Windows Phone 8 updates will all be delivered Over the Air

An easy to miss morsel of information in today's Windows Phone 8 keynote is the news that all future Windows Phone 8 updates will be delivered Over-the-air.

That's right, no longer will you need to dig out the USB cable and hook your phone up to the nearest computer running Zune to pick up any new features. All new hardware running the Windows Phone 8 platform will be able to bring down updates over a data connection.

Such methods of updating phone software are present for many of Windows Phone's competitors, so it's good to see Microsoft taking another step in severing the need to keep your phone tethered to a larger device. That's not to say that we don't expect to see synchronising play a huge part in the Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 relationship, but taking away the dependence on such a connection is a smart move.

Whilst the issue of the update path for existing Windows Phone 7.5 users may be stirring quite a debate, we're sure that this will be welcome news to everyone who's interest in a new device later this year has just piqued. 

  • They also said something about it being carrier independant too I believe.
  • If true, that's the bigger story.
  • Not sure I heard that.  I WANT to believe that's true, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • Will it be distributed through MS, or will carriers have the option not to distribute still?
  • I think they said it will be carrier independent.
  • Thurrott is claiming this will bypass carriers too.  I didn't hear that at the event, so I'm wondering if someone more ... trustworthy could confirm that.

  • If true, that would be a relief
  • Its true. I was watching the live stream. They specificaly said that some parties blocked the updates. "So, we and our partners (hardware) tried to find the best way to solve the problem".  Then they talked about this over-the-air update feature. 
  • Well, Windows Phone 7 could update OTA, they just never did as they hadn't performed updates to their devices directly before.  Besides, how does enabling OTA going to bypass carriers, if carriers still have to 1) Request the update and 2) approve said update???
  • I know this may a little off topic but any news on Tango updates for the legacy devices?
  • YES!
  • apparently there will be an opt out of carrier support option and recive the updates sooner which is just great news :)
  • You mean all wp7.8 will be delivered
  • Yes. This is great to hear, now my phone just updates when I sleep. Nice.
  • Originally "carrier independent update" was a feature of WP7 as I remembered. But they later retract this claim. Apparently carriers (especially US ones, I guess) don't like it.
    As phone subsidizing is still a common practice in US and carriers don't like "their properties" being modified by subscribers, I don't see MS can make any difference when it comes to WP8.
  • So there will be no need for Zune any more? Or at least no need for it in Windows 8?
  • The need for Zune is gone in WIndows 8 to be replaced with a seperate companion app.
  • Microsoft mentioned that "enthusiasts" will be given the option to get updates ahead of the general public. Whatever that means in detail, we can at least be sure that us people who are a bit more interested in our phone probably won't have to wait for months and months to get a new OS version to play with in the future. 
  • Unlock key?
  • I've heard the same BS about WP7 prior to the launch. I'm not buying MS lies for a second time.
    WP is still a second-class citizen to MS compared to W8, and I'm almost sure it will be exactly the same thing as WP7 is. Almost never updated and the same basic outdated hardware for the entire life.
  • "I've heard the same BS about WP7 prior to the launch. I'm not buying MS lies for a second time."
    +1.  same BS. 
  • Go crawl back in your hole or become an.optimist for a change.
  • Haha well said