It turns out that the rumors flying around the internet the last couple weeks have been true – Microsoft will not be providing an upgrade to Windows Phone 8 for first or even second generation hardware. If you own a Windows Phone today – you will not be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8. All those early adapters that supported the platform and promoted it to their friends and family just got the big middle finger from Microsoft. I can understand that a line had to be drawn. But to cut off current hardware, the stuff that is in the market today, from getting an upgrade? That’s not a nice way to treat customers. People walking into AT&T today, next week, or even in late September and buying a Windows Phone will not get the chance to upgrade it to Windows Phone 8, even when newer models are shipping with the update already on them.
Now, Microsoft did say they will provide an update for older hardware so that they will get access to the new Start Screen feature found in Windows Phone 8. But that’s it. As app developers start to embrace the newer SDK and the functionality it brings with it, older users will be left with less and less apps. Basically, todays phones are limited to the apps found in the marketplace today. All future apps, using newer functionality are off limits.
Microsoft was quick to say that Windows Phone 7.x apps will run on Windows Phone 8 and Nokia also promised many new software updates for their existing devices. But that’s where things end.
For the record, I’m not saying that Windows Phone 8 sucks. Just that Microsoft should be doing more to ensure that the early adaptors are not left high and dry.