It is official: Windows Phone 7 will get one major release annually
Seems like Microsoft has finally broken its silence over its plans for the Windows Phone 7 platform. Which, as most people will probably be aware, is currently lagging far behind the likes of Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating system in terms of popularity, in spite of its capabilities. Apparently, the world's largest software vendor has come to the realization that its operating system is not going to sell itself without a major push, and is now taking steps to provide the platform with that "push" needed to (hopefully) drive more sales of Windows Phone 7-powered devices.
If you happen to own a Windows Phone 7-powered smartphone and have been feeling a little left out of the smartphone OS race due to Microsoft's lack of updates for the platform, today will definitely be your lucky day. Apparently, the software giant has posted a couple of job openings for managers to assist it in its almost non-existent marketing efforts for Windows Phone 7, and hidden within the wall of text describing the responsibilities and requirements the candidates are expected to fulfill in one particular opening contains a short description of how Microsoft intends to tackle the issue of software updates for the operating system:
For those who are not able to view the text shown in the screenshot above due to its tiny size, here is the exact sentence from the job opening which explicitely describes Microsoft's plans for Windows Phone 7 updates:
This Senior Program Manager position will be the CXE Feature PM that drives all development work on the Application Platform for update releases between major yearly releases.
To be fair to Microsoft, the idea of having only one major release every year is not as little as it seems. For one, Apple also adopts a similar schedule with iOS; the major difference stems from the fact that Apple frequently pushes smaller, not-so-major updates for its platform as well. In contrast, the number of "minor" updates available for Windows Phone 7 are rather low; this may cause some consumers to wrongfully assume that the software giant is being tardy with its updates. In fact, the popular technology website known as Ars Technica has even suggested that Google's strategy of issuing a major release of Android once every six to nine months, along with the occasional bugfixes and security updates, might be more suited for Microsoft. This makes sense, considering how Windows Phone 7 appears to be stable enough to warrant having significantly lesser minor updates.
However, all things said and done, it does not change the fact that Microsoft appears to be standing by its decision of having only one major release update per year. That is fine and all, but as Ars Technica has pointed out, such a strategy can only succeed if the software giant is willing to start rolling out minor updates more frequently instead of cramming all the best stuff into a future major update that most consumers are not willing to wait for. Either way, we will just have to wait and see, considering how the people who signed up for Microsoft's job openings will definitely have their work cut out for them.