The Windows Phone 7 update debacle is crawling to its final resting place (at least for the current set of updates...for some U.S. customers...on AT&T). As of April 19, 2011, Microsoft was allowed by AT&T to deliver updates to Samsung Focus and LG Quantum owners (but not the HTC Surround). Microsoft engaged in some speculation about whether the carrier-specific updates could be received by phones that had been updated though "hacker" means, such as the ChevronWP7.Updater technique delivered by Chris Walsh (who was, allegedly, told by Microsoft that his update method would prevent phones from receiving future updates), when it suggested to the public (contrary to what it told Walsh) that such updating techniques might block future updates. As an aside, Chris became a verb when phone treated to his update tool were characterized as "Walshed."
Well, I can now confirm that the fears of brickdom were greatly overstated. My Samsung Focus, which was somehow updated (Walshed) with the ChevronWP7.Updater tool (I am shocked, shocked to learn of "hacker" updates on my phone), recevied and applied the carrier-specific and OEM firmware updates through the normal channel yesterday. The AT&T address book tool was installed. The Focus-specific firmware was also updated.
As far as the potential of Windows Phone 7 for the legal set, this OS will need the "Fall" update, called "Mango," before it will have all the tools in place that most attorneys/IT departments/corporations would want for a wide deployment. New development tools are about to be released, with access to a huge number of new APIs. Major software developers should be able to deliver much improved productivity tools with the Mango release this fall. What I can't wait to...read about...is whether the ChevronWP7.Updater tool that evidently worked very well for the current round of updates will be able to pull the Mango update as soon as it is ready. This would allow phone owners to bypass the many months of "testing" that AT&T will perform. That's right - I can't wait to read about that.