Earlier this month, we reported that Microsoft was doing its best to avoid having to deal with slowpoke wireless carriers when it comes to delivering OS updates for Lumia smartphones. Instead of going through a carrier validation process, Microsoft on its own pushed build Windows 10 Build 10586.29 to Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL smartphones. In essence, this makes the operating system update process for Windows 10 Mobile more akin to iOS than what we’ve seen with the fragmented nature of Android.
The ability to bypass carriers means that Microsoft can deliver more timely security and feature updates to customers without first having to receive approval from the “big four” wireless carriers in the United States. While Windows Phone diehards championed this move, many wondered if the carriers would actually sit on the sidelines and let Microsoft have free reign over the update process.
One carrier, AT&T, has responded via a posting on its own Windows Phone discussion forum. The wireless company confirmed that it is respecting Microsoft’s wishes when it comes to OS updates and will not interfere:
The 950 will be receiving monthly WaaS (Windows as a Service) updates, and the latest one released on December 8th (Build Version 10.0.10586.29.) These updates are not certified by AT&T, and will be delivered via Microsoft over-the-air. A Wi-Fi connection is required. From the App List, scroll down and tap Settings > Phone Update > Check for Update.
While this is definitely good news when it comes to OS updates, it still doesn’t change anything with regards to device firmware updates. So if you’ve got a buggy Microsoft hardware on your hands, you’re still at the whim of your wireless carrier to get the update out to you in a timely fashion.