Current Windows Phone devices will not get upgraded to Windows Phone 8

ballmer

There’s a video that’s circulating around the internet staring Nuno Silva, Developer Evangelist at Microsoft Portugal, where he “confirms” that today’s Windows Phones will be getting an update to the next major version of the OS. We’re of course talking about Windows Phone 8, codename Apollo. Is he telling the truth? We don’t think so. In fact, we have two independent sources (both Nokia employees) who tell us that what Nuno said was a downright lie. The folks at The Verge have their own source, someone “close to Microsoft”, who is saying the same thing. Who should you believe? Well, that’s up to you. Microsoft’s official statement regarding this situation is: “We have nothing to share about future releases.”

The bigger and more important question: Should you buy a Windows Phone today? Nokia fans are not going to like this answer … but here it goes: We don’t think today’s version of Windows Phone is competitive enough when compared to Android and iOS. If you’re thinking of snatching up a Nokia Lumia 900 for free with a two year contract because you think it’ll get a software update to Apollo, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

What device should you buy? That depends a lot on your budget and what you plan on doing with your phone. It’s easy to say “just buy an iPhone!”, but there’s also the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the Samsung Galaxy Note, and even the Samsung Galaxy S II, despite being a year old, is still a device we wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen carrying.

If you do decide to wait for Windows Phone 8, what can you expect? Phones with 720p resolution screens, dual core processors, applications that can share data with each other, the newest version of “Internet Explorer”, NFC, encryption, and the list just goes on and on.

Oh and one more thing. Back in January of this year we published what’s pretty much this exact same story, except the source was Eldar Murtazin, Editor in Chief of Mobile-Review.

Update: This tweet just in from Eldar:

Update: Nuno Silva retracted his comments, says: “The point I was attempting to make was simply that existing Windows Phone applications will run on the next version of Windows Phone. This is the same guidance that Microsoft shared late last year. I mistakenly confused app compatibility with phone updateability, which caused the rumors we saw yesterday.”

  • BeefyDragon

    If you think about this, the Apollo phone is suppose to be rolled out in conjunction with Windows 8.  Which means the two products would have to work cohesively side by side.  This means, Microsoft has to make the existing Windows Phone work to attract adopters of the new version of Windows.  The bottom line is, there are two possibilities.  Either the existing Windows Phone will get Apollo, or it will get a major update to work similar to Apollo and fully compatible with Windows 8.  I think either way, it’s a win-win situation. 

  • http://twitter.com/jodyfanning Jody Fanning

    It is pretty hard to imagine that it would be possible to upgrade. The difficulty is that WP7 and WP8 (assuming it is based on Windows 8) are two totally different operating systems with totally different driver models and hardware requirements.

    Hell, HTC and Samsung have enough trouble to just get the next version of Android onto their devices because it just won’t fit into the same available drive space.

    And given they are two totally different operating systems how likely is it that Qualcomm, etc are even going to write WP8 drivers for the old hardware platform that WP7 used?!

    But in any case it is a total marketing disaster for Nokia once this becomes common knowledge.

    • BeefyDragon

      I agree with you.  But I don’t think it’s a total failure if MSFT will continue to support updates to the existing platform until the phone is 1 to 2 years old.  Assume more like another year.  I wouldn’t mind them keeping Apollo separate to keep the OS nice and clean.  MSFT has always had issues support Windows and trying to make it backwards compatible, which is understandable due to business requirements.  But with phones and how people upgrade so frequently, it’s not as much of an issue.  That’s why I think there will be another major update to the existing hardware to work with Windows 8.  Assuming all sync services such as Zune, SkyDrive, Live Mesh will all be integrated into Windows 8.

      • Jimbo

        It’s not about what kind of support the devices receive; actually, Nokia is known for supporting even older devices pretty well.

        The problem is, since WP7 and WP8 are completely different operating systems, it means that in six months, app development of WP7 stops.  Cold.

        I highly doubt that any developers creating new applications for WP8 will bother creating and supporting *two* versions, one of which will also run on WP7 Mango.

        Basically, new Lumia owners just bought a Windows Mobile 6.x phone.

        Yep, once it filters down to the general consumer, this is a marketing neutron bomb for Nokia.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gregory-Newman/100001803717276 Gregory Newman

    from what I have been told the Orinal Phone I phone could not be upgraded to the the higher IOS
    software current I phones use today  so it is not a new event for for software and OEM
    partners to go beyond the the old to the New frontier. What Microsoft will have to Do is to put out the word  that Microsoft will continue Update and support the Current Windows 7.5 mango smart phones and give very generous cash rebates to those folks  who want to upgrade to Windows 8 smart phones. Unfortunately for Microsoft this will hurt current sales of Windows smart Phone sales and may Anger some People who already bought them. Folks I believe their is a need and market for Middle tech smart Phones like the Lumia 900, Titan  2, Samsung focus S, Lumia 710 and 800  and HTC Radar and other Windows and Andriod smart phones out there because Folks HIGH  TECH smart phones cost more than middle Tech smart phones and if you can buy a good working Lumia 900-710 or 800 or HTC Titan, or Samsung Focus S or a middle tech Android smart phone and save 100 bucks why not do THAT!. High tech smart phones are cool and can work well but I think a lot of People will buy lower tech good working smart phones that will save them a BUCK. what do you folks think?    

  • Prasenjit Bist

    thats what even apple does Stefan, i do not think that could be or should be an issue..

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