This was inevitable, but the blow seemed harder for existing WP 7 users when Microsoft closed the door on any possible update to Windows Phone 8, today. None of the existing WP 7 devices will be eligible for a Windows Phone 8 update and that includes the Nokia Lumia 900. In order to avoid a riot outside their stores, Microsoft promptly announced Windows Phone 7.8, a sort of ‘value pack’, if you will, for existing devices. All handsets running WP 7.5 or Mango will be upgradable to WP 7.8 and one of the new features that the update brings with it is the new customizable homescreen from WP 8. Users of the Lumia 800 and other such devices will be able to resize the homescreen widgets as well as choose between different colour schemes for better personalization and this goes for all Nokia Lumia handsets. Microsoft haven’t commented on what other new features will be incorporated in the update, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
In an interview with The Verge, Greg Sullivan explains this decision, “The nature of the investment [in Windows Phone 8] is primarily in areas that are not exploitable by existing hardware. To do the work to bring all of those elements to a platform that can't exploit them wasn't necessarily the most efficient use of resource.”
While we understand that WP 8 is a completely different beast, altogether, it’s surprising that Microsoft couldn’t optimize it for single-core handsets. Perhaps it was the amount of RAM and not an issue with the CPU; who knows, perhaps someone will manage to strip it down and port it over to older handsets. Not everyone cares about dual-core on their phones, NFC and all that jazz, so for them, the WP 7.8 update is more than welcome. “When you pull that Lumia out of your pocket after you’ve received that 7.8 update, it will look and feel the same as a Windows Phone 8 device,” said Sullivan. This should keep many WP 7 users happy for the time being, until they decide whether or not they need to take the WP 8 plunge.
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