Windows Phone 8 To Turn Brand New Devices Into Obsolete Relics

Smartphones that use the Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system haven’t exactly made a dent in the market share enjoyed by iPhone and Android devices. And yet, Microsoft has refused to throw in the towel, hoping to entice new users with today’s introduction of Windows Phone 8. Alas, if you’re one of the few people who have been holding on to your Windows Phone for when the new OS came out, you’re out of luck.

At today’s big announcement, Microsoft confirmed that WP7 users would not be able to upgrade to WP8 but would be getting a separate upgrade to WP7.8, which will not run any future apps that are built specifically for WP8.

This is not good news for people who, for whatever reason, have decided to go down the WP7 route. Or the people who may not read tech news and have no idea about today’s announcement. Right now, you can still go on the AT&T website and buy new WP7 phones for upwards of $199 (with a two-year contract, of course).

One recent purchaser of a Nokia Lumia 900 fired off a letter to executives at Microsoft, Nokia and AT&T:

I just watched the Windows Phone 8 announcement and learned that the Lumia will not be upgradeable to WP8, it will more or less get a skin with the new live tiles and a few other features. This to me is the worse offense of all, I understand the Lumia doesn’t have the multicore and NFC built in so all three companies will say the hardware doesn’t support it, but at the end of the day unless one of you responds and convinces me to stay with Microsoft Windows Phone, Nokia Lumia or Att wireless I will just wash my hands of all three companies and move over to Verizon. I hear Google makes some nice LTE phones over there.

Nokia’s president and CEO Stephen Elop actually replied to the message, though he seemed to miss the point of the customer’s complaint.

“We have a lot of exciting capabilities coming as part of a pattern of updates for the existing Lumia products,” writes Elop. “This includes some of the most significant visual elements of WP8 – for example, the new start screen.”

That’s all well and good — for WP8 users. But not for people with brand new, obsolete WP7 phones.

Lumia 900 owner vents Windows Phone 8 frustrations, Stephen Elop responds []


Edit Your Comment

  1. Guppy06 says:

    Microsoft threw PlayReady customers under the bus when they released the Zune. People bought neither.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      I think you meant “PlaysForNaught…er…Sure,” but I got the gist of that.

      Funny, my 4th gen iPod Touch will get the iOS6 update when it comes out. My year-old Android tablet came with Honeycomb, but it now has Ice Cream Sandwich. Which brings me to asking to the people in Redmond: what’s the story? You think you’re gonna gain any market share by alienating your existing customers? I shake my head.

      • Rocket says:

        Funny, my 2nd gen iPod touch won’t get iOS 6 (or 5, or even 4.3). My Samsung Galaxy tab (original) doesn’t have an official ICS build yet.

        Way to alienate your existing customers, Apple (and Samsung, I guess, I have a Cyanogen Mod ROM, so w/e).

        • MMD says:

          Windows7 phones are way newer than 2nd generation iPod touches.

          Every mobile device, tablet, laptop, etc. is going to become obsolete eventually…Microsoft shortened the window (see what I did there?) pretty egregiously!

        • BurtReynolds says:

          How old is that iPod? I don’t expect companies to support products forever, but the Lumia 900 came out like six months ago and is currently their flagship phone. Especially for a brand that is trying to build a user base, this seems to be a very shortsighted move. Way to through the people who did decide to adopt your product under the bus.

          I learned my lesson with Windows Mobile. Yes, I know WP7 is a new animal, but I bought a Samsung Omnia and I don’t believe MSFT ever issued any sort of update for that phone. They released WM 6.5 about 7-8 months after I bought mine, but of course my phone was not included unless I went to XDA to solve the problem myself.

      • Invader Zim says:

        I bet your ipod touch will act a lot like a slug on depressants, if you do upgrade it to iOS6. My 3gs did on IOS5.

    • orion43 says:

      They are doing the same to Zune users when Xbox music rolls out.

      • sakanagai says:

        I was under the impression that they were just doing a rebranding and expansion of the music service. According to their website, existing subscribers keep their plans with the new service.

    • Kestris says:

      I have a 80gig Zune. It still works beautifully, 4+ years later. My SiL has one as well. Hers works beautifully as well. In fact, when I wanted to upgrade to a 120gig, every store was sold out, or only had the 60gig.

      So, obviously people were buying them.

  2. gman863 says:

    In Microsoft’s defense, this issue is likely more the fault of the phone manufacturer.

    “…the Lumia doesn’t have the multicore and NFC built in so all three companies will say the hardware doesn’t support it…”

    When an OS or software upgrade is rolled out, it generally requires a slightly more powerful CPU than previous versions. Although the jump from Vista to Windows 7 was an exception to this rule. I’ve actually seen people attempt to install Windows 7 on a 8-10 year old XP-based PC with 512 MB RAM and wonder why using it is about as fun as watching paint dry.

    All things considered, I’d rather see Microsoft come out with a decent mobile version of Windows 8 for new phones as opposed to watering it down to pacify older Windows-based phone owners.

    • cyberbird168 says:

      The problem is WP8 is a mobile phone OS. Not a desktop OS. Look at iPhone. The iOS 5 can be upgrade from iPhone 3GS up. That is like 3 year’s old hardware.

      Nokia Lumia 900 only been out for how long? 6 months maybe? And design for MS WP OS but now you can’t even upgrade it.

      WOW thank god I didn’t buy one!

    • Hartwig says:

      Yes and no, the problem is that Windows Phone 7 wouldn’t allow anything other than a single core processor and the very limited specs which Microsoft required. Nokia built a phone to these requirements and they both pushed it knowing it would be obsoleted shortly.

      • 2 Replies says:

        So they should stop developing new phones and operating systems so you and others don’t feel phone envy.

        Obsolete != non-functional.

        Cars sold mid-year will be ‘obsolete’ by the release of next year’s model within months.
        This happens EVERY YEAR.
        It’s pretty naive to blame them for this.

        • MMD says:

          Cars != smartphones. False comparison.
          Most smartphones can be updated at least once. A WP7 phone can not be.

        • Hartwig says:

          I am not blaming them, nor do i own one, i was pointing out that Microsoft was the one limiting the hardware not Nokia. Both did know that it wouldn’t run on their newest OS which would be out shortly, so i do think that there is a little blame in them pushing the phone as their “Flagship” device.

        • Halloween Jack says:

          You’re not quite getting it. MS is pushing Windows 8 as being the OS solution for every OS-using device that you have–desktop, phone, tablet–but it’s not usable on the most heavily-promoted WP7 device on the market. What do you think people with a Lumia are going to do–throw away their current phone just for an upgrade of dubious value, or hold off on that, and probably on upgrading their desktop to W8 too? Hint: remember Vista?

    • CornwallBlank says:

      And yet I’m running OpenBSD — as a fully-functional firewall and multi-service-proxy — for a network of about 40 hosts — on a system just like that.

      The problem here is code bloat: professional-quality operating systems are written to minimize it, which is why they can function reasonably well on minimal hardware. Both the BSD and Linux families excel at this: Windows does not. In fact, Windows is horribly, unbelievably bloated and getting more so all the time, which is why it displays an insatiable appetite for more resources with each release.

      So let’s not make excuses for Microsoft. The only reason that Windows 8 won’t run on devices like this is their incompetence.

    • Dr. Shrinker says:

      Except they did the exact same thing with Windows Phone (aka 7)…my one-year-old HTC windows phone with 6.5 wouldn’t be upgradeable, and long before my 2-year window was up they had stopped making apps for it; Microsoft even shut down the “Marketplace” so you couldn’t buy existing apps anymore! They lost me to Apple right then, and this announcement is pure confirmation of that choice.

  3. slightlyjaded says:

    No, the CEO was correct Chris, you are confused: The EXISTING Lumia phones will be upgrading to Windows Phone 7.8. The update will include many of the new visual elements in WP8.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Your words hurt my brain. @___@

    • Abradax says:

      Wow… visual elements…. lol

      So when WP8 apps launch, they are SOL because they only have the visual elements of WP8, and there is 0 reason for app developers to make sure their apps are backwards compatible for the 14 people who bought a WP7 phone.

      • slightlyjaded says:

        I wasn’t talking about the apps. I was talking about the author’s assertion that the new features cited by the CEO–updated software and visual elements–would be for WP8 users, not people with WP7 phones. This is incorrect.

        The CEO may be trying to put lipstick on a pig, and the updates he’s talking about may be nothing to write home about. But they are indeed for users of EXISTING Lumia phones, not future WP8 owners.

    • Halloween Jack says:

      Groovy–they’re throwing them a WP8 skin.

  4. Coffee says:

    Windows Phone 8 To Turn Brand New Devices Into Obsolete Relics

    They should just rename is Windows Phone Vista.

  5. oldwiz65 says:

    The Nokia CEO’s response shows part of the reason why they are in such trouble – they are clueless.

  6. cashxx says:

    Just get the true smartphone the restarted the cell industry. Get an iPhone or if you need 4G wait till about October or so and get one. Had Android phones for that past few years and moved to an iPhone and love it. Yea you can tinker with Android and get a larger screen and its a little more open, but if you want something that works fluidly get the iPhone. After using the iPhone, Android just feels wrong! Only thing good about Android is its keeping Apple inline with competition instead of being the only player and severely lacking. iOS got better with iOS 5 and only going to get better with iOS 6.

    My only gripes so far after having an iPhone for 3 months are:
    1) Screen is just a hair to small, I’d like to see it around around or under 4.3″. Larger screen is too big for me.
    2) Can’t simply mount it for USB storage. Can on Windows, but only for pictures.
    3) No 4G yet

    • 2 Replies says:

      No one cares about your iPhone.
      Please stay ON TOPIC.

      • MMD says:

        While I agree that the post wasn’t particularly relevant, do you really expect competing devices, whether they be Apple or Android devices to not be mentioned when we’re talking about smartphones?

    • 2 Replies says:

      Also… the cell phone industry has never been dead or stale.
      Nokia phones have and still do outsell every smartphone COMBINED.

      (Before you jump all over that comment, take note that “cell phone” != “smart phone”)

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      Not having LTE on your flagship phone is “dead and stale”. A few generations back, not having copy/paste and MMS was “dead and stale”. The Iphone has always been dead and stale. How long did it take to get turn by turn GPS?

      There is zero excuse for no LTE other than just the fact that Apple wasn’t ready and had to release something this past year. I’m sure that Apple’s brilliant marketing team will spin it somehow as them revolutionizing the industry with an LTE Iphone and in a few years everyone will think Apple was the first out with it.

      That said, not sure what this has to do with Windows Phone or those that just re-upped their contract and are stuck with obsolete phones. Which admittedly wouldn’t happen with Android or iOS in that time span.

      • orion43 says:

        No excuse unless the consumer doesn’t need/want it or 4g is unavailable in the area. The back and forth from 3g to 4g kills battery life. Now of 4g LTE could simply be disabled I would say it should be standard.

      • johnny_ryall says:

        despite this perception that WP7 users are getting the short end of this deal, I’d still take my Lumia any day over your precious iPhone. The soon to be replaced interface is still the best looking UI available, smooth, quick and responsive…it’s all just opinion, but I’m still happy with my purchase.

      • JonBoy470 says:

        Apple’s success is, to a great degree, built on their obsession over the user experience. In particular, given the choice, Apple will omit a feature entirely rather than implement it half-assedly. LTE is a sterling example of this. Last October, when the iPhone 4S launched, Verizon was the only carrier in the world to have rolled out any LTE coverage whatsoever. And LTE is a power hog. Read the reviews. Almost every LTE phone review complains about battery life. The only escape seems to be to make an oversized and overpriced brick (cough, Droid Razr Maxx).

        Apple decided (correctly, in my view) that it would be better to wait for the technology to mature, and omit LTE in the interest of decent battery life. To say that Apple “wasn’t ready” is the same as saying that the cell phone chip industry “wasn’t ready” which, judging by the current crop of LTE Android phones, seems to be the case.

        • Halloween Jack says:

          You’re exactly right here. I’d continue that trade of thought with the tendency of gadget blogs to relentlessly push the latest Hot New Feature as if modern life were impossible without it. Gotta have LTE! You just gotta! Can’t live without it! The next thing will be those phones where you can pay for your Starbucks (or phone accessories) by tapping your phone on some magic point, just like those Java rings and keyfobs that were supposed to be the Next Big Thing over a decade ago.

          Plus, of course, there’s the double standard where if Apple products don’t have the Hot New Feature, everyone calls it an “Apple killer” (you know, how Apple was going to die because of no micro-SD cards in its gadgets), while if it’s Apple-exclusive, the gadget blogs pick on it while they studiously ignore the lack of anything remotely close to it in Android or whatever. It’s worth remembering how apeshit they went over Palm’s WebOS when it turns out that it wasn’t even really functional when it was demoed.

    • samandiriel says:

      It’s amazing to me how many people holding on to technologies that are starting to lag say “sure it lacks a bunch of things *now*, but wait til you see the next release!” At which point it will again be left behind as all the features it’s been playing catch-up to will now be old hat while innovators roll out something new.

  7. Hartwig says:

    This has been speculated in the tech community for a while now. When Microsoft limited the processors and specs on the Windows Phone 7 devices many felt that they were selling already obsolete devices knowing that Windows Phone 8 would not allow the upgrade. This is an awful plan for Microsoft to build a brand following as how can you now expect them to not obsolete these new phones just down the road. Not to mention it makes Nokia look bad because they are building hardware that is under powered within a few months.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      Agree. A little research would have showed the OP that there was a very real chance the WP7 devices were an excercise in planned obsolescence. Rumors that WP8 would leave these people out in the cold have been around for a while.

    • SmokeyBacon says:

      Yes, this is totally true. My boyfriend and I both have Windows phones (I don’t pay for it, he does, and it does everything I need so I am fine with it) that we got in January 2011. When talk of 8 started MONTHS ago he was looking at new phones and I told him that I had read this could be the case and not to upgrade and while he seriously considered it he did end up listening and didn’t get the Lumia 900 and now it turns out I was right. I like my windows phone but crap like this seriously makes me wish he wasn’t so into Microsoft products.

  8. sn1per420 says:

    Existing WP7.5 devices will get the WP7.8 upgrade, which includes many of the new features from WP8. So really what’s happening here is that some of the new features won’t be available on older phones, something which Apple does on a yearly basis, yet no one seems to lose their shit over it then.

    • mojomarc says:

      I think the main issue is a lot of what has been announced requires hardware that just doesn’t exist in current Windows Phones. NFC requires secure SIMs, for example. Dual core support is a Windows 8 feature, but the current phones are single core so no point in rolling that down. Most of the gen 1 devices don’t have memory card slots, so no point in rolling that down. It looks like with 7.8 Microsoft is rolling out the relevant upgrades to the gen 1 devices, but promising more if you can make the upgrade to full Windows Phone 8.

      • 2 Replies says:

        Um, that’s what sn1per420 was saying.
        It’s a non-issue.
        Apple does the EXACT same thing when they announce new features on the next iOS release that will only apply to the new model, with only a few new features trickling back.

        People now are just pissing themselves because the Microsoft has made a clear distinction between those trickled back features by calling the FULL package wp7.

        Stupid people cry over a few characters.

        • crazydavythe1st says:

          Wrong. The apps in the app store don’t usually utilize these new features, or at least will still run missing a few features.

          You take almost any app in the app store and it WILL work on Iphone 4S, Iphone 4, and often Iphone 3GS. That Lumia 900 you bought 5 months ago? When Windows Phone 8 comes out, you’re screwed because you’ll be lucky to get ANY apps. So it’s not the same at all.

    • snowlock says:

      the issue at hand is that new apps won’t work on the newest windows phone OS version. it says in the post they won’t work on 7 if built for 8.

      this is not the usual case for iOS; apps don’t have to require the newest version. if an iPhone app only works on the newest device at its launch, it tends to be featured in their press releases due to the nature of that as an exception.

      apple had also established an obvious trend where last year’s phone gets every feature from the iOS update this year, save “one more thing,” designed to make the new model’s incremental upgrade that much more appealing.

    • robnich says:

      Apple has supported the latest version of their operating system on every device they sell for 3 years after they stop selling it. Consistently.

      • orion43 says:

        Like Siri is available on all iPhones. Oh wait..

        • Jamie All Over says:

          or turn-by-turn on anything prior to the 4S. apple is really just upgrading it to force people off of the older phones.

          • elganador says:

            That’s an odd assertion – quite a few iPhone apps provide this functionality on several iPhone models. I have have the Mapquest app on my iPhone 4 and it does turn-by-turn just fine.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Which isn’t always a good thing.

        iOS 4 on an iPhone 3G was absolutely terrible.

  9. ThinkingBrian says:

    Are you kidding me, they (Microsoft and Nokia) blow it. They just through away good customers who spent their hard earned money on a WP7 phone and now there out of luck to WP8. Seriously, that is a bad business move and it might affect future customers who are or were interested in buying a WP8 phone. If they released a phone that can’t be upgraded once, what makes anybody not think they’ll do it again. Beside I’m never had good luck with Nokia phones anyway. I think I will too will stay with Android Smartphones. And it has a better and less expensive app store.

    • leprofie says:

      Really? “Thinking Brain” doesn’t mean smart.

      “Are you kidding me, they (Microsoft and Nokia) blow it. They just through [throw] away good customers who spent their hard earned money on a WP7 phone and now there [they’re] out of luck to WP8.”

    • incident_man says:

      I’d take a WP7 phone over an Android any day. I’ve used both and the user experience is far better with WP7. So what that there aren’t 300 gazillion free apps available, like on Android; most free Android apps I’ve seen are junk anyway.

      As far as the WP7 phones not being able to accept the WP8 upgrade, that sort of stuff happens all the freakin’ time. Look at the original Samsung Galaxy series Android phones, for example. A vast majority of them can’t be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich because there isn’t enough memory in the device to accommodate ICS and Samsung’s default skin, Touch Wiz, at the same time and still be usable. Does that mean the original Galaxy is junk? Hell no, they’re still a great bang for the buck. If you want the most upgradable devices for Android, then your best bet is going with the Google Nexus (except for the Nexus One) line of devices. They don’t have all the extra junk, like Touch Wiz, standing in the way.

      For comparison, my wife has a Nexus S (Android) and I have an HTC 7 Pro (WP7). Even though they both have the same memory and processor speed, my 7 Pro outperforms her Nexus, even with her Nexus having the ICS update. At the time we got our respective devices, they were the top-tier for their respective platforms. My 7 Pro just simply isn’t glitchy like her Nexus can be at times. I haven’t had any problems with my 7 Pro, but we’ve had to do a full factory reset on her Nexus 3 times since we bought both phones.

      My 7 Pro is my first Windows Phone, and prior to that I was an Android guy through and through, but my next phone will be a Windows Phone as well.

      • MMD says:

        “As far as the WP7 phones not being able to accept the WP8 upgrade, that sort of stuff happens all the freakin’ time.”

        This soon?

        • incident_man says:

          WP7 has been out now since at least March 2011, possibly before that.

          • elangomatt says:

            Yeah but there are still WP7 phones being sold today that won’t be getting upgraded to WP8. I don’t think it is the people that bought phones at launch that are complaining as much as people who bought WP7 phones within the last few days, weeks, or months who can’t upgrade to the new OS.

  10. 2 Replies says:

    Meh. It’s a huge update.
    Apple denies certain hardware the ability to use huge updates to iOS too.
    The only difference here is that the hardware capable of running WP is not as anemic a list.

    • MMD says:

      Yeah, but the shelf life of Apple devices is much longer than WP7 was. My iPhone 3GS supported several software updates over the course of 3.5 years (and it would have accommodated more, but I upgraded my phone).

      Microsoft really pulled the rug out from under the few, proud users who took a chance on a device with way less market share than Android or Apple has.

      • sakanagai says:

        It’s not always the case with Apple products, though (original iPhone was axed early and the first gen iPad is about to join it). The 3GS is an exception, not the rule.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I think it depends on the product.

        I used to have an iPhone 3G and while it did get an upgrade to iOS 4.0, the upgrade pretty much rendered the device unusably slow.

        • MMD says:

          While it may not have been optimal, at least there was an option to update. And subsequent devices have been updatable for multiple updates. A W7 phone that you buy today won’t support the very next, imminent update.

  11. Cerne says:

    My god some apps will only work on the new phones? It’s almost like having a droid, iPhone or blackberry. The horror!

    • rambo76098 says:

      You’ve obviously never had an iPhone or Android phone. They both run anything on any version.

      • Cerne says:

        Well that’s some bullshit right there. There’s lots of apps and games that only work on the newer iPhone models and Android has compatibility difficulties up the wazoo.

  12. coffee100 says:

    It’s the post-PC world. So we’re going to take everything we’ve accomplished on the PC (browsers, the web, Linux, C, Visual Studio, Mac OS X, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, etc.) and pitch it overboard and start over with fiddly little devices with no controls and tiny screens.

    60 years of progress in computing heel-rammed into the shitter while all of humanity wanders around staring at little screens in case two lines of dumbass text appears. CH-CH-CH-CHANGESSSS

    • alexwade says:

      Don’t forget, we’re going to take an interface that works well on tablets and force it onto people using desktops and laptops and make them re-learn how to use the computer again while at the same time taking away everything they like.

      Be sure to buy a new computer before October and be sure to ask for Windows 7 and if it has Windows 8, say no.

    • Cerne says:

      I agree. I mean those laws forbidding people from owning both a smart phone and a full computer are such a pain. Though on the plus side I was getting tired of carrying a PC around in my pocket.

  13. momtimestwo says:

    I’ve had my new windows phone for 3 weeks. I love it, but this news is disappointing. Had I known a new one was in the cards, I would have waited.

    • johnny_ryall says:

      a “new one” is always in the cards…you also would have been waiting another 4-6 months.

      /i have a Lumia 900 and find there’s no reason to be upset by any of this

  14. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    What’s the big deal? I can’t upgrade my old android phone to Ice Cream Sandwich. It still a great phone that works. This why users on any platform get a phone upgrade.

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      It’s the app compatibility. On Android, most apps even released today will run on Gingerbread (often even Froyo) and newer albeit sometimes slowly. I don’t have recent experience with iOS, but I’m guessing most stuff in the App store supports 3GS and newer – worse case Iphone 4 or newer.

      Microsoft is basically steering all development towards Windows 8 phone in which the apps are not compatibility with Windows 7 phone. This while they are STILL selling Windows 7 phones.

      Basically, they have a phone that was marketed as a flagship Windows phone for AT&T that they are going to almost completely obsolete and stop most development for 5 months into the 2 year contracts that most people have.

      • Dr. Shrinker says:

        Yes. THIS is the point. And, as I stated above, it’s not even the first time! They did this with the last round of “upgrades”…

  15. Extended-Warranty says:

    I’d like to think I’m someone who is generally more understanding of decisions by big businesses than others.

    This one is just completely asinine. This tells potential WP7 buyers to stay away from buying a phone. Those who are impatient will likely go to Android or iOS so they don’t risk having an unsupported operating system for 2 years. Bad move Microsoft.

  16. drofli says:

    As a Windows phone user for the last four years, this is the second time they have made my phone obsolete. Now it’s Android and Microsoft have lost another customer.

  17. MaytagRepairman says:

    I was a WP7 early adopter, my contract is almost up, and I am jumping ship. It doesn’t really have anything to do with WP8. The adoption rate has been too weak. Whenever I see a company saying do business with us because we have an app, the app is usually only for Apple and/or Android.

    I was also an early adopter for Zune and (after it was stolen) a Zune 2. I knew it was in serious trouble when I had a hard time finding any accessories for them in stores within 10 miles of Microsoft HQ but shelves were well stocked for the Apple products.

    If their phones fail they won’t have anything else to do in the phone market, but I still don’t have enough confidence Microsoft is in it to win it to stick with them for another phone.

    • sixsevenco says:

      If you were/are an early adopter, MS has been very good to you. You have received two MAJOR os updates and several minor updates. MS has just promised you a third MAJOR update that will provide the same experience as WP8, minus what the phone physically can’t do because it doesn’t have the internal hardware.

      The app store has really grown. What specific apps are you missing?

      • MMD says:

        “Minus what the phone physically can’t do because it doesn’t have the internal hardware, *due to poor planning on Microsoft’s part.”

        Fixed that for you.

        Approximately 80k apps for Windows Phone. Approximately 500k apps for Android and iPhone. Having a larger selection is a selling point, no?

        • sixsevenco says:

          What I wrote was fine without your addition. When MS created the WP7 spec two yeard ago, no other widely distributed phones had this internal hardware. Requiring NFC hardware two years ago would have likely made the devices cost prohibitive.

          “Approximately 100k apps for Windows Phone”

          Fixed that for you.

          The WP7 app store has grown at a pace that’s faster than Android, but slower than iphone. Having a well rounded app store is an important selling point. With >100K apps, there are plenty of apps to accomplish what you need.

  18. chevale says:

    Come on, Mr. Morran. You can’t just come out and tell us we’ve been punked – we’re too immature to deal with the idea that we no longer have the newest, shiniest toy out there.

    I, too was was caught in the game, but really, the lumia 900 is a very nice phone. I’m still discovering all its wonders.

  19. sakanagai says:

    Most of the blame rests with Microsoft. They chose to limit the hardware to less powerful items (to keep cost down?), not allowing manufacturers to opt for more future-proof components. Now the same specs MS said were *required* for WP7 are insufficient for WP8. Especially for those who recently bought a new WP7 device (the Lumia series for instance, pushed by folks who knew better), there should be some sort of upgrade program to swap a recent purchase for a new phone without going through a carrier upgrade, if only as a gesture of good faith. Especially since WP8 will be more scalable, MS needs to keep what few customers it has happy and loyal.

    Now to play devil’s advocate. You bought a single core device in 2012. Of course it will be obsolete. The fact it will even get a cosmetic update (7.8) should be welcomed. There is a reason that more powerful hardware and features are needed for WP8 and why apps for the new OS aren’t likely to run (unmodified) on WP7. MS is playing the unification game, trying to reuse as much of the Win8 environment as they can across multiple platforms. WP8 phones will be running an OS that should be quite similar to that of MS’s recently announce Surface (RT) tablet. That’s no small order and the fact is that even the newest WP7 phones cannot handle it; just look at the hardware powering upcoming Windows RT slates to see how far behind the curve the Lumia handsets are. WP8, in theory, should be less problematic, though I’d still aim for a higher end phone just to be safe.

  20. LabanDenter says:

    flame bait article. Just rubish

  21. KristoferB says:

    I don’t get it… Microsoft is just taking a page from Apple’s playbook.. they’re doing the same thing Apple does but yet it’s ok for Apple to do it but it’s not ok for Microsoft to do the same thing?!

    • sakanagai says:

      Microsoft has legitimate reasons (ones they caused, but still…) for leaving current hardware behind. Apple claims to, but the jailbreak community has repeatedly shown otherwise.

  22. elangomatt says:

    I think that the comparison everyone is making between iOS and WP 8 is a bit unfair. When Apple updates their iOS version, they are mostly just adding new features. Sometimes the new features will slow down older hardware so that is when they drop support for older hardware. WP 8 on the other hand is a new OS that obviously has higher hardware requirements. So rather than upgrade WP 7 phones to WP 8 and have users complain about the poor performance, they are choosing to not update WP 7 phones.

    I think Microsofts big mistake in all of this is the shortsightedness of the hardware requirements remaining so low for WP 7 so that manufacturers really had no choice but to make underpower phones compared to the technology that is currently available. Maybe the answer to this is Microsoft putting out the cash to allow current WP 7 users to get to get a WP 8 phone at subsidized prices if they want upgrade in the middle of their contract.

  23. dush says:

    Get over it. When Apple releases a new iOS there are plenty of features that the old hardware doesn’t support. Yet they still call it the same OS. That’s kind of shady.
    Microsoft is just being honest about it and not calling the update the same thing for all devices. WP7.5 goes to WP7.8 and the new one is WP8.

    • Dr. Shrinker says:

      It’s not just the OS, it’s the APPS. Long before my 2-year contract was up on my Windows 6.5 phone, Microsoft had stopped all support, there were no apps being developed, and they eventually even shuttered the app store. So, while everyone I knew with Android or Iphones were continuing to enjoy new apps being developed, I had nothing. (Not to mention the selection of Windows apps was ludicrously small to begin with). So, yes, some of us feel that spending $200+ and getting locked in to a 2-year contract to have a phone that Microsoft abandons after a year is ridiculous. And I sure as hell wouldn’t buy a Windows 8 phone; the last 2 versions were obsolete within less than 2 years, so why wouldn’t you think the same thing’s going to happen again?

  24. Kestris says:

    I have an HTC Arrive WP 7.5. Could car less that it won’t be upgradeable to WP8.

    Next year when I’m able to upgrade to a new phone, WP 9 will likely be released and I’ll simply get that instead.

    So this is no big deal to me.

    Hell, I had WinXP for 7 years before I got a new computer with Win7 on it. WinXP worked just fine for me.

  25. JonBoy470 says:

    With Windows 8, M$ is merging their mobile and PC OS’s into a single code-base (much like they merged Windows and Windows NT a decade ago with Windows XP). Trust me, in a couple years we’ll be glad M$ is doing this. Unfortunately for WP7 owners, much as happened a decade ago, M$ is achieving this goal by shoe-horning the heavy-footprint OS into the small-footprint mobile device, and the WP7 hardware will cry “Uncle” without a significant upgrade. This is exacerbated by the fact that M$ standardized Windows Phone 7 on a single hardware platform, essentially dictating the important elements of the design to their OEM partners. Their platform was actually very competitive in the latter half of 2010 when it initially came on the scene, particularly in the low cost (free on two year contract) devices it often wound up in. Sadly, OEM partners (cough, Nokia) have built $200 flagship devices around this same, now somewhat dated foundation.

    M$’s big mistake was that, eight or nine months ago, they didn’t bump their hardware spec to something that would upgrade to WP8. Dual cores, more memory, etc. In doing so they would have insured that, come this fall when they launch Windows 8 and WP8, (nearly) all the phones still within a 2 year contract would have been upgradable.

    Had they done that

  26. HangFire says:

    Pre-8 Windows phones were already relics on introduction. It didn’t require 8 coming out to realize that!