Microsoft just made your Windows Phone device obsolete

Microsoft just made your Windows Phone device obsolete

Summary: Between the Surface tablet announcement and now this, it has been a bad week to be a Microsoft hardware partner.


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inventory now is either through deep discounts or finding people who don't care about buying a smartphone powered by a superseded platform.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.

Windows Phone 8 - A first look (Gallery)

Image Gallery: Windows Phone 8 - A first look Image Gallery: Charge Image Gallery: Charge
Image source: ZDNet/Microsoft.


Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Software, Windows

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  • Furtunately

    Microsoft's installed WP7 base is so tiny that the six people who own a WP7 phone won't raise too much of a ruckus.
    • dheady...

      You need a new joke. It was funny the first time, maybe the first 5 times. But it is old now.
      • First time I've read it

        Worked for me:-)
        Richard Flude
      • And a new spell checker...{nt}

      • Not funny, yes

        For those who believed Microsoft and enthusiastically lined up to buy WP7.
    • LOL!!

      Aaahhh, Adrian's articles. Always good for a laugh. I used to get mad reading his biased articles. But now I'm so used to them, I look forward to reading them knowing what to expect, or to be surprised at how he will twist every new big story with Apple bias or anti-Apple competitors hate. Journalism, no. Comic relief, yes.
      • Fragmentation!

        At least he didn't point out how this provides Windows Phone customers with fragmentation. I.E. People with obsolete phones will not be targeted by developers, and that splits the installed base to zero again.
      • Amen!

        They're like a shot of espresso, bitter but good for starting the day.
    • Pay attention to your spelling...

      I don't know whether it was intentional but I am sure you wanted the subject of your post to read 'Fortunately'. Not everybody should be left without supervision on the internet.
    • Yawn.

      This coming from a guy who still uses an Apple Newton.
      William Farrel
      • You still use a Newton?

        William, please make sure that the Newton you are using is an Apple Newton and not a Fig Newton. Clue: if you bite it and it tastes sweet, it's a Fig Newton. If it tastes rather plasticky, it's an Apple Newton.
      • ZDNet's Anti-Microsoft Division at it again

        ZDNet's Anti-Microsoft Division at it again.
    • actuelly 600 people

      only were screwed; and Nokia of course, but we knew that, from the time Elop the demolisher took charge...
      • what a riot

        I can't stop laughing......
        • Microsoft Customers

          Microsoft Customers.... SUCKKERRRRS
    • EVERYBODY...

      Everyone will want - no, NEED the latest and greatest Micr0$uck$ LoseDoze Fone8 Operating System (O/S). With the kind of INNOVATION and INTELLECTUAL property brought to the table with LoseDoze, who wanted want that kind of POWER?
      • Ahhh little baby sounds jealous...{nt}

  • History repeats

    Upgrade from Windows Mobile 6.x to Windows Phone 7 = NOPE

    Upgrade from Windows Phone 7.x to Windows Phone 8 = NOPE

    Nothing has changed.
    • Leave MS

      Those are excellent reasons to leave the Microsoft "tent" and use some other software. If you are using Windows-7, perhaps you would want to stay with that and not get sucked into the Windows-8 upcoming debacle.
      • Riiiiight...

        and Android is soooo much better.