Microsoft defers to outside dev for stuck Windows Phone fix

Won't fix phones updated with unofficial tool, but works with its maker, who plans to issue workaround today

Microsoft on Wednesday said it will not help Windows Phone users who updated their smartphones last month with an unsanctioned tool, and are now unable to apply a security update.

Instead, Microsoft has worked with Chris Walsh, the developer of "ChevronWP7.Updater," to make sure a workaround he's created will do the trick.

In a post to a company developer blog , Brandon Watson, senior director with the Windows Phone team, informed customers that Microsoft would not directly assist anyone who had run Walsh's tool last month.

"We cautioned that phones which were updated via this method were not going to be able to update past build 7390," said Watson, referring to March's "NoDo" update. "Unfortunately for those customers out there who acted on information from sources outside of Microsoft, the rubber meets the road today."

Saying, that the company hadn't figured on needing to deal with such a situation and that it had no engineering resources to spare, Watson said, "While we are not ruling out having a fix in the future, for now there is no fix."

Microsoft had warned users this might happen.

After Walsh created ChevronWP7.Updater in April -- a move in response to Microsoft's slow pace in getting out two updates, including one dubbed "NoDo," to customers -- a company executive said anyone running it risked not receiving future updates. Microsoft also asked Walsh to yank the tool, which he did.

"We cautioned that phones which were updated via this method were not going to be able to update past build 7390," said Watson, referring to the "NoDo" update. "Unfortunately for those customers out there who acted on information from sources outside of Microsoft, the rubber meets the road today."

Watson said that anyone who had used ChevronWP7.Updater would not be able to update past NoDo, and would not be able to retrieve and install the security update Microsoft shipped Tuesday.

That claim runs counter to reports from some user, including Walsh, that they were able to download and install Tuesday's security update.

According to Watson, users who "walshed" their phones -- Walsh's name has become a verb -- would need to return it to their carrier for a substitute.

"Our engineering priorities are focused on improving the process by which updates get to Windows Phone, issuing the security update you just got and working to getting Mango to market. Undoing this specific problem was not in our schedule," said Watson.

But Walsh has a fix of his own.

In a tweet Wednesday -- which has since disappeared -- Walsh said he had a workaround ready that was waiting for validation from Microsoft. Later in the day, he said the fix would be released Thursday, with details posted to his blog.

Microsoft's Watson confirmed that in his own post Tuesday.

"The creators of the unsupported tool are a clever bunch, and wanted to get a timely fix created for customers who have put their phones into this state," said Watson. "They believe they have created a way to get these phones back on the officially supported path. We will work with them to validate their solution and applaud the team for taking responsibility to do this."

Walsh hinted that Microsoft had provided him with the code-signing certificate necessary for his fix. "I can haz code signing cert :D," he tweeted.

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 gkeizer@computerworld.com.

Read more about smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags telecommunicationapplicationsMobile and WirelessWindowsPhonesMobile operating systemsmobileMalware and Vulnerabilitiesoperating systemsconsumer electronicsMicrosoftsmartphonesMobile OSessoftware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?