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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

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CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Loud and Clear

Windows Phone 8 shafts the Lumia lovers?

(Credit: Nokia/CBSi)

If you have a Windows Phone handset, you've probably read the news. Microsoft has announced its upcoming Windows Phone 8 OS, and you can't have it. Well, not without buying a new phone.

Our sympathy goes out to all Windows Phone fans; after all, there is little worse for a tech fan than knowing that your device is soon to be forgotten. But none more so than the Nokia fans who ditched Symbian and took a punt on a Lumia-branded Windows Phone this year, only to discover that there will not be any major updates for your device during its lifecycle.

That's one way to look at it. On the flip side, a lot of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 announcement was hardware related, with a majority of the top-line features relying on components that your Lumia phone just doesn't have. There will be support for multi-core processors, high-resolution screens, NFC pairing and payments and expandable memory. Even if the current Windows Phone handsets were scheduled for an update to version 8, these expansions to the system would be meaningless. If you had wanted those features, you could have bought a phone with them instead of a Windows Phone, so you probably won't feel like you're missing out on these specific specs now.

You also have to remember that Microsoft will update Windows Phone 7.5 to Windows Phone 7.8. So far, it has only vaguely detailed what this update will include, such as the new Live Tiles layout and customisation, but it is yet to complete this communication to its customers. Will version 7.8 also ship with the updated version of Internet Explorer? Will some of the new security features trickle down, too? Windows Phone 7.8 could be a major features update, but we'll have to wait and see.

The big part of Windows Phone 8 that Lumia lovers will definitely miss out on is, well, Windows Phone 8. This new system is built on the "rock-solid technology core of Windows 8", according to Microsoft's Joe Belifore. This technology shift aligns the Microsoft phone platform closer to the desktop experience, and, while this might mean precious little in the short term, we could expect a seismic shift in the Windows Phone experience once developers get a hold of the new SDK and the ability to write in native code. This could mean apps that communicate better with PCs, apps that are more easily ported from existing mobile platforms and richer gaming experiences.

Windows Phone 8 does look like it could be a new beginning for Microsoft's somewhat struggling mobile OS, and, while it burns the already converted now, these changes are important over the long term. It's just a shame that someone in Redmond didn't look to the "rock-solid technology core of Windows" before Windows Phone 7 hit store shelves.

If you have a Windows Phone, especially a Lumia, I'd love to know what you thought when you read about Windows Phone 8. Leave me a comment below, and tell me whether you feel burned by the announcement, or whether it just has you excited about the next Windows Phone you intend to buy.

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AlbertS posted a comment   

I have only 1 question.
If i buy a handset with WP8 inside, would it be upgradable to WP9 ?
Maybe i can expect the version 8.8.

Have a good night.


JohnP3 posted a comment   

Really inappropriate headline Joseph Hanlon.
Microsoft have done more than expected to look after older handsets.
Offcourse you can't get full compatibility with NFC and I don't think current handset users should be upset about it.

I'll be happy to get 7.8 update. In a comparable 2 year period
IOS hasn't received a visual upgrade.
Android users goodluck - most of your handsets are good for 6months till their unsupported and any new updates only slow your handset down.

Hopefully some of the enteprise and multi-tasking functionality trickles down to 7.8


CraigB1 posted a comment   

I own an 800 which I only bought recently. I love what WP8 has in store, but 7.8 looks great too. The idea that we can have the biggest, best, latest, and greatest as soon as it comes out is just childishly unrealistic. I wonder how much phone companies make from people who just have to have it NOW!


user234 posted a comment   

Didn%u2019t the Lumia 900 come out in china in the last couple of weeks? Thank goodness Australia has not received the "Flagship" lumia 900 yet, I was actually considering buying it.
I really feel sorry for all those who went out to buy a Lumia only to realise it will not be getting WP8. Let%u2019s just hope Microsoft will bring almost ALL possible software features of the WP8 into WP7.8
I mean look at the iPhone 3S, it is still getting iOS 6 even after 3 years and having very little hardware similarities with today%u2019s iPhone 4S. But the software that depends on certain hardware that is not present in the iPhone 3S (such as front facing camera) are just not made available.
Microsoft really need to be very careful with how they approach this, it%u2019s their current loyal fan base that is keeping the interest in WP.


Will1505 posted a reply   

Optus actually has the 900 now


LachlanC posted a comment   

These days I think it is wiser to get a 12 months contract instead of 24 months contract. Then you would always have the latest and greatest. The good news is WP8 phones can run WP7 apps so your investment in apps are still there. It is also a win for developers who have been developing WP apps which has recently reached 100,000 apps in the Marketplace.


NhatN posted a comment   

I have a L800 and I'm excited to change phone again when WP8 Lumia comes out


Forsvar posted a comment   

I was completely fine about it. Im more than impressed with wp8. I can't wait for my contract to run out so I can get it. I probably won't update to 7.8 just so its all the sweeter.


Will1505 posted a comment   

Gee if i was a 800 or 900 owner, i would be ****

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