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What is ‘MicrosoftMDG’ update & how it improves the new Lumia flagships

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What is ‘MicrosoftMDG’ update & how it improves the new Lumia flagships

The latest is a ‘firmware’ update for the new Lumia 950 and 950 XL that went live for most devices this evening, yet which doesn’t touch the Windows 10 Mobile OS at all. Interestingly, it’s labelled as just ‘MICROSOFTMDG’ – though a support page does list some possible inclusions.

The ‘MDG’ bit is ambiguous, since there are lots of fits for that acronym, several within the Microsoft world alone – but the most likely by far here is ‘Microsoft Devices Group’, even though this then makes the full update title include ‘Microsoft’ twice in succession, which is just plain ugly from a writing/saying point of view(!)

There’s a support page on Microsoft’s site, proclaiming:

We have started rolling out a new firmware update for Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL01078.00027.15506.020xx. Key highlights include:

  • Stability and performance improvements.
  • Improvements for SD memory card support.
  • Improvements for automatic display brightness settings.
  • Fix for a camera problem that was causing noisy images in low-light conditions for some users.
  • Fix for a 4K video problem that was causing stripes to show up while playing back recorded videos for some users.

The update should be already available for many of the users and rollouts will continue gradually.

Now I have to confess that all this threw me for a bit of a loop initially, since all the above in the changelog are normally associated with the OS and applications, but let’s go with it and assume that the above fixes refer to low level device drivers and that these are in the ‘firmware’ domain. A ‘firmware update’ is not quite the same as a BIOS update for a PC, but you can think of it in the same way (see this helpful FAQ post for more).

In which case having better control of (specifically) the Lumia 950/XL hardware has got to be a good thing. It’s notable that this update comes from the MDG and not the OS teams….

Anecdotally, we’ve heard of some retail outlets stopping selling the new Lumia flagships temporarily and presumably this is to allow units in the chain to be reflashed with new firmware. I’d argue that they all need to wait a month and include a big new bug fix build of the OS too (and label the whole darn shooting match ‘beta’….) Official UK review devices were also delayed, by the way, now around a month late, so continuing thanks to Clove for their loan of our hardware.

Anyway, update away if you have a 950/XL and let us know if this fixes anything else major for you.

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