Microsoft dev retracts Windows Phone 8 update claims

Earlier this week, Microsoft ‘developer evangelist’ Nuno Silva created a storm of controversy when he stated in a video interview that all first- and second-generation Windows Phones would be updated to Windows Phone 8 “Apollo”, when it arrives later this year.

Subsequently, sources close to Microsoft insisted that Silva had spoken out of turn, and that the company in fact has no plans to provide an official upgrade path for current handsets to the new Windows Phone OS.

Today, Silva has chosen to clarify his comments on his MSDN blog, where he acknowledges that some of his comments “on the future of Windows Phone…created confusion” – an understatement, to say the least. It turns out that it was all a bit of a misunderstanding.

“The point I was attempting to make was simply that existing Windows Phone applications will run on the next version of Windows Phone,” he explained. “This is the same guidance that Microsoft shared last year.” It’s also the same line that Microsoft continues to repeat, parrot-fashion, whenever the subject is raised of whether or not current handsets will be granted an update to Windows Phone 8.

Silva added: “I mistakenly confused app compatibility with phone updateability, which caused the rumors we saw yesterday. I did not intend to give the impression I was offering new guidance on any products under development, or their upgradeability.”

So, that’s that then. But while Silva has clarified his own comments, the ultimate question of whether or not a Windows Phone 8 update will be available for any existing devices remains unanswered. For now, at least, the speculation goes on.


via The Verge

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Subsequently, sources close to Microsoft insisted that Silva had spoken out of turn, and that the company in fact has no plans to provide an official upgrade path for current handsets to the new Windows Phone OS.

Ouch. So people buying these AT&T Lumia 900 handsets won't even get the major update coming later this same year? That sucks. I guess the honeymoon period didn't last that long. Fragmentation here we come...

simplezz said,

Ouch. So people buying these AT&T Lumia 900 handsets won't even get the major update coming later this same year? That sucks. I guess the honeymoon period didn't last that long. Fragmentation here we come...

Nah, I think it's a pretty safe assumption that the Lumia 900 will get WP8. It's people like me who have a HTC Trophy that need to be worried.

There are a handful of factors at play here but if one looks at this from "what is not being said" lens, it does not bode well for the current platform owners. It has been speculated that Microsoft would if it is possible provide the ability to upgrade. On the surface it doesn't seem daunting technology wise. If Microsoft could offer an upgrade path then why wouldn't they say it? It is because they know the answer.

The issue stands with the carriers. They are phone companies, not software companies. They make money selling contracts, not managing updates and prolonging phones. Win 8 is a reason to sell phones, not to be burdened with upgrades. Upgrading doesn't fit the business model and never has. They might acquiesce with MS for Lumia and possibly the new Titan 2 but it sure seems the early adopters are going to have to lump it.

Come late summer they'll get the trumpets out for Win 8 desktop (and phone) and by October everyone who will feel the sting of being in a current contract will know their fate. It will be interesting to see how MS positions themselves. If the speculation is true that it is the carriers that are preventing current users from going to 8 you won't hear it from MS. They wouldn't dare throw them under the bus for like it or not they are the future lifeblood of Win8Phone. I sure will be a tough spot for their PR guys when it comes to pass that there isn't an upgrade path.

What's sad is why someone believed a random Microsoft evangelist instead of only listening to official statements. Has anyone ever heard the phrase "a grain of salt"?

Isn't this essentially saying "Don't buy a current Windows phone"?

Good thing Nokia just sold a bunch. I feel bad for the people who will be permanently stuck on the "old OS", while everyone else who gets a phone in a few months will enjoy all the new apps and features.

Actually, to clarify my position, think of this:

Microsoft releases a new Xbox 720 or whatever. They spend tons promoting it, saying it's the greatest thing ever. Legions of dedicated fans run out to get it. They're working on a software update for it, to be released later this year... but the first model 720s can't get that update, only "better" models to be released this year, and new games will be targeted for it. So, that leaves all the early adopters up **** creek.

You know, this makes me think of the whole Sega 32X fiasco.

He had it right in the first place, he's prob been told to shut up my MS, i just think its all about high spec devices coming later in the year and MS want to keep it hush so users buy the lumia devices.

the company in fact has no plans to provide an official upgrade path for current handsets to the new Windows Phone OS.

Nice one Micrsosoft... I seriously planned on getting a Windows Phone when my contract ends in a few months, but if that's the case I probably won't...

.Neo said,

Nice one Micrsosoft... I seriously planned on getting a Windows Phone when my contract ends in a few months, but if that's the case I probably won't...

For some reason, I don't believe you.

.Neo said,

Nice one Micrsosoft... I seriously planned on getting a Windows Phone when my contract ends in a few months, but if that's the case I probably won't...

Well, in a few months you may get a WP8 device.

nohone said,

For some reason, I don't believe you.


In recent years I owned two SonyEricsson phones, one HTC Diamond (Windows Mobile), HTC Legend (Android) and right now a Blackberry Torch 9860 I got through work. Up until now I've always tried something new so I really couldn't care less about what you think.

.Neo said,

In recent years I owned two SonyEricsson phones, one HTC Diamond (Windows Mobile), HTC Legend (Android) and right now a Blackberry Torch 9860 I got through work. Up until now I've always tried something new so I really couldn't care less about what you think.

Just curious, why no iPhone?

Enron said,

Just curious, why no iPhone?


Quite frankly I think it's too expensive and way too fragile. Here in the Netherlands they tend to give you much better deals on other high end smartphones such as the Nokia Lumia 800 and 900. Other than that I already own an iPad running iOS because I feel it's by far the best tablet on the market. So when it comes to my phone I like trying new things, experiment a bit. If I don't like it I'll just move on to something else.

While I think Metro on the desktop is pretty much the dumbest idea ever I really like it on a phone, so I decided for myself to get a Windows Phone this year. However, the above news makes me rethink it.

Microsoft's silence on this matter is an admission of the most feared scenario.

Otherwise, they would simply say that part of the features would make the cut on previous phones.

I sincerely hope all this snafu is not caused by a ridiculous new useless feature that is mistakenly believed to be the next killer thing (like pseudo Kinect gestures in front of the device).

Microsoft, you on the right track to alienate your faithful but slim user base. Nice job. NOT!

TheCyberKnight said,
Microsoft's silence on this matter is an admission of the most feared scenario.

Otherwise, they would simply say that part of the features would make the cut on previous phones.

I sincerely hope all this snafu is not caused by a ridiculous new useless feature that is mistakenly believed to be the next killer thing (like pseudo Kinect gestures in front of the device).

Microsoft, you on the right track to alienate your faithful but slim user base. Nice job. NOT!

Probably they are just testing it out and don't wanna comment on it at the moment.

chAos972 said,
No official announcement doesn't necessarily mean that it won't work on existing devices. We'll see I guess.
But it's not a good sign either though

Rudy said,
But it's not a good sign either though

Not a sign either way, really. That's the new Microsoft. Under-promise and over-deliver.

rfirth said,

Not a sign either way, really. That's the new Microsoft. Under-promise and over-deliver.

Problem is that's not an ideal strategy if you're heavily focused on the enterprise market…

Enron said,
WP8 will run on current WP devices.

Hopefully. I have a 1st gen Windows Phone, and while I'd be perfectly happy with Mango, a lack of an Apollo upgrade would kind of make me start doubting the platform.

Enron said,
WP8 will run on current WP devices.
That's the impression I got as well, which is why I didn't wait for WP8 and got a WP7 phone. Now suddenly it's no longer a certainty and I have to say I will be quite upset if I have to wait another 18 months to upgrade my phone before I can use WP8. WP 7.5 was a necessary update, but it was not the holy grail, and the OS still needs a lot of work.

Darrian said,
That's the impression I got as well, which is why I didn't wait for WP8 and got a WP7 phone. Now suddenly it's no longer a certainty and I have to say I will be quite upset if I have to wait another 18 months to upgrade my phone before I can use WP8. WP 7.5 was a necessary update, but it was not the holy grail, and the OS still needs a lot of work.

WP8 will be much different from WP7 under the hood, so it's understandable that making new firmwares and preparing updates will be though. maybe some devices (like Dell venue pro) won't receive update because OEM decided to give up on a platform or old product.

by the way, I really hope WP8 performance will be at least as much efficient as WP7.5 is, because Windows 8 doesn't really feel as fluid at this point.

htcz said,
And the WP "fragmentation" begins....

Read the " " as there is no fragmentation in any mobile OS and this will not be any different. WP wont have fragmentation either.

htcz said,

Read the " " as there is no fragmentation in any mobile OS and this will not be any different. WP wont have fragmentation either.

Oh now there is no fragmentation in ANY mobile OS?!!!

htcz said,

Read the " " as there is no fragmentation in any mobile OS and this will not be any different. WP wont have fragmentation either.
You're kidding right?

htcz said,
And the WP "fragmentation" begins....

I don't think that's necessarily true. Apple tend to run on a 2 year cycle too i.e. once the iphone 4S came out the 3GS only received limited upgrade functionality.

Phones need to capable technologically to push the OS forward and a 2 year upgrade cycle is logical due to the standard length of commitment for a phone contract.

Obviously, It would be ideal for all phones with WP to get every update ever, however some simply won't be up to the task.

I still think WP7 has managed to avoid the crazy fragmentation that plagues Android (which is probably the platforms biggest downfall IMO)

htcz said,
And the WP "fragmentation" begins....

If fragmentation didn't exist, technology would not advance. Basically, be happy with what you bought and in two (or three years) by the new device.

Apple tries not to have fragmentation but truth be told anyone with an iPhone 3GS will tell you it runs like crap with iOS 5.1. Likewise, anyone with an iPad (1st gen) will tell you the same with iOS 5.1.

UndergroundWire said,

Apple tries not to have fragmentation but truth be told anyone with an iPhone 3GS will tell you it runs like crap with iOS 5.1. Likewise, anyone with an iPad (1st gen) will tell you the same with iOS 5.1.

My iPhone 3GS running iOS 5.0 runs great. It is 6 months old.

empty said,

I don't think that's necessarily true. Apple tend to run on a 2 year cycle too i.e. once the iphone 4S came out the 3GS only received limited upgrade functionality.

Phones need to capable technologically to push the OS forward and a 2 year upgrade cycle is logical due to the standard length of commitment for a phone contract.

Obviously, It would be ideal for all phones with WP to get every update ever, however some simply won't be up to the task.

I still think WP7 has managed to avoid the crazy fragmentation that plagues Android (which is probably the platforms biggest downfall IMO)

But you see, Apple at least has an upgrade path for the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 3GS pretty much got everything that the iPhone 4 got in features for iOS 5. The only major feature they both lack is Siri.

According to this article:

and that the company in fact has no plans to provide an official upgrade path for current handsets to the new Windows Phone OS.

That is very troubling. If that is true my interest in Windows Phone just went down to zero.

empty said,

I don't think that's necessarily true. Apple tend to run on a 2 year cycle too i.e. once the iphone 4S came out the 3GS only received limited upgrade functionality.

All apps written for iPhone WORK on ALL iPhones. That's the fragmentation that is the mos important.

If current windows phones don't get WP7, then all those owners are screwed in terms of apps since hardly any new apps will be released for them (with developer's focus going to WP8.

empty said,

I don't think that's necessarily true. Apple tend to run on a 2 year cycle too i.e. once the iphone 4S came out the 3GS only received limited upgrade functionality.

Phones need to capable technologically to push the OS forward and a 2 year upgrade cycle is logical due to the standard length of commitment for a phone contract.

Obviously, It would be ideal for all phones with WP to get every update ever, however some simply won't be up to the task.

I still think WP7 has managed to avoid the crazy fragmentation that plagues Android (which is probably the platforms biggest downfall IMO)

3GS runs exactly the same as the 4S.

htcz said,
And the WP "fragmentation" begins....

Yes, just like the transition from Windows 3.1 to Windows 7 has been nothing but massive fragmentation... Oh wait, this is the example of NOT being fragmented.

Do you realize how insane your comment sounds?

Apps on .NET don't matter what is under them, this is the OPPOSITE of fragmentation.

andrewbares said,

All apps written for iPhone WORK on ALL iPhones. That's the fragmentation that is the mos important.

If current windows phones don't get WP7, then all those owners are screwed in terms of apps since hardly any new apps will be released for them (with developer's focus going to WP8.

Ok, your understand of iPhone App compatibility is disturbing, as you are probably a user.

What is even more insane is the lack of understanding of the WP7 Platform, and the agnostic nature of Apps because of the .NET framework.

There will be 'some' Apps that will need WP8, just like there are MANY Apps on the iPhone that need iOS 5 and the iPhone 4s SPECIFICALLY, as they have 'hardware' specific code and performance requirements that even the iPhone 4 does not meet for Apps to run.

Windows is the 'least' fragmented OS in history, as DOS Apps from 1981 and Win 3.0 Apps from 1990 run just fine on the latest version of Windows 7. Sure there are DX11 games that will not run on a 286 with Windows 3.1, but that is NOT fragmentation.

Go read up on fragmentation, and 'forks' 'branches' 'trees' 'forests' and other terminology that create multi-levels of fragmentation, providing new hardware or OS functionality is NOT fragmentation unless the NEW VERSION breaks products from previous versions.


(PS Before you say Win7 64bit can't run DOS or 3.1 Apps, yes it can, XP Mode runs them just fine.)

Microsoft screwing up as usual in the communication department. Not sure why the think it is a good idea to keep this information secret...

Frazell Thomas said,
Microsoft screwing up as usual in the communication department. Not sure why the think it is a good idea to keep this information secret...

Perhaps because they don't know for sure yet which phones will in fact be able to get the upgrade. There are more people potentially involved in that then just Microsoft, you know like the manufacturers who may have to update firmware, and carriers who then would have to sign off on it all and test, not to mention any license issues to be worked out. It's possible they think they would take more heat or their partners heat by saying prematurely phones will upgradable but then later have to back track when at least some for whatever reasons may not be updated. It's not necessarily a screw-up to say nothing until they have clarity themselves on the issue. I understand the frustration though, but much of it is only exacerbated by rumor type articles like you've seen here the last few days.

Frazell Thomas said,
Microsoft screwing up as usual in the communication department. Not sure why the think it is a good idea to keep this information secret...

Probably for fear of putting off potential Lumia buyers.