Greg Sullivan, a senior marketing manager at Microsoft, told PCMag yesterday that Windows Phone 8 devices will eventually be upgradeable to the next major version of the Windows Phone OS, presumably Windows Phone 9. This is an important statement to make because of the many disappointed Windows Phone 7 customers who after buying a phone, found out from the company that it would never get an upgrade to Windows Phone 8.
“We’re going to have an upgrade path going forward,” Sullivan confirmed when speaking about the future of Microsoft’s smartphone operating system. He also talked about the company’s absence from Mobile World Congress 2013 as a strategic move to “shut up and ship.” He declared, “We’re not going to do this thing where we announce the next version months and months before it’s available.”
Microsoft says the reason Windows Phone 7 devices didn’t get the upgrade is because of hardware restrictions. The WP7 handsets are getting an update to version 7.8 but it obviously doesn’t deliver the same benefits as Windows Phone 8, which is already shipping with new hardware.
Overall it’s great news for Windows Phone skeptics. I know if I was in the market for a phone and I found out that Windows Phone 7 device owners didn’t get upgrade to WP8, I sure as hell would stay away from Windows Phone 8. Now that Sullivan confirmed WP8 devices have a future, it should bring some peace of mind to potential buyers.