Not a single smartphone in out right now will be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8. If you’re a recent customer, you might be frustrated. Rightfully so. But if you care about the dazzling future of Windows Phone, get over it
Microsoft finally announced Windows Phone 8 at their Developer Summit last week. The Verge has a rundown of the latest features. They pretty much delivered on all the missing features but the biggest pain point was the no upgrade path for existing Windows Phone 7 users. They will, however, have an intermediate 7.8 release which will have the non-hardware features. What they’ve effectively done is “osborned” their entire current range of handsets.
I’ve been a Windows Phone user since the platform’s induction in 2010, even before it was available in India ( Omnia 7 user since late 2010) I gotta say that I don’t regret my decision & will upgrade to the next Nokia Windows Phone 8 handset whenever it becomes available. As a colleague of mine says, “When my current phone does what I want it to do I don’t have a need for the latest & greatest unless something revolutionary comes along”
My question to Microsoft though – WHY NOW? An announcement closer to Nokia World in September would’ve made much more sense. The holiday season target was quite obvious, with an upgrade as big as this a targeted developer deployment for high quality apps would’ve worked given your assurance that all existing apps will run fine on the new platform without needing code changes.
Nokia bet their entire company on Windows Phone back in Feb 2011, their first mistake was not announcing handsets until Nokia World in Oct 2011, again osborning their money maker Symbian & killing what could’ve been a better competitor in Meego. Given their questionable commitment, did Nokia get their fair share in dictating the requirements for Windows Phone 8? After all, they did promise that! Already in a death spiral, I sincerely hope they pull a rabbit this September. The most important aspect which even Microsoft seem to miss out on is the build & ship methodology. Palm was a victim & so is RIM. If they don’t ship Windows Phone 8 handsets immediately after Nokia World, then its goodbye Nokia!
With the recent Surface tablet, it looks increasingly likely that Microsoft will eventually acquire Nokia’s handset business & embrace the vertical approach which Apple had pioneered. They do have announcements to the contrary but John Gruber has it right
Microsoft Surface is not fundamentally about Microsoft needing to control the entire integrated product in order to compete with the iPad on design. It’s about Microsoft needing to sell the whole thing to sustain its current profitability.