Developer yanks unauthorized Windows Phone 7 update tool
Officially, Microsoft remains mum, but one of its German employees warns that future updates may be blocked
Computerworld - Just hours after launching a tool that let Windows Phone 7 owners grab smartphone updates directly from Microsoft, the developer yanked the utility from his Web site.
The tool, called " ChevronWP7.Updater," applied all available Windows Phone 7 updates, including the "NoDo" update that adds copy and paste functionality and the February update designed to prepare smartphones for NoDo.
Windows Phone 7 updates have been riddled with problems. Users have bashed Microsoft and its mobile carrier partners for the sluggish update roll-out, and experts have criticized the company for not anticipating that the delays would infuriate early adopters and loyal fans.
Last week, a Microsoft executive apologized for the fiasco and acknowledged that customers were right to be angry. "We didn't set out to let you down. But it's clear we did," said Eric Hautala, the general manager of Windows Phone 7's customer experience engineering team, in a March 30 blog entry.
Walsh's tool, which he created over a five-day span and released on Monday, allows users to sidestep the carriers and retrieve updates directly from Microsoft.
But later that day, Walsh removed the tool's download link from his blog.
"The tool is now down for the time being," said Walsh in an email reply to questions late Monday. "Will follow with some more information."
Walsh did not immediately reply to additional questions Wednesday.
Microsoft has also been mum. The company has not responded to questions posed Tuesday about whether it asked Walsh to yank ChevronWP7.Updater, and if so, why.
Clues, however, have appeared on a Facebook page maintained by Microsoft's German team. There, Frank Prengel, a Microsoft technical evangelist for Windows Phone 7, warned that users who run Walsh's tool might not be able to retrieve future updates from their carriers.
"Be careful when using unofficial hacker tools," Prengel said, according to a translation of his original message in German. "They can put the phone in an undefined state [making] the installation of future updates impossible. Use at your own risk -- neither Microsoft nor the device manufacturer or network operator assume liability for the consequences."
Users who have run Walsh's tool gave mixed reports on their experiences with later updates from their carriers.
"I also ran the update [tool] on Monday, but today Zune told me an update is available," said someone identified as "Vincent" in one of the 430 comments on Walsh's blog. "Just ran it, and everything looks good to me."
Others reported problems.
"I have just noticed that my HTC HD7 has started acting strangely one day after the update," said Ben Chege Ngumi. "It has detected an update; and any attempt to run it gives a Zune update error code that [says] 'There isn't enough space on hard drive C, so free up at least 250MB of disk space and try again,' both [on] the smartphone and the PC."
Microsoft has usually taken a dim view of unofficial updates. On Monday, the company said only that it was aware of Walsh's tool and was "in contact with him regarding his intent and any potential implications."
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Microsoft exec doesn't rule out Intel-based Windows Phones
- LG backs off Windows Phone for now, report says
- Carriers desperately seeking Windows Phone
- Review: Nokia Lumia 900 puts Windows Phone back in the race
- Microsoft spins Android malware into Windows Phone giveaway
- Microsoft pursues webOS devs, offers free phones
- First Windows Mango Phone unveiled
- Windows Phone OS Mango sent to manufacturers, carriers
- Ballmer: Windows Phone 7 not successful yet
- Microsoft offers developers early access to Windows Phone Mango
Read more about iOS in Computerworld's iOS Topic Center.
- Big Data, Big Mess: Sound Risk Intelligence Through Complete Context This paper examines the insecurity of the small businesses in the supply chain and offers tips to close those backdoors into the enterprise.
- Using Cyber Insurance and Cybercrime Data to Limit Your Business Risk This paper examines the challenges of understanding cyber risks, the importance of having the right cyber risk intelligence, and how to use this...
- 5 Tips to Secure Small Business Backdoors in the Enterprise Supply Chain This paper examines the insecurity of the small businesses in the supply chain and offers tips to close those backdoors into the enterprise.
- Confront consumerization with convergence Virtualization expert Elias Khnaser spotlights the security, compliance, and governance issues that arise when enterprise users "consumerize" with shadow IT and public cloud...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All iOS White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!