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Confirmed: Windows Phone 8 will not come to existing devices, but some of its new features will


Windows Phone 7.5 users are going to be either elated or inconsolable today as they discover the future of their operating system is going to be available only to new hardware. Due to the more extensive hardware requirements of Windows Phone 8, including NFC, high-resolution screens, multi-core processors and microSD storage, only aesthetic features will be afforded to existing users running Windows Phone 7.5.

This includes the new customizable home screen that Joe Belfiore showed off during the Windows Phone summit today. At this point that’s all we know — many of the other features will not be revealed until later in the summer or the Fall. The update, however, will be downloadable directly from Microsoft, bypassing the carriers completely. That’s a great move by Microsoft, as it will likely include many of the remaining bug fixes users have been waiting for.

We know this won’t go over too well  with the existing crowd — Windows Phone 7 only debuted two years ago, and it’s already been deprecated — but it shows that Microsoft isn’t resting on its laurels in terms of  pushing itself forward in the market.

What do you think? Is this the only way Microsoft can find success with Windows Phone 8?

Source: AllThingsD

  • astudent

    You know what, as a first adopter I don’t mind. The same thing happened with the iPhones over the years. This is just the reality of the tech industry. I’ll still be supportive of the platform, I enjoy it thoroughly and will likely get a windows phone 8 device….hopefully something amazing, with polycarbonate goodness from Nokia.

    • Still2Xpensive

      Apple has “iOS”
      RIM has “BB10″
      Android has “ICS” or “JB” Jelly Bean

      THERE IS NO WAY the media will write “Windows Phone 8″ all the time; its just 2 long!

      I think they will call it W8 (Wait) or WP8; just W8 and see!

    • Theywillbepissed

      Very bad move by microsoft, if you thought windows phone was experiencing slow adaption up until this point, get ready for what’s to come. All those who bought lumia 900s down in the states are going to be ditching the platform and never returning, and quite frankly i dont blame them. Microsoft should have at least given the impression that old phones would be getting windows 8, if it wanted to save its dying platform that is.

    • KoolTE

      Ha!
      The Windows tablet crashed during the release!!
      Its on Youtube now.

      Just google:

      ” Microsoft surface tablet crashes during presentation ”

      The guy is amazing at giving presentations, he would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t had to swap tablets!
      Ooopsy daisy!

    • Hammam

      This is a horrible move. When Microsoft released WP7, they made fun of android and called it segmented. They said all windows devices will get all updates. They straight up screwed up their loyal fans once again (remember the last phone released for win 6.5?)

      Those who are saying that they don’t care about getting upgrades are not thinking straight. A smartphone is all about it’s apps available. When you have an older version of an OS, your app selection is limited, couple that with the small amount of apps on the market and you have close to a dumb phone.

  • 0defaced

    This is complete bullshit. I’m not buying a new windows phone. GFY Microsoft.

    • Brad F

      “What’s that? You just bought a Nokia Lumia? Well, sucks to be you, your phone is already obsolete! HAHAHAHA!”

    • 0defaced

      Nope, bought a used HD7…..why the hell would I buy a Lumia?

    • Tim Cook

      let us take the time to read a death prayer for RIM.

  • Billy Bob

    Aw man. Can I upgrade my iOS6 to Windows Phone 7.8 then?

  • ActivesiN

    well no point buying a windows phone now….must wait until windows 8 now :(

  • emsee

    welcome to the world of forced obsolescence, folk. enjoy.

  • sickens

    C’mon MS What are you… BlackBerry?

    This whole lack of OS upgrade thing is another reason why 3 year contracts are so antiquated and ridiculous. If I just signed a contract for a new Nokia 900 I’d rightfully be pissed.

  • JustAnotherDan

    Think of it this way.
    Windows Phone 7.8 is like iOS6 on an iPhone 3GS.
    It’ll have all the features it can possibly support, but hardware will limit certain functionality.

    This is a smart move by MS. They’re not pretending it’s the exact same OS on older devices, unlike Apple.

    • Brad F

      “Windows Phone 7.8 is like iOS6 on an iPhone 3GS”

      Not really, since the 3GS came out in mid-2009 and phones like most of the Lumia series came out in 2012.

      It would be more like if Apple told iPhone 4S owners and buyers “oh, by the way, your phones will only get a minor update this fall, then they’re obsolete. Have fun buying!”

  • DonSod

    Fair comprimise.

  • nexusCFX

    Hey I paid $100 for a Focus on Kijiji and I honestly don’t mind either. I’d rather be stuck with a smooth functioning OS than a sluggish one because they tried to push out an update that my phone couldn’t handle. All those iPhone 3G users stuck on 4.2.1 aren’t having any fun with their hardware trying to run a version of iOS not designed for it.

    That being said, I foresee many Lumia device owners ditching the platform. Not updating devices after less than a year is ridiculous. Nokia should have known better.

    • danjo

      Couldn’t agree more. I got my HD7 for $100 on Kijiji and couldn’t be happier with it. I got it just try out initially and liked it so much I left my Android phone behind. I was planning on my next phone being an Android but after this news, it’ll be Windows 8 for sure.

  • Chris Dunphy

    Imagine if you just bought a Lumia 900? I’d be steaming mad.

  • Paul

    I have to agree with some here. What the hell is the big deal. Did people buy their phones for
    Upgradability? Nope. they bought themfor being pretty decent phones that run the software well. If you want to be mad get mad at 3 year contacts.That’s the real issue IMO

  • The Proclaimer

    Hah! This will decimate sales of all wp 7.x phones.
    Rim, here’s your chance to grab market share from wp before they come out with wp8

  • Pau1adin

    I look it it this way now. If your curious about Windows Phone most of the 7 line will be deep discounted or offered via Pay-as-you-go or on a tab. It’ll be a low cost intro to the OS that may tempt you to upgrade later. I do feel sorry for early adopters but I felt the same way with my non upgradable Android phone. Technology moves faster than our expenses, that’s just the way it is.

  • EvanKr

    At least as opposed to just ignoring current 7.5 users they’re giving us SOME of the features of 8.

  • Jadon Dre

    Am I glad I only bought the 710 off-contract. If this is the way Microsoft is going to play I would avoid buying their premium phones on contract.

  • Aaron

    Yeah, this is kinda garbage.
    I think it’s funny that I was getting sick of my Android Nexus S, so I hopped from Mobilicity to Wind and picked up an HTC Radar 4G.

    I actually really like Windows Phone 7. However, app support is almost non-existant, and integration with Google services is minimal, at best.

    I installed CyanogenMod9 on my Nexus S, tweaked the performance settings, and now that phone is like new. I honestly won’t be using a Windows phone again.

  • bob

    “windows phone do not need dual core blah blah blah” – WP7 fanboy
    “windows phone do not need high res display blah blah blah” – WP7 fanboy #2

    “current windows phone won’t be upgraded because they don’t have dual core processors and high res displays” – Microsoft.

    So funny.

  • Pewz

    If the hardware can’t support it, why get mad at Microsoft? They are doing as much as they can while providing the best customer experience they can. Windows 8 will be HUGE and I would rather them providing a unified experience to all the users with having higher hardware requirements than providing a different experience depending on the hardware like Android. For example, I switched to Android went with the Xperia Arc as soon as it came out back in the day and it was the worst experience you could imagine. Since then, I have always been hesistant going back to Android (and I haven’t).

    WP8 will be huge and I trust Microsoft completely.

  • Sadik

    another stupid move by MS

  • Slype

    Another Apple innovation – Leaving your customers behind and forcing them to upgrade. Microsoft is only following what the ‘leader’ did. It is what it is – if you don’t like it, I don’t think you should be buying a smartphone.

    Now paying $$$ to play online games, well Microsoft was the innovator there and I don’t mean it in a positive way.

    • metoo

      @Slype, really hope you are serious. Android vendors put everyone to shame with that behavior. Buying a phone from them today not only doesn’t guarantee it will be compatible with the next OS, there is a very good chance it won’t even be compatible with the current, months old OS.

      You guys really are delusional in your slavish devotion. Bahm sheep, bah.

  • hellomymellow

    Good bye Windows Phone, hello iPhone!

  • Dave

    Hey, remember when Windows Phone’s strict hardware requirements were supposed to be GOOD for upgradability?

    It’s beyond ridiculous that brand new flagship devices will be left behind. If I were Lumia 900 owner (it launched barely two months ago), I would be absolutely livid.

    • bob

      You have a good point.
      However, those who bought a single core phone with only 512MB RAM in 2012 have only themselves to blame. It’s not as if we didn’t warn them that such a phone isn’t worth $500.

  • metoo

    Current model phones unable to install the very next OS version? What does MS think they are, an Android vendor?

    • bob

      The irony is that last year’s androids would be more than powerful enough to run WP8.

    • TheCyberKnight

      It is more related to missing hardware and GPU than a CPU issue.

  • metoo

    …now if MS releases the OS and 6 months down the road new models are introduced that are ‘high end’ and still can’t run WP8, then they have jumped the shark.

    (because what sort of shitty company would do that?) lol

  • ASH

    This is not a good impression MS is giving of their long awaited comeback. I heard about this possibly happening even before the Nokia Lumia came to the masses. But I discounted the idea outright, as I thought it was a prank by the competition. But alas!!! I am not sure how to read this. Is it myopia, planning mishap, or shameful milking the customer that MS trying! I honestly don’t know what to think? BTW – I am one of the people who love the WP environment. But I opted to go with Android for many reasons, among them was my lovely Galaxy Note.

  • Ivan

    This is what drove people to port Android to the HTC HD2…they promised a WP7 upgrade initially.

  • Dinko

    Tried Android, BB and iOS in the past few years. Ultimately switched back to WP7 because I want my phone to be good at making phone calls, fast and lag-free.
    Haven’t had a cell phone with such good voice quality as my Lumia 900, and that includes various Samsungs, iPhones and a BlackBerry.

    But being ditched by MS leaves a very bad taste. I was burned before by digital media left behind by its creators, by hardware that’s no longer supported.

    It doesn’t really affect my cellphone usage. But they just lost a huge amount of goodwill. Will my next phone be a Windows Phone? We’ll see what’s available at that point. But as a new Lumia 900 owner, I suspect the bitter taste will last until my next cellphone purchase. Even if at that point I don’t remember what caused it…

  • clint

    I bought a first generation focus and I have been very happy with it. The OS is smooth. Technically, once 7.8 releases, I also had 3 OS updates in that time. That isn’t bad at all.

    Now I am wanting new hardware with new features so I am ready for an upgrade with my hardware. Unfortunately I have to deal with the last year of my 3 year contract.

    My current Focus will be handed down in my family and it will still get great use.

  • vengefulspirit99

    While I believe that technology will advance faster and faster. But why is a phone that came out 2 months ago not getting their new OS? Sounds like a bad move that will lose them customers

  • Keith

    In addition to changing the kernel WP8 is adding new resolutions, multi-core support, NFC and other hardware additions and most techies knew that the current generation of WP phones would probalby not get the full WP8 upgrade but would hopefully get a point update with some WP8 functionality and that is what Microsoft is doing. WP phones running 7.8 will still be the best thing out there until WP8 phones are released.

  • Cédric

    Easy, just hack it to get an open source os on… wait it won’t happen

  • blekdar

    Ok…some of you guys need to think this through a bit more.
    First, they are not pulling an apple. Apple is “upgrading” the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, but conveniently leaving out key features that only the iPhone 4s’ hardware will allow (I don’t believe that the iPhone 4 couldn’t handle siri).
    Microsoft is being honest here by going with 7.8, they are saying that they are going to give them a lot of new features, but they aren’t getting all the hardware based ones and they aren’t pretending its the same thing.
    Also, woot for updates right from Microsoft! Don’t have to wait for carriers!

  • andy c

    As long as Microsoft pushes out all the software updates in 7.8 that are not hardware dependent (Wallet/NFC) older device owners should be fine.

    having said all that i was on the fence regarding my next phone upgrade this fall. looks like i’ll be flipping my samsung focus for a wp8 phone later this year.

  • aregularonhofo

    As if all Android phones can be updated to the most recent version and even if they are people need modifications to get them running, Windows 7 works perfectly right out of the box with assured updates that will continue coming in for these specific models where you can still use them well and of course with vast improvements in Windows 8 you’ll need better hardware…what this points to is that we have advanced to 2nd generation phones and tablets pretty fast that will mesh perfectly…compared to RIM/iOS it’s actually incredible and showing MS is not sitting around. The APP MARKET will grow and the difference is most work great where all phones act basically the same.

  • Skazzy

    It’s just like how Android ICS or Jelly Bean is not coming to older devices.

  • DRI

    Lumia 900 cannot be upgraded and will be ditched by lots of people? If so, there will lots of great bargains out there and I will scoop one up real quick. Still a great phone even it is only upgraded to “7.8″! ;)

  • dizzle

    apple locks your nuts down with your carrier and you get drilled with 12 inch dongs 3 yr long non stop.

    windows (apple’s bit-ch) comes out and nails the people with shiz that your phone is too old. well hey faggel why didnt you make good phones to last in the first place ?

    no wonder people like android….people who bought it with froyo are now running ics.

    and thats why its a better deal cause there is freedom and constant upgrades and development from talented people

    so F u windows and your shitty phones take em and shove high up and deep

    p.s. the surface is nice though

    • metoo

      @dizzle sorry dizzle, but you have no f’n clue what you are talking about. Yes, iPhones are locked to carriers. So are Androids (except the Nexus). When Apple releases a software update, you just install it, regardless of your carriers. When Google releases an update, you wait. And wait. And wait. Unless you go XDA and update it yourself with untested, uncertified ROMs. I will bet this is what you do. Ironically, you don’t even realize that XDA became what they are from the WinMO days when people had to do exactly the same s**t in order to get usable Windows ROMs.

      Thank you for confirming every demographic study that says Android users trend towards unintelligent, uneducated tweens and twenty-somethings. You appear to be living proof.

  • blackkey

    OH come on guys early adopters get the majority of the new features just not everything. Like the iPhone 4 didnt get Siri but it got most other features. Its the same thing you will be satisfied once the update rolls out trust me.

  • Rhaimus

    I think its good that it isn’t comming to the old devices. Its a good thing in alot of ways. Its like when Apple tried to cram 4 on to the 3g just to shut people up. It was a nightmare. Slow, laggy and locked up alot.

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