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.