Windows Phone 8 OTA update goes live, gets detailed and fails

One of the big new features for Windows Phone 8 is the ability to finally do over-the-air (OTA) updates to the OS—either for big things or little fixes. Previously, we could check for updates but if one were found, you had to head home to your PC and plug in the phone to install (including performing a full backup). Now, things are more streamlined.

In an article over at Mobility Minded, details of the update process were posted, giving a look at what users can expect with these updates.  The updates are listed as manual or automatic, with the latter being downloaded behind the scenes and the former involving tapping in Settings to see if there is an update.

In addition, there are a few types of updates, depending on size:

OEM updates

  • OEM code (drivers, customizations, QC code – modem and BSP changes (encrypted))

Microsoft updates

  • Extra small – (<1MB) – i.e. cert changes, security updates
  • Small – (<10BM) – i.e. diff and canonical changes – predominant MSFT update
  • Medium – (TBD) – i.e. feature pack dot updates
  • Large – 100+MB – i.e. Major update release (e.g. 7740 update) w/o language pack – uncommon
  • X-Large – 150+MB – i.e. Major update release (e.g. 7740 update) with language pack – uncommon

Interestingly, we just had an update notification on our pre-release HTC 8X for AT&T. Luckily we had our trusty HD camera around to document the process and sure enough, it went as stated above. Almost. For one, we did get the full download but the device never prompted to restart into the bootloader. Instead, it attempted to install the <1MB update directly. We also have heard it failing for some folks and sure enough, ours did too returning error code 800b010a.

Before we get all panicky, we really have no idea what the purpose of this update was—is it a test of the OTA system? Was it a certificate fix? Whatever it was, since it came in under 1MB it was not too important.  

Still, seeing that error code is never a good thing so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. We’re thinking maybe this is some last minute testing by HTC and AT&T though we’re just taking a guess here.

Either way, watch the video above and you can get an idea of what to expect.  The question still remains though if Microsoft will have a bit more direct control over these updates or whether carriers will still try and block them.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I hope it will work when I get my 920. They should fix it by then.
  • Hi guys,
    I am new to Windows Phone. Is there anyone who could tell me how to lock the orientation on Windows Phone 8? I really appreciate it. Also, is there anyway to get back to notifications that you dismiss by swiping the top notification box on the screen?
  • Forums --> Go
  • So far as I'm aware, you can't do either of those things.  I think the idea behind the lack of a notification center is that the Live Tiles are supposed to act as a replacement for that.
  • Looks like I was half-wrong on the notification center thing and they may be adding one in some future update.
  • Yeah, gonna upgrade again to the 920 in Jan or Feb sometime.
  • Since you started with, "yeah." I started reading it as Lunbergh and it didn't end well. :( I think I've been on Reddit too much lately.
  • I wonder if this was an update to your pre-release phones that you got at the WP8 "party" upto release status ?:)
  • Maybe for members of the press on Monday. Build attendees got 920. No updates there.
  • Daniel
    Have you heard anything about the beta/preview program MS talked about at the conf. in June/2012 where interested WP end user could sign up to get updates before the general population?
  • Nope.
  • Extra small – (<1MB) – i.e. cert changes, security updates
    Whatever it was, since it came in under 1MB it was not too important.  
  • Just a guess on my part, specifically that this was a test-update, not a real "security threat addressed!" type.
  • So, you have a pre-release AT&T WP8 device...
    Quick question if you're allowed to answer: does it have any carrier bloatware and, if so, is it uninstallable like it has been on WP7?
  • ^I've watched a few review videos, and some have shown the uninstallation of pre-packaaced software on AT&T devices. Furthermore, the pre-packaged AT&T software was the same as on WP7 and WP7.5 devices. In other words, not much.
  • That's good to know. Granted, I'm on Verizon, but hopefully the same applies to all carriers.
  • That's Microsoft mandated. All carrier-ware is un-installable.
  • I guess Microsoft doesn't want the carriers or the OEMs to slow down Windows Phone 8.
  • You could uninstall carrier crapware since Day 1 of WP7.
  • I had no trouble uninstalling AT&T apps on my Focus or L900.
  • And that last picture is, in fact, an actual screenshot, something I sorely miss on WP7.5? Anyway, the OTA update system looks nice and straightforward, I hope it will work in the end.
  • You'll be able to take screenshots with WP8 ;-)
  • Start + Power (you'd think camera button!). Works on my L920
  • My HTC 8X did the same. Likely just a test sent out by AT&T to vet the phone before releasing. I am sure it wasnt even meant to be installed. Could have been an empty zip for all we know.
  • I just can't wait for the HTC 8X to come out for T-Mobile this month!!!
  • Do we know the exact day yet?  I heard it was the 7th from tmobile customer service.  But it seems like the 14th everywhere else.  ???   
  • 800b010a error code is CERT_E_CHAINING "A certificate chain could not be built to a trusted root authority."
  • Well, we know Verizon will make the updating process as slow as possible...
  • Carriers and OEMs leave my phone alone. Do not try to add things to block my updates, I am sick of waiting months for an update, only for you to say it is not going on my phone. Stop trying to mess with the OS.
  • WP Central
    I have said it before but the work you guys did diserve it I really like your tile type of showing the top commented I guees news it really looks like WP8 live tiles I know some other site tried it like "The Verge" but that is more confusing than it help, and the other news to is cleaner than before and I really thanx you guys for being so active on WP concerned news because I dont ever need someone else for the WP news which I really need to keep upto my fav os thanx you again guys and keep up the good work
    NOKIA LUMIA 920  
  • Anyone with the 8X having problems hearing the voice notifications or speech on their Bluetooth devices?
  • Hope it bypasses carriers.
  • i got the lumia 920, and my friend too. well, he just got the update for NETWORK+ update, but i havent!! can somebody relate to that, did anybody else got it? i have att service.