From Microsoft's Windows Phone Blog:
Who doesn’t love presents? Luckily, my new job at Microsoft is to deliver them to you. My name’s Eric, and I run the team responsible for sending software updates with new features and improvements to your phone.
Eric, I'm sorry to be the barer of bad news, but you're in for a pretty boring ride (that occasionally bricks itself).
I’ve seen a lot of speculation on blogs and forums lately about whether carriers can “block” an update. We work closely with carriers to test and schedule updates. They may ask us for a specific date to start an update. They may ask for updates to be bundled together. But you should ultimately receive all the updates we send out.
Could he be any more non-committal? This seems like a reversal from earlier statements made by Microsoft:
In addition, Microsoft itself updates [the devices]. Thus users no longer need to wait until the manufacturer or the provider a firmware update.
This quote, from an April, 2010, interview with Micosoft's Charlie Kindel by Tweakers.net, clearly establishes that updates should be the domain of Microsoft, not the manufacturer or carrier. (Apologies for the strange wording, the original content is in German and translated by, ironically, Microsoft Translator.)
But I believe it’s important that we learn all we can from the February update. So I’ve decided to take some extra time to ensure the update process meets our standards, your standards, and the standards of our partners. As a result, our plan is to start delivering the copy-and-paste update in the latter half of March.
They've decided to delay the launch of an update that never had an official date to begin with. And the "latter half of March" is just about here.
Overall, this entire situation is a train wreck. It's immensely disappointing to see Microsoft finally have aspirations of beating Apple at their own game with a curated marketplace, controlled updates, and incremental functionality upgrades, only to fumble one opportunity after another.
Good luck, Nokia.