Microsoft made some big announcements today at the E3 gaming show, most surrounding the Xbox, but a few involved Xbox Live in Windows Phone. However the bigger, or at least more interesting, Windows Phone news came from Microsoft Vice President of Windows Phone Joe Belfiore, via his Twitter account.
Today an Apple fan got excited about the fact the volume up button can be used to take a picture. Mr. Belfiore responded, good-naturedly, that Windows Phone can do a good bit more. It was a rare bit of humor from Redmond, which tends to stick to the policy of ignoring Apple completely (while sometimes borrowing an idea).
Perhaps the Windows Phone team has some reasons to be happy. After all, they are definitely on the rise, while Apple may be running a bit low on new ideas as they have slipped behind Android and are looking over their shoulder at Windows Phone. Today’s announcements didn’t break any new ground, but seemed more like playing catch-up.
Make no mistake though, Apple can never be counted out and may have something huge brewing that hasn’t yet made it into the rumor mill. But, at least for one day, it seems Microsoft may have a leg up.
It was a bit of a surprise when Microsoft didn’t have a problem with developer Chris Walsh’s ChevronWP7 to “fix” NoDo installs that weren’t working, even inviting him to visit their headquarters. It now comes as less of a surprise that Microsoft is endorsing Walsh’s latest tool, especially since it helps to get those “hacked” phones back on the official update path.
The new tool, called “Walshed Phone Support Tool” solves the issue behind the “80180048″ error code in the Zune app, and an equivalent one in the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac app, that has prevented the upgrade from even starting.
The ChevronWP7 tool was used by Windows Phone 7 users who wanted to receive the NoDo update before it became available. The patch was delayed several times due to a variety of issues. Unfortunately, ChevronWP7, while working flawlessly, rendered devices as “unofficial” and not eligible for future updates. The new “Walshed” tool will fix that and put those devices back on the right track. So, Microsoft’s endorsement of both has become a win-win for them.
Perhaps the next platform update, known currently as “Mango” will go much smoother. Given that this was their first update I can grant some slack, but if they want to make a real dent in the mobile market they will need to get it together.