When Apple creates an update to its iOS software for its line of phones and tablets, it’s pretty simple: designers create the update with its new features and bug fixes, then Apple informs its users, typically through push notifications. Easy, right? That seemingly simple process is due to the company’s powerhouse agreements with cellular service providers: you want to carry our hot-ticket phone, then you’re going to abide by our update delivery process.
If you’re the Android operating system, though, the process gets a little hairier. An update is developed and shared with the cellular service providers, who then spend as much as a couple of months testing it out and providing feedback to the developer before making the update available to their customers. It’s been an ongoing complaint within the industry, but one major player is looking to steer things back in the direction of Apple.
When Microsoft launches two new Windows phones next month with the Windows 10 mobile operating system, the software developers will inform the service providers when an update is ready to go live. The company will mandate when the update is to be made available to customers, and any feedback or resulting tweaking will be the result of their own Windows Insider feedback, not unnecessarily lengthy testing from the service providers.
This shift is all part of Microsoft’s new focus on software as a service that rolled out with the Windows 10 desktop operating system, so it’s no surprise that this same consumer relationship should appear with its mobile OS. According to a statement from the company about this update announcement: “Delivering Windows 10 as a service means we can offer ongoing security updates, new features and capabilities, we’d like to make sure people can get access to the latest Windows 10 updates as soon as they are available.”
Two phones–the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL–will launch next month with the Windows 10 Mobile OS, while the free upgrade will be available in other phone models starting in December. Much like the desktop rollout of Windows 10, the mobile operating system upgrade will be offered free to consumers with older Windows phone models.