Microsoft Did Not Sacrifice Existing Windows Phone Users For WP8

Microsoft’s reveal of Windows Phone 8 this week has been picked up and endorsed by many commentators in the media. With the obvious gaps in Windows Phone 7 now filled, and the debut of a wheelbarrow sized app suite for enterprise customers that must have Research in Motion’s sales team on edge, Redmond’s mobile operating system looks ready to take on the world, ably backed by the Surface tablet, a slew of Windows 8 desktops, and perhaps a new Xbox in the wings.

I think Microsoft made a mistake with the existing Windows Phone 7 owners. there are a number of features in Windows Phone 8 that physically can’t appear on Windows Phone 7 handsets (NFC support, MicroSD card expansion, and dual core support are three that spring to mind), so Microsoft have rightly focused resources on bringing Windows Phone in-line with the rest of the revamped ‘Windows Everywhere’ on a new reference design that should be good for a few years of development.

Rather than simply leave behind the existing Windows Phone 7 users who are currently running version 7.5, many of the new features will be delivered to them in an update. Microsoft’s problem was less in that decision, platforms always have compatibility breaks at some point in their life cycle, but in the presentation of the update. which of these is more attractive?

We’re going to make sure that every feature of Windows Phone 8 that can run on the existing hardware will be made available in one super update. It’ll be the best of Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8, and we’re calling it Windows Phone 7.8.

Windows Phone 8 only runs on new hardware, but we’re going to back-port the new live tile system so the older Windows Phone 7 handsets can look like Windows Phone 8.

For some reason, Microsoft decided to go with the later, and everyone looking for a soft underbelly in the news found something they could get their poison pens into.

Meanwhile millions of Windows Phone handsets in customers hands have exactly the same functionality as they had before the announcement. the handsets haven’t become obsolescent overnight, they won’t suddenly stop working when Windows Phone 8 goes on sale, they’ll gain many of the features of the newer platform, and have more functionality later in the year.

Far from being thrown under a bus, Microsoft has delivered another major updated to the Windows Phones 7 platform and a thank-you to their users. It’s just a shame they couldn’t have pushed that message as clearly as the Windows Phone 8 story.

Microsoft Did Not Sacrifice Existing Windows Phone Users For WP8

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