Bad news, Windows phone fans: Microsoft is changing nothing with regards to software updates when it comes to updating its next smart phone OS, now called Windows 10 Mobile. That means that carriers can, as always, block updates as they see fit.
This news comes courtesy of a statement that was delivered to WMPowerUser. It is:
“Microsoft is working closely with mobile operators to leverage their testing and our flighting to meet and exceed current quality bars. We will use their input but will decide when to send the updates out based on input from Mobile Operators and our Windows Insiders.”
So nothing has changed. But there are a few caveats to consider.
First, Microsoft is dropping the carriers—like Verizon—that activey undermined Windows Phone in the past. So it is only working with carriers, like AT&T, that have been friendly to Microsoft and its mobile system. This could result in a slightly better updating regime.
Second, assuming unlocked phones are treated as they were with Windows Phone OS—and there is no reason to think otherwise—then any unlocked Windows 10 Mobile phones will get updates directly from Microsoft, with no carrier intervention. This should be true even if, say, you buy an unlocked phone from Microsoft and then use it on AT&T.
Third, remember that you can always join the Windows Insider program and bypass carriers that way (while getting new builds of the mobile OS ahead of the public).
So nothing has changed. But then us Windows phone fans are certainly used to that.