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Networks could interfere with Windows Phone 7 updates

Microsoft has confirmed that it's aiming to have Windows Phone 7 updates sent out directly to your mobile, but your network may have a say in how fast they get to you.

One of the benefits of having a Windows Phone 7 mobile, we thought, was that updates would head straight to your handset without manufacturers fiddling with them. Microsoft has now confirmed this will be the case, but networks could still have a part to play in delaying them from getting to you.

"Microsoft will push Windows Phone 7 software updates to end users and all Windows Phone 7 devices will be eligible for updates," said Microsoft, in a statement reported by our sister site

Sounds great right? We've seen how strict Microsoft is being with the Windows Phone 7 launch devices, with very little of that manufacturer-added junk we see on many Android handsets.

Unfortunately, this might not be the whole story. Joe Belfiore, director of Windows Phone Program Management, was quoted by SuperSite for Windows as saying, "We build updates for all Windows Phone users, but must certify them with the carriers. If a carrier wants to stop an update they can. But they will get it out on the next release.

"Updates are cumulative. If one [carrier] doesn't get their testing done in time, the next push date comes and it goes out then. Carriers could in fact block updates to sell you a phone. That can happen.

"But we don't expect that to happen. We are not going to push updates on to carrier networks that they have not tested. Microsoft is being very trusting of the carriers here."

It also appears that updates will not happen over the air, writes arstechnica, only via USB, using the Zune software. Microsoft says this enables the updates to be more reliable.

Our fervent hope is that the gap between Microsoft releasing the update and it reaching all Windows Phone handsets will be much shorter than the months it takes for Google's updates to hit the many different phones Android operates on.

Until Microsoft does push out its first Windows Phone 7 update, we won't know how much involvement networks will have, and whether they'll stop your phone getting it. Watch this space.