Software // Operating Systems
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6/20/2012
02:15 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad

As exciting as the new features for Windows Phone 8 are, here are several reasons for Windows Phone 7 users to get angry.

Second of two parts. Read Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Good.

Windows Phone 8 has some significant new features on board. Consumer-facing features such as the new Start screen and broader hardware support mean that Windows Phones will come in more shapes and sizes, and will be more customizable by end users.

The good news doesn't stop there. Windows Phone 8 adds a slew of under-the-hood changes for developers, including a shared kernel with Windows 8, new support for native C and C++, and Internet Explorer 10.

There's some bad news, however. Windows Phone 7 users get left in the dust, so to speak. Here are the specifics.

No WP8 Upgrade for WP7 Owners: None of today's shipping Windows Phone devices will be able to update to Windows Phone 8. That means the shiny new Nokia Lumia 900 that consumers just bought last month won't get the latest system software from Microsoft. In other words, Microsoft is screwing early adopters. That's not going to go over well.

Partial UI Tweak: Microsoft is going to deliver the most significant new feature of WP8 to WP7.5 devices in a small update called WP7.8. This update will bring with it only the Start screen changes that were detailed by Microsoft on Wednesday. As nice as this gesture is, there are so many other new features being left out that current hardware owners might feel as if they've been slapped in the face.

App Fragmentation: Apps written in the native Windows Phone 8 code will not be backward compatible with Windows Phone 7/7.5. That means the best apps for the best new platform won't work on older devices. Again, early adopters are screwed. However, all apps written for Windows Phone 7.5 will work on Windows Phone 8.

Old Hardware Left in the Dust: One of the big problems across the entire smartphone industry is the rate at which devices become obsolete. Windows Phone 8 completely obsolesces all previous Windows Phone hardware. The new hardware specs that will be featured by WP8 mean it can run on dual- and quad-core processors, offer high-rez screens, and add nifty features such as NFC. Aside from just the platform itself, WP7 device owners will be using badly outdated hardware, too.

Aside from leaving early adopters out of the party, Microsoft still failed to provide a deep-dive into all the consumer-facing features. Will the core apps will be updated, if so, how? What about integration and sharing across Windows 8 devices. Will users be able to sync content, user data, and settings across the Windows 8 ecosystem?

What Microsoft showed is certainly a good start, but the company still has to flesh out the details if it hopes to win over iOS and Android users down the line.

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Aden11
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Aden11,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/20/2012 | 7:28:42 PM
re: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad
Quick question, if WIN 8, WIN 8 RT and WP8 are using the same kernel then does it mean, you don't need 3 different versions of virus to effect them?
Johnnythegeek
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Johnnythegeek,
User Rank: Strategist
6/20/2012 | 7:41:39 PM
re: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad
Having used a Windows 7.5 phone for a while now. I can certainly say never again. Microsoft has convinced me that it knows nothing about keeping customers. Windows 7.5 does not have the features that a smart phone should have. So now I should buy another phone just to get them? Well I will buy another phone. But it won't be a Windows phone.
lacertosus
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lacertosus,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/20/2012 | 7:57:11 PM
re: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad
MS should not be dinged cause the old devices are not upgradable. None of the manufactures really do this now when it's a major release such as from WP7 to WP8. I had to purchase a new phone to get Android 4.0 (ICS).
JohnatNokia
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JohnatNokia,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2012 | 5:31:53 AM
re: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad
Good point. From our perspective, we're giving existing users a complete refresh of the visual experience that is WP8, e.g. the new start screen. They'll also be getting updates new features like wifi tethering, flip-to-silence and and media content streaming. We'll also be introducing new apps. Stay tuned.
jbaumgartner107
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jbaumgartner107,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2012 | 8:26:46 AM
re: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad
I agree, both Nokia and MS are standing behind the Mango/Tango devices with the upgraded 7.8 User Experience. For sure, WP8 parts company for good reasons with current WP devices, but these current devices are not offering the necessary hardware capability for NFC or MicroSD anyhow. The only big issue is how future native apps for WP8 might be ported to WP 7.8 devices. In the mean time, with Nokia's new app announcements for WP 7.5 devices, it seems clear the alliance has no interest to stall development momentum on the ecosystem side.
jbaumgartner107
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jbaumgartner107,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2012 | 8:29:14 AM
re: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad
Interesting, you bought a phone without your list of required features because... ... ...
pkohler01
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pkohler01,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2012 | 4:15:59 PM
re: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad
So, in short, 'buy a Windows phone and get screwed'. If only the context was different. Sadly, early adopters getting screwed over isn't surprising to me.

ianlee74
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ianlee74,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2012 | 6:08:58 PM
re: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad
Yawn... Since when has this not been the case. It doesn't matter what brand phone you buy. If you expect an upgrade path then this is obviously your first smartphone purchase. It's unfortunate, but it's simply the way this sector works.
EVVJSK
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EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2012 | 6:33:12 PM
re: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad
Some will say the reason the Nokia Lumia 900 only cost $100 or so was because Nokia, MS, and maybe even AT&T knew that it wouldn't get Windows Phone 8. My personal philosophy is that users should have been told it would not get it and then they could have decided. Microsoft owes Nokia about 4 or 5 MORE Billion. Stephen Elop MUST be sitting at Nokia shaking his head and saying "boy I got screwed" ! They problem is that is what his Nokia employees and Nokia customers have been saying since the Nokia Windows Phone announcement in February of 2011.
EVVJSK
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EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2012 | 6:35:22 PM
re: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad
How do you explain iPhone upgrades as well as SOME Android Phones which had Android 2.3 and are now getting 4.0, also Symbian S^3, Anna, Belle, etc... (obviously some people have come to expect upgrades)?
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