If you've bought a Windows Phone handset --- maybe the recently released Nokia Lumia 900 --- then I have some bad news for you.
Microsoft just made your shiny smartphone obsolete.
Yesterday, Microsoft gave us the first real glimpse of the Windows Phone 8 platform, and in many ways this new platform is a step in the right direction.
In effect it creates a single, unified platform for smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs. Now we have a situation where Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 will all share the same kernel, the same file system, the same apps, and the same graphics support.
Back in April, I wrote about how Microsoft needed to reboot its smartphone platform one more time, and the Redmond giant has decided to do just that. Windows Phone 8 essentially draws a line underneath every Windows Phone handset currently on the market.
No current handsets will be upgradable to Windows Phone 8, and Windows Phone 7 won't be able to run any apps designed for Windows Phone 8.
Microsoft is throwing a bone to existing Windows Phone 7.5 owners by offering them an upgrade to Windows Phone 7.8, but that will be the final upgrade the platform will see. Microsoft has confirmed that this update will bring the new Windows Phone 8 Start Screen to existing handsets, but beyond that Microsoft was not forthcoming about what the update will bring.
Feeling bad that your Windows Phone handset has just been made obsolete? Spare a thought for Windows Phone handset makers such as Nokia -- already in serious trouble -- who now have truckloads of handsets that are essentially end of line.
The only way hardware makers are going to get rid of their existing Windows Phone 7.5 inventory now is either through deep discounts or finding people who don't care about buying a smartphone powered by a superseded platform.
Between the Surface tablet announcement and now this, it has been a bad week to be a Microsoft hardware partner.
|Image Gallery: Windows Phone 8 - A first look|
- Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: There's good news and bad news
- This week at Microsoft: Throwing everybody under the bus
- Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 finally gets a 'real' Windows core
- Why Microsoft should reboot its smartphone platform one more time
- Should you be worried about Windows Phone 7 upgrades?
- Reading between the lines: Office on iPad, Windows Phone upgrades
- Nokia's Elop: Lumia ‘actual sales have been mixed'