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3/12/2012
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No Windows Phone 8 OS Upgrade For You?

Microsoft exec hedges on question of whether Windows Phone 8 upgrade will be available for WP7 owners.

9 Hottest Phones At Mobile World Congress
9 Hottest Phones At Mobile World Congress
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Phone 8 platform will run at least 95% of apps available for Windows Phone 7, but owners of WP7 devices may not be upgraded to WP8 when it becomes available, a Microsoft executive said.

Speaking to financial analysts, Microsoft VP Terry Myerson declined to directly answer a question about whether current Windows Phone 7 owners would be offered an upgrade to Apollo (Microsoft's code name for WP8) but implied that such a move would create significant logistical issues between the company and its hardware and carrier partners.

"Even if we were to say all phones can be updated, then you get into the--you know, our business model implies layers of supply chain to get it out to them, and there are certain incentives to get it out to them that have to be talked through, so there's nothing to announce there," said Myerson.

[ What can you expect from the Windows 8 Phone? Read the latest at Windows Phone 8 Details Leak. ]

Myerson was speaking at a Feb. 29 briefing to financial analysts at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The briefing was closed to the press, but Microsoft last week posted a transcript of Myerson's remarks on its Web site.

Myerson took issue with a questioner's implication that the company would have to provide an upgrade path from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8 in order to match Apple, which allows iPhone users to upgrade from one version of iOS to the next. Myerson said such upgrades generally work so poorly that users are forced to buy the latest-generation iPhone.

"In the case of Apple, they've shipped OS updates to hardware that make it unusable," said Myerson. "It's a great hardware sales tool, as far as I can tell." Myerson also said that "no Android phones get upgraded, none, ever."

Myerson did say that Windows Phone 8, which is expected by many observers to be available later this year, would run virtually all apps that were developed for Windows Phone 7. "Our goal is for all apps to run. That's our goal. Someone [who's] a very creative person is going to find a way to create an app that doesn't do it, and I'm going to make that app work. That's our goal."

Microsoft badly trails rivals Apple and Google Android in smartphone market share. In an effort to catch up, the company plans to put more dollars behind marketing the Windows Phone platform to consumers, Myerson said. "I think that we need to rebuild Windows, or Windows Phone brand with consumers, and drive demand up there," said Myerson.

Microsoft's share of the U.S. mobile OS market stood at just 4.4% as of January, according to the latest numbers from market watcher Comscore. Apple held a 29.5% share, while market leader Google captured 48.6%.

The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. It happens March 26-29 in Orlando, Fla. Find out more.

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MariusMuntean
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MariusMuntean,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/2/2012 | 12:32:16 PM
re: No Windows Phone 8 OS Upgrade For You?
Not offering an update to WP 8 to current WP7.x users?? This would be maybe their last mistake, even so the WP platform is a rubbish besides it's design and lag free menu navigation. WP7 phones are nothing but gaming,music and social platforms. No business related at all, applications in the market are most of them crap! useless!
With a sensitive business wing you come out and say that your next windows phone version may not be available for WP7 users?? How idiot can you be?? at least he could have shut up instead of spreading these crazy news.I've had a WP7 for 2 months, sold it, wasn't good for anything besides music and facebook, which sorry I do not use Facebook, I have a social life, I do not need a crapp network to meet people and get spammed. My wife with no knowledge of tehcnology had a WP7 for almost 3 months and has had it with it. Now I have an iPhone and she has a Nexus.
People are throwing away WPhones, cut the update to windows ph.8 from the remaining ones and you will have a platform not worth buying from anyone...
sonicmetalman
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sonicmetalman,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/19/2012 | 12:49:53 PM
re: No Windows Phone 8 OS Upgrade For You?
Microsoft's decision on an upgrade path for Windows phones is ultimately an economic one. MS doesn't give away any of it's OS products so why should WP7 users expect a handout? If WP8 hardware requirements are the same (or less as MS has indicated) then why hedge on the support info?

I would expect nothing less from a company that extorts license money from Android handset makers. I wouldn't use a WP7 or WP8 phone if you GAVE it to me.

I do in principal agree that the Android handset makers are shafting users on upgrades, most especially Samsung. My experience with the orphaned Behold II left quite a bad taste in my mouth. It is reasonable to expect at least one major upgrade on your handset. Conversely I think it is unrealistic to expect a 2-3 year old handset to run ICS as the hardware just isn't robust enough. Just ask any G1 user that has tried to load a Gingerbread ROM. Yes it can work but the user experience is hardly stellar.
EVVJSK
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EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/14/2012 | 4:13:52 PM
re: No Windows Phone 8 OS Upgrade For You?
If Microsoft does not offer upgrade path for phones which launched at least 1 year before Windows Phone 8 is launched (i.e. from approx. Fall of 2011) they will kill their own business. It looks as though this article is stating Windows Phone 7 (possibly implying Windows Phone 7.5 phones will be supported). Microsoft as well as Windows Phone vendors such as Nokia had better think long and hard about the decisions they make with a lackluster product. Even the smallest mistake will cause the fragile platform to burn ;-)
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/13/2012 | 7:20:35 PM
re: No Windows Phone 8 OS Upgrade For You?
I disagree.

Microsoft nearly missed the opportunity to play in the smartphone arena. They had to start somewhere (other than Windows Mobile) so they responded by dumping KIN which would never have gained much momentum anyway and began to focus strictly on the Smartphone sector. They then threw everything behind Windows Phone 7 so they could at least gain a seat at the table.

The long term plan has been to create a single OS that unifies all devices between phones, tablets, and PC's and to do it with a touch centric interface. That vision is finally being realized by Windows 8. And, Windows 8 trumps iOS by adding the PC platform capability into the single OS.

I think it makes perfect sense (from Microsoft's perspective) to bring the Windows Phone 7 apps forward but not to expend a ton of resources trying to maintain updates to old hardware. Most end users upgrade devices on a two year cycle anyway.
CIO
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CIO,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/12/2012 | 10:32:25 PM
re: No Windows Phone 8 OS Upgrade For You?
Obviously, owners of current generation Windows Phones will get left with obsolete devices that cannot be upgraded.

The trembling Microsoft executive who spewed gibberish at reporters when asked the question was obviously nervous that Windows Phone users would find out their handsets have no future upgrade path.

Apple has only had one mobile OS, and that's iOS. Microsoft has had numerous. Windows Mobile, which has just had its app market closed down. Kin OS, which was in a world of its own, and died a rapid death. Windows Phone 7.X, which is currently out, and soon to be ended (its Windows CE kernel will also be dumped).

Windows 8 mobile is essentially another platform reset for Microsoft. Different kernel. Microsoft just keeps coming out with more mobile operating systems, and each one fails.
jabberwolf
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jabberwolf,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/12/2012 | 10:14:42 PM
re: No Windows Phone 8 OS Upgrade For You?
He was wrong in saying that but most Android phones are a failure when it comes to upgrading. Froyo was an utter disaster and only a few phones can upgrade to
Gingerbred and even fewer to ice cream sandwich.

And he was right when he mentioned that a very large % of iphone upgrades left iphone users with bricks.

Windows 8 is a WINDOWS 7 platform that allows windows phone 7 apps.
This will allow Windows tablets to run things usually run on Windows phone 7 apps.
This will give you the tablet ability but also give you a regular desktop OS and just not crippled dinky OS alone.

When phones have enough computing power ( and its a few years way). MS can THEN consider using 1 OS to unify all devices.

If you don't understand - then you probably change your handle from tech_head - because obviously you're not.
tech_head
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tech_head,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/12/2012 | 8:54:34 PM
re: No Windows Phone 8 OS Upgrade For You?
"no Android phones get upgraded, none, ever"
What kind of crack was he smoking. I had a DroidX that was upgraded from Froyo to Gingerbread. A Droid Incredible that was upgraded. A Droid Razr and Bionic that will be upgraded. Me thinks he wants to justify M$ not upgrading or offering an upgrade path to Phone 7 users. I know plenty of people with iPhone that love the latest update on an iPhone 4 or 3S.

Myerson is an idiot that clearly knows nothing about the handset business.
If his awareness is indicative of M$ execs in the handset area, no wonder they are a MASSIVE FAIL!
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