Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8 today in a San Francisco event. Though all the changes are exciting for customers going forward, current Windows Phone 7.x owners will be disappointed to find out that Windows 8 will not run on their hardware.
Speaking to The Verge, Microsoft’s Greg Sullivan said, “the nature of the investment [in Windows Phone 8] is primarily in areas that are not exploitable by existing hardware.” Sullivan points out that support for dual-core processors and NFC are features that phones like the Lumia 900 just can’t use.
Microsoft wanted Windows Phone 8 to work as well as it could and decided to leave older hardware behind with this release.”To do the work to bring all of those elements to a platform that can’t exploit them wasn’t necessarily the most efficient use of resource,” says Sullivan.
Instead of Windows 8, existing phones will get Windows 7.8, a version of Windows Phone that’ll include the new start screen and tile customization of Windows 8. The update will be delivered directly to phones, bypassing the carriers.