Microsoft's promises slow upgrade for loyal Phone 7 customers
Getting Phone 8 in form, but not in function
Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 users may not be able to upgrade their handsets to Phone 8, but an update promised by Redmond will make them look as though they have – though not until next year.
Windows Phone 7.8, probably the last upgrade to the "Tango" version of the OS, will add the customizable application tile sizes of its more advanced counterpart, plus 20 color schemes with which to express one's individuality. Faking it will have to do for the current user base, since Phone 8 is based around the Windows 8 kernel and can't run on older hardware.
Redmond is also adding a new screen-locking system with version 7.8, the option to stream the Bing picture of the day, and a safety pane that asks Exchange users to confirm message deletions. The number of countries that can buy apps for the handset will also rise by over 30 per cent.
As upgrades go, there's not a lot there.
"We know you’re eager to get the Windows Phone 7.8 update, and we want you to know that we’re working closely with our hardware and carrier partners to get it tested, approved, and rolled out to as many devices as possible in early 2013," said Terry Myerson, VP of Windows Phone.
While the channel has been reducing Phone 7 inventory since before the new OS launch, there's still a lot of older kit out there and a few units yet to sell. Whether a fake Phone 8 has much additional pulling power remains to be seen, but it makes sense to get existing users used to the new UI for when it comes time to trade up.
Microsoft announced the UI shift for Phone 7 back in June at the preview of its successor, and the fact that it's going to take until an unspecified time next year tells you how high the operating system is on the company's agenda. ®
So basically a lot of bling and nothing else...
I'm not impressed, not in the very least.
Now, before I continue let it be very clear that I'm quite happy with my Omnia W and unlike some other WP7.5 owners on several Windows Phone fora I have no intention what so ever to suddenly get rid of my phone. IMO that's plain out stupid; when I picked it up I knew exactly what it could do, its current features are all I need so... Why bother ?
But that doesn't mean I'm not quite disappointed but most of all heavily under impressed with Microsoft on this front. If this is how they're trying to win the mobile market then they're doing a horrible job IMO. No; I'm not referring to this "update" which basically only consists of a lot of cosmetic changes, one I'm most likely going to skip entirely.
I'm referring to all the commotion with the introduction of Windows Phone 7 concerning the hardware; How Microsoft, in a certain way, lied to us. Well, not really lying of course but they sure gave out a lot of impressions which now turn out to be hardly as important as they claimed. Because when it came out Microsoft set very strict minimum requirements which any hardware should meet if its manufacturer wanted it to be a Windows Phone. Sure, I know all those requirements got adjusted in no time after, that's not the point.
The point being is that with their reputation on the Windows platform (buy Win7 in 2007, keep on using it until 2018 with continuous updates easily) they set a tone with all those requirements. Something which now turns out to be completely bollocks. Also the various statements on how they felt sorry about having to drop Windows Mobile completely, but now they would do better.
The way I see it WP7 is now basically dropped completely as well.
Why is it that Apple users can run later versions of their mobile OS on older hardware and Microsoft users cannot, even despite all those hardware requirements? It makes no sense. It would have made sense if Microsoft wouldn't have started getting so uptight over their precious minimum specifications.
Still... I would be pleasantly surprised if Microsoft would now provide a free developer unlock for WP7.5 users so that we can at least build our own software for it. But... I'm afraid that's most likely wishful thinking. After all; on the mobile market its money first, users second...
Re: So basically a lot of bling and nothing else...
Thanks Mr Elop, but it's still a bit of a crock that they didn't even try and get WP8 on older devices. Every time MS - with what, 70000 employees? - say they can't do something, someone from xda-developers does it. They should've:
a) provided an Apple-like way to back up app data, SMSes etc for easy upgrades.
b) tried their damnedest to get WP8 running on the 15 or so devices that were released with WP7 on them, prioritising recent ones such as the Lumia series.
HTC Trophy owner here, very happy with it and might just stick it out until the next round of devices come out, because I still pick it up and think, "Wow". No other device has lasted 18 months and done that, and I can't even explain why.
P.s. please no-one be the numb-nuts who says, "ERRR I think you'll find that not all of those employees work on WP7 device upgrades, idiot". I know they don't. I'm so glad I don't have to converse with you in real life.
when the price gets right then ppl will buy WP8
WP7.5 Nokia 601 lumias just hit £120 unsubsidised/unlocked here in italy, (I bought a HTC instead online from Germany for a similar price)
Windows phone 7.5 -> 7.8 is a great package for teenagers - nobody wants to nick them!