Microsoft confirms no Windows Phone 7 for HD2, other upgrade details

Two days ago, Neowin entertained the posibility of the HTC HD2 getting a Windows Phone 7 Series upgrade. However, Microsoft has officially shot this down. Pocket-lint has received word from Microsoft's Oded Ran that there are no plans to upgrade the HD2. Not only that, but even devices made from here onward that meet WP7S requirements won't necessarily be upgraded either. However, all phones that come with WP7S loaded will be able to receive future OS upgrades.

"We've received many questions about the upgradability of HTC HD2 and we currently do not have plans to update the HTC HD2 to Windows Phone 7 Series... For Windows Phone 7 Series we are enforcing a strict set of hardware requirements to ensure a consistently great experience for end-users and developers... we cannot confirm that Windows Mobile 6.5 phones that satisfy those requirements will be upgradeable”

Ron, who is the head of consumer marketing, continued to stress the role Windows Mobile 6.5 (aka Starter Edition) as being an integral part of the Windows Mobile lineup. More WinMo 6.5 phones are expected to ship in the coming months.

"Windows Mobile 6.5 represents a significant part of the portfolio family that is Windows Phones. With over 50 phones available around the world today, it offers customers the freedom to choose from among the widest selection of device form factors and price points."

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Comparing to the updates received for the iPhone doesn't really stick. There has been no major overhaul of the OS with all those upgrades, it was mostly new features like cut & paste (duh) and drivers. The difference being that Winmo 6.x and WP7 are completely different OS's so it is kind of logical there is no update available for phones who will lack the features that WP7 will make use of.

A little off-topic, but I couldn't help but post this link to a WP7 article. I think it's a pretty interesting read http://wmpoweruser.com/?p=13875#idc-container

However, all phones that come with WP7S loaded will be able to receive future OS upgrades.

Yeah right. Service providers are notorious for not giving WinMo updates to devices "out in the wild." Why would they? It doesn't help them sell NEW phones. I'll believe it when I see it but I'm not going to hold my breath (or buy a WinMo device).

Shadrack said,

Yeah right. Service providers are notorious for not giving WinMo updates to devices "out in the wild." Why would they? It doesn't help them sell NEW phones. I'll believe it when I see it but I'm not going to hold my breath (or buy a WinMo device).

W7PS uses carrier independent OTA or cabled updates; i.e. basically the same as an iPhone without the iTunes requirement.

Edited by omni1, Mar 4 2010, 12:14am :

Shadrack said,

Yeah right. Service providers are notorious for not giving WinMo updates to devices "out in the wild." Why would they? It doesn't help them sell NEW phones. I'll believe it when I see it but I'm not going to hold my breath (or buy a WinMo device).


Not really. Future updates will be handled OTA or though the Zune software. The reason why they don't offer updates right now is because there is no easy way to upgrade a WinMobile phone. You basically have to flash the ROM, which can be a major pain for average users and a support nightmare for MS/OEMs/carriers.

Ballmer and a few other Microsoft managers have clearly stated that they failed on the user experience in the past because they thought it would be a good idea to allow for OEM's to do what they wanted to it. In the the end it was beat up like a red headed step child(of offense to those who are )

So this time around they are controlling the UI experience. Good for them!

Joshie - I wouldn't say that WM 6.5.3 is obsolete. Microsoft says its not obsolete and remember that even if your people go to the IPHONE they will too become obsolete once 4.0 comes out. I think WM 6.5.3 will be fine as I have already moved my clients to new WM 6.5 phones. They understand what is coming down the road but waiting another 7-8 months is not good business sense for them. Exchange is their main requirement and WM 6.5 is more than fine. Heck they don't even care for 3G since emails is not really 3g required. Edge works well for Exchange pushes.

mrmomoman said,
Microsoft says its not obsolete and remember that even if your people go to the IPHONE they will too become obsolete once 4.0 comes out.

Every iPhone thus far have received updates to the latest iPhone OS the day the OS was released. It is rumored that the 1st gen iPhone will not receive iPhone OS 4.0. Still, 3 years of updates is beats the hell out of most. And it definitely beats the hell out of WinMo.

Is this really becuase of it having too many buttons? MS is going out of its way to have every WM7 phone the exact same, like the iPhone?

Since it's going to be an OS-centric experience, the focus on unique hardware features should probably be minimized to a matter of form factor and keyboard comfort for the sliders. I like the idea of more breathing room for hardware vendors, too, but at the same time...

*eyes the thread on Android multitouch problems*

The only truly frustrating thing for me here is that my folks are suddenly asking me for a recommendation on a smartphone. They've gotten to and upgrade date with their wireless provider (at&t) and feel lost about it all. I figured for having business related needs, but lacking tech savviness, a simple WM6.5 phone wouldn't be a bad choice, but I'd hate to have them invest in something that would be so immediately obsolete.

What's worse, the only notable Android offering coming up any time soon is that godawful Moto Backflip. AT&T is so invested in the iPhone I almost feel like just telling them to get it to save themselves stress, but reliability while traveling is more important than anything to them, and the alleged 20-30% drop rate makes the iPhone a no-go. Meh.

I'll probably just tell them to get a Tilt2 and shove an XDA android build on it in a year when WP7 makes it obsolete.

Joshie said,
The only truly frustrating thing for me here is that my folks are suddenly asking me for a recommendation on a smartphone. They've gotten to and upgrade date with their wireless provider (at&t) and feel lost about it all. I figured for having business related needs, but lacking tech savviness, a simple WM6.5 phone wouldn't be a bad choice, but I'd hate to have them invest in something that would be so immediately obsolete.

What's worse, the only notable Android offering coming up any time soon is that godawful Moto Backflip. AT&T is so invested in the iPhone I almost feel like just telling them to get it to save themselves stress, but reliability while traveling is more important than anything to them, and the alleged 20-30% drop rate makes the iPhone a no-go. Meh.

I'll probably just tell them to get a Tilt2 and shove an XDA android build on it in a year when WP7 makes it obsolete.

Just get a Blackberry... it's exactly the situation that they're built for. If they feel lost about all the different selections in the market at the moment they probably won't be very happy with WM6.5 or you flashing new Android builds on it and all the drama that comes with that techy scene.

Failing that just go an E72 which is essentially a BB minus BBOS...

Oh believe me, BB was the first thing out of my mouth, but we all suffer equally from manhands disease. Tiny little buttons don't do well with us, so those side-sliders are ideal, landscape touch keyboards also work. at&t really does have a crappy phone selection when it comes down to it. :/

Glad I'm on Sprint, which seems set to get most of this years 4G love.

The title is misleading. "we cannot confirm that Windows Mobile 6.5 phones that satisfy those requirements will be upgradeable” - That does not mean no.

Just wait for the MIX and it should be cleared up. Also remember there was a Beta WP7 OS that is being tested on the HD2. So the drivers are out there somewhere as well as the Alpha/Beta WP7 but its elusive :)

Where is the NO?

This is totally inaccurate.
MS said they "CANNOT confirm" it yet the title says they confirm that it won't be available.

So which is it?

ahhell said,
This is totally inaccurate.
MS said they "CANNOT confirm" it yet the title says they confirm that it won't be available.

So which is it?

"Wait till MiX." :P

r1ddl3r said,
IF the tools leak to XDA there WILL BE an upgraded OS.
They need both the OS and compatible drivers for the device. If they get both, then you'll see it. If they don't, then you won't.

lordcanti86 said,
They need both the OS and compatible drivers for the device. If they get both, then you'll see it. If they don't, then you won't.

They will already have the required drivers as they a;ready upgrade those handsets. It's purely a matter of how different the coding for the OS is. If MS lock it down to old drivers then yes it will be more difficult, but you are talking about a very passionate community who have succeded in providing WM5 devices with 6.5.x. Never underestimate the power of want.

I think this is a bit lame. I think there are quite some people that have bought a HD2 because they 'knew' it was gonna be upgraded to WP7.

RuuddieBoy said,
I think this is a bit lame. I think there are quite some people that have bought a HD2 because they 'knew' it was gonna be upgraded to WP7.
Then that was a gamble on their part for not waiting for an official word from either MS or HTC. They gambled.....and lost.

Bummer, but not all that surprising. If MS is serious about reseting their WinMobile efforts, than they don't really have that much of a choice. Besides, the HD3 is supposedly coming out at the end of the year and by that point the HD2 would be over a year old (an eternity in the smartphone market).

lordcanti86 said,
Bummer, but not all that surprising. If MS is serious about reseting their WinMobile efforts, than they don't really have that much of a choice. Besides, the HD3 is supposedly coming out at the end of the year and by that point the HD2 would be over a year old (an eternity in the smartphone market).

I dunno about the HD3 etc, but if I see new wp7s phones poping up in Sept-Nov I'll be happy. It doesn't have to be a HD3 per se, it could be some other HTC device, and I'd be happy to give it a go if the specs and screen size is good.

I know people are going to be screaming about this, but I honestly think, new OS, new interface, new integration, new product ultimately means new phone.

Wouldn't be the same sticking with the same phone...

dave164 said,
I know people are going to be screaming about this, but I honestly think, new OS, new interface, new integration, new product ultimately means new phone.

Wouldn't be the same sticking with the same phone...


True. What a lot of people also don't really understand is that upgrading an old phone is a real pain when there is no streamlined update process (which there isn't on the current WinMobile) and both OEMs and carriers don't really want to deal with trying to support that. Flashing a ROM may be trivial to people like you and me, but not for Joe P. Blow.

lordcanti86 said,

True. What a lot of people also don't really understand is that upgrading an old phone is a real pain when there is no streamlined update process (which there isn't on the current WinMobile) and both OEMs and carriers don't really want to deal with trying to support that. Flashing a ROM may be trivial to people like you and me, but not for Joe P. Blow.

You're right about that. Also though, people seem to have missed the whole part where WP7s WILL be getting upgrades from here on out, right from MS using the OTA system they have for it. No ROM flashing and so on. Clean and easy upgrades.

Ferret said,
XDA, here I come again :)

Don't count on it. Completely new platform, probably not related to Windows Mobile 6.5 in any way... And if the hardware requirements are serious (something like Tegra or something) it just won't work either...

Ferret said,
XDA, here I come again :)

You've also have the driver issues. Fine, if HTC releases or make new drivers for the HD2 it's possible but without the drivers, it's a major no go, no matter how skilled the XDA devs are.