Microsoft silent as confusion over Windows Phone 8 upgrade path grows

By on April 18, 2012, 1:30 PM

There appears to be some confusion breeding on whether or not existing Windows Phones will be compatible with version 8 of the operating system (codenamed Apollo) expected later this year, with contradicting reports supporting both theories and Microsoft refusing to give an official response.

It's been reported that some or all current users won't be able to upgrade, even those who buy new, second-generation devices. It probably didn't help that, when asked about forward and backward compatibility at a meeting in Mobile World Congress earlier this year, Terry Myerson, the Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone, only confirmed that current apps will run on Windows Phone 8.

“We haven’t announced Windows Phone 8, but in terms of I can show you our goal to all Windows Phone 7 applications will run on Windows Phone 8.  Application compatibility is always something, where there’s always stuff on the fringe…. The spirit is our goal that all Windows Phone applications today run on our next release.”

Nuno Silva, who works as developer evangelist at Microsoft, seemingly put concerns to rest in an interview with Portuguese technology site Zwame published yesterday, where he states in no uncertain terms that all devices -- including first generation ones -- will get upgraded to the next major version of Windows Phone. But the interview has since been pulled, and when reached for comment Microsoft only reiterated the app compatibility bit, while saying they have nothing else to share about future releases at this point.

The Verge also reached out to its own sources and came up with a discouraging answer for Windows Phone owners: "there will be no upgrade path from Mango to Apollo."

Software updates have always been an Achilles' heel of Android devices and it won't bode well for Microsoft's platform if the company can't get at least its second generation devices to run Windows Phone 8. Love it or hate it, one can't help but compare this to the way Apple has handled updates for its devices, delivering iOS 5 updates globally and simultaneously to its almost three-year old iPhone 3GS as well as the iPhone 4 and 4S.

Perhaps Apollo will contain some major feature improvements over Windows Phone 7 that will warrant new devices, but current Windows Phone owners won't be happy to have hedged their bets for Microsoft's platform. Hopefully, Redmond will offer a more definite response soon.




User Comments: 5

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Guest said:

I use a windows phone and as much as i love the UI and a few other features, I find myself feeling as I got ripped buying one of these phones.

Everytime i try and use the web browser to look anything up I get " This page adapted for you browser comes from www.whereever.com and is not endorsed by google." So my internet is pretty much useless. Very little apps that I actually would use, would like to see ( Canadian Banks, Ticketmaster) as 2 off the top of my head. Going to the website doesnt work since my phone wont goto any.

Horrible signal on my phone, I see guys from work walking around with there Iphones and Androids while im struggling to get any signal.

Stay clear of windows phones, they are not here to stay.

Butch said:

I use a windows phone and as much as i love the UI and a few other features, I find myself feeling as I got ripped buying one of these phones.

Everytime i try and use the web browser to look anything up I get " This page adapted for you browser comes from www.whereever.com and is not endorsed by google." So my internet is pretty much useless. Very little apps that I actually would use, would like to see ( Canadian Banks, Ticketmaster) as 2 off the top of my head. Going to the website doesnt work since my phone wont goto any.

Horrible signal on my phone, I see guys from work walking around with there Iphones and Androids while im struggling to get any signal.

Stay clear of windows phones, they are not here to stay.

Good to know but what phone and carrier are you using?

Guest said:

Argghh!

MS have no clear solid foundation for their consumers or developers of mobile apps on windows phones and yet are putting their head in the clouds ignoring everything underfoot with windows 8 and the metro interface of touchy feely..

Please someone at MS come back to ground level and stop trying to emulate on the success other companies have had with this, the market share you have or gain from this is not worth the expenditure or loss of confidence by consumers in enterprise or domestic capacity.

Do they think having iPhone, Android, RIM, among others with less and less cross compatibility each day that they will emerge and when already they have showen with previous interations they cannot make it work, and now not even confirm anything thus losing more confidence from potential consumers who are just not going to wait and see and isntead go with one of the other already dominant co's?

I think MS need to adjust and stop being re active to emerging tech and start leading from the front and trying to emulate on success by others so much, if not they should goto china and start manufacturing brand names they dont own..

nigel said:

I would expect that they will be trying to see if there is a way to charge all users who bought a phone before a certain date for the upgrade. Thats the way they have handled the PC business, and it will be hard to change the direction of the organisation.

Guest said:

" This page adapted for you browser comes from www.whereever.com and is not endorsed by google."

The person who said this does not know how to use their phone, if they go into settings they can change everything. There is also alternate browsers available if they could be bothered to look on the marketplace and spend a whole minute downloading and installing it.

I have a Samsung Omnia7, had my windows phone for a year, got upgraded to 7.5 no problem. It is the perfect phone, no problems and has never crashed either!

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