It looks like the days of flashing ROMs for your Windows phones (and nervously sitting on the edge of the chair) are soon to be a thing of the past with a “Device Update” service coming to Windows Mobile. A recent tantalizing Microsoft job advertisement writes,
Have you wished to see your Windows Mobile phone with new features “magically” show up without you buying a new one? Do you want to see greater and better quality and cool software delivered to your love ones’ Windows phones from just a click? If this is your dream, this is a place for you. Come join us to make this dream into reality! With the mobile industry’s strong growth and several competitors playing in the field, we are going to have a challenging but fun time to show customers what Windows phone can become in the next few years.
We are in Windows Mobile device update team. Our goal is to enable customers to anticipate and enjoy a predictable stream of new and improved capabilities for their Windows Phone via a Device Update service that is worry-free and easy-to-use. Broad scope and impact, deep technologies, engineering challenges, partner interfacing with OEMs and MS internal partners, and fast pace delivery are all part of our charter. In the agile development environment, you will be working with PM/architect/test and partner teams to deliver critical stack of the update solution. You will lead a team of smart developers to solve problems in mobile OS, PC applications, and interacting with web services.
Whilst the feature won’t be arriving in Windows Mobile 6.5, when it does come it should solve a huge problem that has held Windows Mobile back from if nothing else than continuous evolution. It’s not that Windows Mobile can’t stay up-to-date, Windows Mobile 6.5 is definitely a worthy upgrade, but the update cycle is so long and update process update so disruptive updating Windows Mobile today for most people ends up being buying a new phone.
Even if this “Device Update” doesn’t install updates like patches on Windows, having an in-OS ROM-flashing service without dependency on device vendors or operators (who aren’t the quickest in the firmware game to say the least) will be a huge plus.
Let’s just hope this “magic” is at least being cast into Windows Mobile 7.
Update: Someone pointed out that ArsTechnica wrote about this story first, so credits to them.