The plot thickens: sources claim no Windows Phone 8 updates for WP7

A little earlier, we reported that a Microsoft employee and product evangelist had gone on record, on video, claiming that all first- and second-generation Windows Phones would be updated to the next major version of the operating system, Windows Phone 8, known also by its codename, Apollo.

But since that news emerged, those in the know have been tapping their sources hard to try to get confirmation of this claim – and the news isn’t good.

The Verge is now reporting that “a trusted source close to Microsoft” has confided to them that “there will be no upgrade path from Mango to Apollo”. The Verge’s Tom Warren separately tweeted that his sources also indicate that current devices won’t be upgraded. As far back as the beginning of March, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley also indicated that her sources claimed there would be no update for existing devices, and Mary Jo tweeted again to reiterate that this is still what she's hearing.

Windows Phone users will no doubt be frustrated by Microsoft’s continuing obfuscation on the subject. Its response to the earlier claim that devices would be upgraded was the standard “we have nothing to share about future releases” response, while reiterating what we’ve been told time and again, about current-generation apps working on Windows Phone 8.

That does little to alleviate the confusion among current Windows Phone owners, especially those who have just invested in the very latest devices, such as Nokia’s Lumia range. It will be a very bitter pill to swallow for those who have just purchased a device, locked into a two-year contract, to be told that there is no upgrade path available for their relatively new handsets.


End of the line? Even the newest devices may not see an update to Windows Phone 8

The only hope for current users may be that Microsoft provides an update – though not necessarily Windows Phone 8 in its fullest sense – to Windows Phone 7.5 users, including many of the features available in Apollo. A ‘Windows Phone 7.6’ update might go some way towards placating owners of existing handsets, while still offering Microsoft the marketing freedom to promote the ‘fullest’ Windows Phone 8 experience only on the newest handsets. The downside to that path is that it lies on the slippery slope of platform fragmentation.

For now, the voices telling us that an Apollo update will be made available are far fewer in number than those telling us otherwise – but the fact remains that we won’t really know until we hear an official announcement from Microsoft on the matter. But given how difficult the challenge of seeking market relevance (and market share) remains for Microsoft and its Windows Phone partners, slamming the door on its earliest adopters to keep them from the Apollo update, and leaving more recent buyers out in the cold too, will hardly make that struggle easier.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

TechSpot: Intel Z77 'Panther Point' Chipset Overview

Next Story

Windows 8 blog explores Metro app memory use

57 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

hope than MS will make upgrade (even some bucks) for an lumia 800 upgrade.

But I realy like the [o]phone idea (open phone without OS)

FLASH BACK 2010. T-mobile was the last carrier to come out with the last Windows Phone 6.5 HTC HD2 phone. It was brand new and right at the same time that Microsoft mentioned the Windows Phone 7 and OS. When word hit that Microsoft was releasing Windows Phone 7, those people who purcahsed the HTC HD2 phone knew they were in line to get the upgrade to OS 7. Microsoft delivered a major upset to those people and they never were able to get their phones updated to OS 7. Instead, Microsoft released the HTC HD7 phone and required people who wanted the latest OS to buy the phone over again. That was the last straw for a lot of customers, which cause people to jump to iPhone or Android. This is also why Microsoft has had a hard time trying to win customers back and begging for another chance. With the release of the Nokia Lumia being the last Windows Phone 7.5 release on the hills of Apollo, I am almost scared that history is going to repeat its self again. It also means that Microsoft has not learned it's lesson of burining out their customers trust from the last time. This time the consequences will be a severe blow to Microsoft's smartphone customers, who will be pushed over to Android and iPhone again. Microsoft will have no choice but to throw in the towel, because they have ****ed what small amount of customers they had off....AGAIN.

JSYOUNG571 said,
...

If you ask me, HD2 users have moved to Android (most likely) or iOS not because of the reasons you mentioned.

While WP7 is the official "successor" to WM6.5, they hardly share any resemblance (no app compatibility, completely different UI, etc.). When the HD2 was released, the iPhone was already out. But the HD2, running WM6.5, was more powerful than the iPhone, and the OS (WM6.5) more moddable, hackable and customizable. The Microsoft released WP7 and HD2 users who wanted that level of customization they were used to decided to switch to Android, or a jailbroken iPhone.

At least that's what happened to me. Used to use a Symbian device and liked it - but then switched to Android now (instead of a WP7 Nokia).

Anyway I'm kinda jealous of those users who still hold on to a HD2. It is, after all, the only phone I know capable of booting multiple OSes. On XDA-developers you can find ways to multi-boot the HD2 to WM6.5, WP7, Android (many different versions) and even Ubuntu...

And back to the topic, I'm guessing Microsoft's management are still deciding whether they will build WP8 to be compatible with current devices or not, hence the lack of announcements. You won't go wrong saying nothing. If I'm not wrong, Microsoft never really officially announced that WP7 will be available for the HD2 but somehow gave the impression of such. So what they have learnt is that they won't say anything until the status of WP8 is confirmed.

Wonder how WP users feel about buying outdated hardware now?

6 months ago it was, "No No a single core generation old CPU with 512MB of RAM and an outdated GPU is perfectly fine", now it will be "....." silence

Here are the options for Microsoft:
1) Don't update phones and let users continue using WP7.
2) Update users to WP8 and hope they dont get a slower experience.

We must keep in mind that WP8 is not done. It would be foolish for Microsoft to make any promises it could not keep (like saying there will be an update when they later find out its not feasible to do so without it being slower on current hardware.) One thing is clear, current WP7 devices don't meet the RAM requirement of 1GB that Windows 8 has, so it will be tough for the OS to work in a reduced space.

Not sure about Verge as a source. Tom ran Winrumors for a while. However, The Verge hasn't given WP7 much love lately.

Bottom line: Wait until MS announces it.

Seriously, if Microsoft can't update any previous devices, than Windows Phone is sunk. people aren't going to buy into that.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Apr 18 2012, 1:40pm :

Rudy said,
How to make sure your little mobile experiment fails? Screw over the only people who believed in you

You have a great point there. If Microsoft allow the upgrade, it will make sure that users don't reconsider their platform of choice when it is time to upgrade.

Rudy said,
How to make sure your little mobile experiment fails? Screw over the only people who believed in you

LOL, that's funny, but unlikely. I honestly don't think Microsoft would go this route. It just wouldn't make any sense in this market.

If you look at what was actually said to the Verge


"We have stated publicly that all apps in our Marketplace today will run on the next version of Windows Phone. Beyond that, we have nothing to share about future releases."

Just as before, Microsoft has never said that current phones would not get updates. All they have said was that there would not be a compatibility issue between the two. All we've officially gotten were "no comments".

That doesn't tell us that new apps built on WP8 will work for WP7 users. That is one key problem here. It could become a forced phone upgrade to get new Apps.

pack34 said,
If you look at what was actually said to the Verge

Just as before, Microsoft has never said that current phones would not get updates. All they have said was that there would not be a compatibility issue between the two. All we've officially gotten were "no comments".

We have not been told that current windows phones won't be upgradable to the next version.

SPARTdAN said,
That doesn't tell us that new apps built on WP8 will work for WP7 users. That is one key problem here. It could become a forced phone upgrade to get new Apps.

I imagine Nokia will be pushing MS pretty hard to make sure the Lumia devices get the update. They've got a lot riding on this as well and they're not idiots and would realise what a massive PR mess it would be if they didn't get the update

Sounds like make or break for WP for real this time.

For the small amount of WP users including me that don't get a WP8 update and then miss out on future Apps(?) unless they buy a new phone I for one will not buy a new phone from WP if this is a taster of what's to come from WP updates.

I could see the first gen devices not getting it...maybe...still think they'd be shooting themselves in the foot but anything post 7.5 needs the update.

MS just need to take the approach apple do, sure you can upgrade to WP8 but it will probably run slower so you should just consider this shiny new WP8 device.

People need to stop throwing wobbly's about this - let MS announce things then start debating (or kicking off if need be).

WP7 said,
People need to stop throwing wobbly's about this - let MS announce things then start debating (or kicking off if need be).

Thank you!

WP7 said,
People need to stop throwing wobbly's about this - let MS announce things then start debating (or kicking off if need be).

Well, they need to make an announcement soon. They're going to lose a lot of sales while people wait for an answer. I was going to pick up a lumia 900 later today but not now until I get confirmation. I will not have an outdated, unsupported phone within the first 6 months of buying it. I know what you're saying and I agree that we should wait for an official response before getting all crazy about it but lets get that answer ASAP.

dogmai79 said,

Well, they need to make an announcement soon. They're going to lose a lot of sales while people wait for an answer. I was going to pick up a lumia 900 later today but not now until I get confirmation. I will not have an outdated, unsupported phone within the first 6 months of buying it. I know what you're saying and I agree that we should wait for an official response before getting all crazy about it but lets get that answer ASAP.

I agree. I don't see why this should even be an issue at this point. Microsoft I'm sure is holding it for some sort of announcement (Maybe the Windows Phone 8 unveiling), but they really need to make this announcement so that people know what's going on with their devices...

fobban said,
If my WP7 phone that's barely 1 year old won't be upgraded... Then bye bye WP7/8.

You don't even know what WP8 will bring, nor if you will use any new features, but you still want it anyway because... It has number 8 in it

Cool

FoxieFoxie said,

You don't even know what WP8 will bring, nor if you will use any new features, but you still want it anyway because... It has number 8 in it

Cool


Or maybe 'cause Microsoft will cease support for WP7…

FoxieFoxie said,

You don't even know what WP8 will bring, nor if you will use any new features, but you still want it anyway because... It has number 8 in it

Cool


Yeah, same with desktop OS's!
People complain way too much, when in reality you can just stick to what you have.

I'm still going strong on Windows 98se. *nod*
Can't get any of the fancy new software you guys get, but hey, at least I stayed on principle and didn't go complain!


Take it lightly bro, no offense!

GS:mac

I don't understand why can't I just put any OS on a phone/tablet, the same way I do on a laptop. I mean... the hardware on a lumia900 is very similar to a SGS2 (http://www.gsmarena.com/compar...one1=3621&idPhone2=4578) or even an iPhone4s!
GSM chip, GPRS chip, WLAN chip, Bluetooth chip, USB chip, CMOS camera, CPU (ok, apple has their own), accelerometer, gyro, GPS, screen, etc...
Why do manufacturers make it so difficult (impossible) to use another OS on a given device?
When will we have an oPhone (o = open)??

pocaracas said,
I don't understand why can't I just put any OS on a phone/tablet, the same way I do on a laptop. I mean... the hardware on a lumia900 is very similar to a SGS2 (http://www.gsmarena.com/compar...one1=3621&idPhone2=4578) or even an iPhone4s!
GSM chip, GPRS chip, WLAN chip, Bluetooth chip, USB chip, CMOS camera, CPU (ok, apple has their own), accelerometer, gyro, GPS, screen, etc...
Why do manufacturers make it so difficult (impossible) to use another OS on a given device?
When will we have an oPhone (o = open)??

I like the way you think. This would actually be an extremely interesting phone. I would buy it.

why are people even considering this now? NO OFFICIAL STATEMENT HAVE BEEN DELIVERED (other than wp7 apps will run on wp8) from MS, so nothing is known about winphone next... why panic now? there's no more or less info then a week before just a few idiotic blogger looking for some easy clicks or paid articles to break the Nokia re-entry to USA - I don't know which is worst

If you wanted to buy a Lumia yesterday there are no fewer reasons to want it today; if you already bought one there's no more info on future updates then on the day you paid for your device - nothing changed

Morden said,
why are people even considering this now? NO OFFICIAL STATEMENT HAVE BEEN DELIVERED (other than wp7 apps will run on wp8) from MS, so nothing is known about winphone next... why panic now? there's no more or less info then a week before just a few idiotic blogger looking for some easy clicks or paid articles to break the Nokia re-entry to USA - I don't know which is worst

If you wanted to buy a Lumia yesterday there are no fewer reasons to want it today; if you already bought one there's no more info on future updates then on the day you paid for your device - nothing changed

Call me paranoid but there seems to be a campaign on to denigrate WP7 and undermine the Lumia 900 launch at the moment.

Morden said,
why are people even considering this now? NO OFFICIAL STATEMENT HAVE BEEN DELIVERED

You just answered your own question. People are speculating about this for the very reason no official announcement has been made! If they make an announcement it all goes away.

Why do they need to make an announcement? People know what they are getting with android and iOS because they've been around for ages and have had multiple major updates.

There's only been the one major update to WP (Mango) so there's still no real precendant set on update paths for the devices.

Microsoft need to provide some clarity pronto

DomZ said,

You just answered your own question. People are speculating about this for the very reason no official announcement has been made! If they make an announcement it all goes away.

Why do they need to make an announcement? People know what they are getting with android and iOS because they've been around for ages and have had multiple major updates.

There's only been the one major update to WP (Mango) so there's still no real precendant set on update paths for the devices.

Microsoft need to provide some clarity pronto

no I did not answer it... if someone is THINKING ABOUT BUYING or BOUGHT a Windows Phone why go berserk on an ******* article like verge's? that' fairly idiotic

and really, with android I would not say that ones' in a safe and predictable situation when it comes to updates...

I could understand first gen hardware phones not getting the Apollo update but, second gen hardware phones not getting would be bad PR.

Maybe most of the manufacturer are not planning to do the customization work - bot some will do?! I can't believe that the Lumia range won't be upgradeable - that will break the neck of MS Phone/Nokia.

Marcus Bastian said,
Maybe most of the manufacturer are not planning to do the customization work - bot some will do?! I can't believe that the Lumia range won't be upgradeable - that will break the neck of MS Phone/Nokia.

I was pretty sure that Nokia said that the Lumia line would be getting the update...

I really would be surprised if the carriers got in the way by not upgrading firmware and such for the update. They seem to be upgrading the firmware all the time and would have this updated for their next range of devices anyway (There should be many commonalities from device to device)...

Ronald Wang EIGHTS said,
If Microsoft really does , I will buy iPhone forever and never come back to windows phone.

I've been contemplating Lumia 900, but if it's not going to get the upgrade then **** it. If iOS can back port to other devices, why did Microsoft not even plan this from the word go?

jbrooksuk said,

I've been contemplating Lumia 900, but if it's not going to get the upgrade then **** it. If iOS can back port to other devices, why did Microsoft not even plan this from the word go?

Apple only support the latest iOS for a a few generations of their devices. Just because they call them all iphones or ipods, and they all look the same etc doesn't mean they all have the latest iOS for them.

Going to Apple won't mean you buy an iphone and get to use the latest iOS for ever.


Still, I'm an WP7.0 user got the upgrade to 7.5 and still expect to get 8.0. The hardware spec exceeds that of new apollo spc devices so I don't see why not. The idea behind the hardware spec in the first place is because they supposed to have planned for this from the get go.

jbrooksuk said,

I've been contemplating Lumia 900, but if it's not going to get the upgrade then **** it. If iOS can back port to other devices, why did Microsoft not even plan this from the word go?

You had better hope that 900 has a better battery than the 800, as my 800 has had 3 updates to improve battery and I'm still lucky if it lasts a day of sitting on my desk in the office. Yet my 2+ year old Android can be used all day and still have battery a day later.

JustinN said,

You had better hope that 900 has a better battery than the 800, as my 800 has had 3 updates to improve battery and I'm still lucky if it lasts a day of sitting on my desk in the office. Yet my 2+ year old Android can be used all day and still have battery a day later.

Seen as many phones would last a week just "sitting on [a] desk" I suspect it's a fault, or perhaps you have terrible signal between two towers which is causing it to constantly look for signal.

Since the "battery updates" the Lumia 800 has came out as a top performer for a 1450mAh battery, so either your Android has a huge battery or your phone has a fault. Of course the other otpion is you simply use you Windows Phone more, thus causing it to drain faster.

You buy phone for what it is today, not for what it will become in 50 years

Andorid gets no updates, iPhone 4 did not get Siri
1st gen WP devices got Tango, Mango, NoDo

JustinN said,

You had better hope that 900 has a better battery than the 800, as my 800 has had 3 updates to improve battery and I'm still lucky if it lasts a day of sitting on my desk in the office. Yet my 2+ year old Android can be used all day and still have battery a day later.

Seen as many phones would last a week just "sitting on [a] desk" I suspect it's a fault, or perhaps you have terrible signal between two towers which is causing it to constantly look for signal.

Since the "battery updates" the Lumia 800 has came out as a top performer for a 1450mAh battery, so either your Android has a huge battery or your phone has a fault. Of course the other otpion is you simply use you Windows Phone more, thus causing it to drain faster.

FoxieFoxie said,
You buy phone for what it is today, not for what it will become in 50 years

Andorid gets no updates, iPhone 4 did not get Siri
1st gen WP devices got Tango, Mango, NoDo

I believe all phones should have software updates for at least the life of a contract. Seeing as though in the US, they typically have 2 year contracts, the phones should have support for at least 2 years. I'm in Canada and we have 3 year contracts. My iPhone was only supported for 2 of those years. Sure I was upset but that's life. They really should be supported and receive updates for at least 2 years, no matter how many updates come out.

I don't expect my phones to last forever. I just expect them to last until the contract is up. At this rate, if true, we will be replacing our phones every year or sooner.

dogmai79 said,

I believe all phones should have software updates for at least the life of a contract. Seeing as though in the US, they typically have 2 year contracts, the phones should have support for at least 2 years. I'm in Canada and we have 3 year contracts. My iPhone was only supported for 2 of those years. Sure I was upset but that's life. They really should be supported and receive updates for at least 2 years, no matter how many updates come out.

I don't expect my phones to last forever. I just expect them to last until the contract is up. At this rate, if true, we will be replacing our phones every year or sooner.

I agree. This is what I've been saying all along. I just can't imagine Microsoft not making Windows Phone 8 available to current devices when they know the average person in the US is on a 2 year plan. I think you really need to support a phone with updates for that 2 year period at least. They should be able to buy your phone and have it up to date until they upgrade their hardware (And start over again with the most current version of the software).

There may be features that aren't available on an older phone, but that's to be expected. Assuming the limitation is due to a technical limitation of the hardware and not a marketing gimmick...

FoxieFoxie said,

Andorid gets no updates

Yes it does. That's just a bold faced lie. I've had multiple updates on my Android phones.
FoxieFoxie said,

1st gen WP devices got Tango, Mango, NoDo

Sorry but they were minor revisions. Every phone gets those kinds of updates. Many Android devices are getting ICS updates, so there's no excuse not to give WP users an update to 8.

Many WP users have been deriding Android for lack of updates. as well as boasting of no fragmentation - well welcome to the real world. Apollo = fragmentation.

The Teej said,
if my lumia 800 doesn't get an upgrade to WP8, I will throw a **** fit.

Yeah, I would too. Didn't Nokia say that the Lumia phones would get the update though? I know it didn't come from Microsoft, but I could have swore they said that.

All the source said was the same thing MS has said so far, WP7 apps will all work on WP8. Nothing else, besides, who's talking about a upgrade from mango to apollo when we're all going to get tango soon?

Of course there won't be a upgrade bath from mango to apollo then because every phone should be upgraded to tango first.

GP007 said,
All the source said was the same thing MS has said so far, WP7 apps will all work on WP8. Nothing else, besides, who's talking about a upgrade from mango to apollo when we're all going to get tango soon?

Of course there won't be a upgrade bath from mango to apollo then because every phone should be upgraded to tango first.

That's pretty interesting. If true, then Microsoft or any of these "trusted sources" aren't lying when saying that there won't be any updates from Mango. I was going to pick up a lumia 900 today but now I have my doubts because if you're wrong, I'm stuck with outdated hardware just 6-8 months away from the new stuff.

GP007 said,
All the source said was the same thing MS has said so far, WP7 apps will all work on WP8. Nothing else, besides, who's talking about a upgrade from mango to apollo when we're all going to get tango soon?

Of course there won't be a upgrade bath from mango to apollo then because every phone should be upgraded to tango first.

That hadn't occurred to me honestly. It would be interesting if this all turned out to come down to semantics... lol

I really do hope that these ****storms are just paid campaigns of competitors, otherwise I must assume the online media's huge percentage simply gone totally retarded

I mean really: a trusted source called "trusted source" to deny something that's not even proved? LOL

Morden said,
I really do hope that these ****storms are just paid campaigns of competitors, otherwise I must assume the online media's huge percentage simply gone totally retarded

Theres such a frezny of news about windows phone:

Anyway heres a picture of a development Windows 8 running on old windows phone hardwware : http://www.neowin.net/images/u...06.photo-0052.jpg-550x0.jpg

http://www.mobirolla.com/2012/...indows-8-for-arm-at-length/

http://www.neowin.net/news/win...vealed-in-massive-blog-post

No conclusions...

Morden said,
I really do hope that these ****storms are just paid campaigns of competitors, otherwise I must assume the online media's huge percentage simply gone totally retarded

I mean really: a trusted source called "trusted source" to deny something that's not even proved? LOL

Mary Jo Foley and all these other's have been a failure at predicting the big stuff. None of their sources were able to tell them about the Nokia's conversion to WP. Or even Skype's $8.5 billion purchase! Or Windows 8 interface.

And even when a lot of rumors were going around that Nokia is indeed shifting to Windows Phone, Mary Jo Foley maintained it till the last moment that Nokia's going to Android.

And some of these people called, Windows on ARM, "one of the biggest rubbish they have ever heard".
Look where are we now.