only strengthened their resolve to blow the market away with the Mango release. The Beta experience by Developers using Mango (pre RTM version) has been almost universally positive and WPDownUnder has been happily running this release on a Samsung Focus for weeks – loving the experience, performance, stability and features of Mango!
Make sure you stay tuned to this site for all the Build 2011 Windows Phone announcements over the next 72 hours!
AT&T’s promise could also be seen to imply that the carrier is well into the testing phase of the OEM final release edition for Focus owners – or possibly even complete and passed! The combination of Firmware/Hardware issues experienced by Samsung handsets with NoDo must be almost completely resolved or not an issue with Mango. Why do I say that? Because all the much publicised criticism of the update experience to-date with AT&T Samsung phones would have made making such a bold, pro-active service promise to its customer inconceivable from a Marketing/Promotions sense unless there was incontrovertible proof or grounds to ensure living up to such a statement was not to be an issue. And behind all this, Microsoft must surely have been also refining their OEM and carrier partnerships – in the areas of relationship and most importantly communication, ensuring that the Mango update was completely ready to release.
So Telstra? We move from the global stage to Australia. Clicking on the CrowdSupport(tm) logo above will take you to a question I have posed to Telstra. Will they match the service promise of AT&T and state that they aim to be amongst the first carriers world-wide to approve and deploy the Mango update to existing customers on WP7 Nodo? This would be a massive turn-around, as they were infamously basically the equal last (or second last to be generous) carrier in the world to approve NoDo.
Signs suggest that they have certainly wound down their inventories of GEN1 handsets. A recent whistle-blower confirmed to WPDownUnder that there were <250 handsets in Telstra’s national stocks for Enterprise customers. Never mind that the flow on effect from this was to have the said Enterprise (probably Top25 Telstra) account sign off on iFruit as the corporate smartphone preferred handset due to Telstra’s supply issues of WP7 handsets. So are we to presume then that Telstra have their GEN2 WP7 handset lineup in-stock and ready to hit stores? Probably. Have they therefore been testing Mango to approve, with Microsoft’s improved engagement and support, this update ASAP following the Build anticipated global launch? Probably.
So why not come out and offer us similar confidence as AT&T customers now have?
Now to Build. WPDownUnder will have all the key WP7 news through the early morning hours over the next few days, so check back – and feel free to join in the conversation here though the Forums – or just comments on BUILD posts.