That's because only the ROM upgrade utility for connecting the phone to a computer (RUU) is being made available rather than a traditional software update over the air (you know, the one where the phone tells you there's an update available).
The upshot of this is anyone updating their software will need a spot of technological know-how and will lose any message, emails, customisations and contacts stored on their phone.
More to come?
HTC's announcement goes on to add that "This ROM update is for development only and not for general public use."
And more worryingly (although probably HTC just covering its backside): " In addition certain functions may no longer be usable after re-flashing the ROM, including but not limited to MMS and SMS and HTC also disclaims liability for any unusable functions."
It's not clear if this is the be all and end all of the HTC Desire Gingerbread update debacle, but with Three pointing its customers to the developer update, it's looking likely that we won't see a traditional OS download for this one.
Three has been a staunch advocate of the HTC Desire Gingerbread update; thrilled at the original news that it was coming, angered at HTC's apparent inability to deliver it on time, gutted when HTC announced it was no longer viable and back to thrilled when HTC changed its mind.
But for technologically insecure Desire owners, this won't be quite the glowing Android 2.3 outcome they were hoping for.