To upgrade or not to upgrade? That seems to the big question right now with Microsoft and their now rather controversial, Windows Phone 7 OS. Only very recently good news was pouring out from the WP7 camp when an interview with a Microsoft developer evangelist, one Nuno Silva, revealed that Apollo aka Windows 8, the next big update for the OS, post Mango, would be making its way to all devices. The key word in the statement was “all” and it was quite apparent form the video interview that the developer meant even first-gen devices and not just the Lumias, HTC Radars and such. In specific terms, the name Samsung Omnia 7 was also mentioned.
While we’re sure WP7 users, the world over, who heard the news must have been excited, that state of joy was soon to be crushed with further announcements from sources close to Microsoft. Reports are now stating that according to reliable sources, what was said earlier about Apollo making it to ‘all’ devices was quite inaccurate. In fact it was, simply put, wrong. Current devices running the latest Mango update will, apparently, not be getting an update to Apollo.
The Apollo update was all set to bring in a wide range of features to existing devices, or so we thought. The integration between PCs running Windows 8 and mobile/tablet devices running Apollo would have been so much tighter making communication across platforms seamless and just the way we imagined it would be at some point. However this latest information points to a lack of seemingly relevant updates for existing devices and it leads us to believe that existing WP7 devices are not at all future proofed. This could have a seriously drastic impact on companies like Nokia who chose to go with Microsoft over Google’s Android OS. What is to happen to their Lumia range of WP7 smartphones from the current high-end model i.e. the Lumia 800, to their affordable Lumia 710? And let’s not forget the upcoming Lumia 900. Their Tango aka Refresh update (Version 7.5) had a few limitations of its own and didn't seem to make quite an impact.
What's going to happen to Mango handsets?
Needless to say, the idea that Microsoft would not have updates in between Mango and Apollo could be construed as absurd. It would have been rather pointless for a company like Microsoft to have launched a slew of handsets with manufacturers as big as Samsung, LG, HTC and Nokia recently and then leave their existing line up in the dust.
So speculation aside, it’s a waiting game now to see just what official statement Microsoft will make to this effect. And if it proves to be true, that existing WP7 device will go no further than the current Mango update, then will companies like Nokia, who're just picking themselves up, be able to survive. This news has the potential to be detrimental to Nokia’s sales of their current Lumia models as it is.
However, other reports have hinted at updates making their way to WP7 handsets through carriers like AT&T so that seems like a silver lining. The Verge had also reported that Microsoft stated that applications on the marketplace will have support for future updates but that’s not really enough information to sway us.
Stay tuned to this space for more updates.