Microsoft rolling out an update to one of its OSes isn't often that big of a deal, because let's be honest, it happens all the time. An update just issued for Windows 10 Mobile is a bit of an exception. Not because of what it actually introduces (or fixes); but because of how it was released.
Typically, any mobile OS update needs to go through the carrier that sold a customer their phone, and often, that can take a long time. Thanks to Apple's tightly-run ecosystem, there's never a delay there, but on Android, many will never see the latest version of the OS hit their phone (unless they're on a Nexus device). We're two months after the launch of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and in the grand scheme, it's still in the hands of very few people.
It's apparent that Microsoft didn't want to make its customers suffer with this kind of OS release lag that they've been dealing with forever, so with its latest build, 10586.29, the company managed to push it out to consumers with little input from the carriers. That means Windows Phone users were treated to an update probably before they realized it was even available.
Big day, first update worldwide (and more to come) to all phones running #Windows10 - same build as PC!— Terry Myerson (@tmyerson) December 8, 2015
According to the company, these releases are not ignoring carriers entirely, and its wording leaves a bit up to speculation; "Microsoft is working closely with mobile operators to leverage their testing and our flighting to meet and exceed current quality bars. We will use their input but will decide when to send the updates out based on input from mobile operators and our Windows Insiders."
One thing that can be surmised from that is that while carriers didn't halt this particular update, they might be able to down the road should an update raise concerns. In this case, the update was simple, and likely posed no actual risk. We will have to wait for future updates for Windows 10 Mobile to see if these kinds of rollouts will continue on, but things are looking good.
In related news, if you want to see what Microsoft's latest high-end Lumia brings to the table (and you do!), be sure to check out our in-depth look.