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Editorial: Will Windows Phone 7.8 Be Enough?

July 17, 2012 12 Comments

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I prefer Windows Phone over all other mobile OS’s. The ease of use, integration of Microsoft services, and all around beautiful Metro UI make this  operating system perfect for me.

As you would assume, when I first picked up my brand new Lumia 900 it was love at first sight. I have never seen a device so aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and so well built at the same exact time. A device that you can show off to family, friends, and strangers alike and not have to fumble with a case because it’s not necessary to use one. The fact that it doesn’t have to be treated with extreme care is something that I absolutely love and is something that you can’t do with iPhones because even if the air hits it at the right angle it might shatter.

Everything  should be perfect for Lumia 900 users (and all gen2 WP device users alike) but things aren’t as rosy as they should be. The device that Microsoft and Nokia touted as being the flagship Windows Phone will not be upgradeable to  the latest and greatest Windows Phone OS. Just like the rest of the current handsets, the Lumia 900 will only upgrade to Windows Phone 7.8. What does that mean? It means that it will look like 8, it may act like 8 but it will not be 8.

What is Windows Phone 7.8?

So far, all that Microsoft has announced is the new Windows Phone start screen that takes up the whole screen and allows you to change the size of every tile. This leads to better organizing your apps/ games and should entertain folks that love nothing better than to customize the look and feel of their smartphones.

What is the problem?

Windows Phone users are heaping mad over the fact that they will not be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8, especially those that recently purchased a phone after the Mango update was released. Although so far, most of the announcements have been developer features that will help create bigger and badder apps and games in the future.

Sure there’s IE10 and Wallet… Sure Microsoft will probably announce tons of other great features for Windows Phone 8. The question remaining is: will Windows Phone 7.8 be enough?  I believe it will.

Most of you that are reading this may not agree but that’s because we love tech and we feel very passionately about it. We can’t stand the fact that we will be surely missing features that others will have enabled on their Windows Phone 8 devices. Regular everyday folks however just don’t care or aren’t knowledgeable enough to get upset. They will see an update this fall that will transform their device in a way that it will make it look like Windows Phone 8 and they will (for the most part) be happy about it.

Don’t get me wrong, this shouldn’t have happened and Microsoft should have been a bit more prepared for this. However; this is exactly what Microsoft should be doing to make the platform grow. This is what Microsoft should have done for the HD2 when Windows Phone was first launched. For those who need their memory refreshed, Microsoft left Windows Mobile 6.5 users high and dry with their launch of Windows Phone. At least this time around it looks like they learned their lesson and are trying to appease people with the older version of the OS.




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  • DavidW

    Surely, suuuuurely, only the geeky, the overly curious, the bored at work, the WP7 fanatics give a toss about what version of OS is being used, or whether or not it can be upgraded. If it works well at the time what does it matter to Joe Average if he can’t do NFC payments (which aren’t even a thing in everyday life yet)? If i concince my parents to buy Lumias today that will not consider nor care whether it can be upgraded at all, they will just want to know that it works. I had an HD2 which couldn’t be upgraded so I waited for my HD7 and I will do the same now that it can’t be upgraded. This is NOT the end of the world, it is ONLY something for bloggers and columnists to talk about.

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  • Anonymous

    I totally agree. Even with the significant improvements seen in WP 7.5, Windows Phone is still a teenager next to the many iterations that have matured ios. However, I enjoy my Lumia 900 so much more than my iPhone 4 that I will put up with the quirks. WP 7.8 will address significant usability issues for me, and will hold me off long enough to look forward to a shiny new WP 8 phone down the line.

    • http://twitter.com/Daves_Desk Hmmmm

      Exactly, of course I have an out, wife gets the Lumia 900 and I get a shiny new Nokia/Samsung WP8

  • http://twitter.com/greycloud_uk Anthony Young

    As long as it comes with the ability to add custom text tones i don’t care :)

    • http://twitter.com/Daves_Desk Hmmmm

      It’s not going to have that, all features for 7.8 have been announced, you have to accept it.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/richeymeister Mark Richey

    We also need to remember this isn’t just about Windows Phone (7.x). Microsoft is trying to shift the entire paradigm to a blend of Cloud-based and PC-centric computing. Also losing support are XP and Vista. We are going to see tremendous changes in the coming weeks as Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, New XBox integration, additional changes to Skydrive and the new office suite are rolled out. Admittedly, it is different supporting the hardware, but for what they are intending to accomplish, it is best everything moves at once.
    I know I can survive with Windows Phone 7.8 (though I wish HTC would get their act together and upgrae my Titan so it is ready) for a bit, because a Surface RT is in my more immediate future. My laptop upgraded to Windows 8 Pro (just the boot time alone is worth it!) and a 64Gb RT with a cyan Type Cover. Yum! office 13/15 and the corresponding apps. I can hardly wait!

  • http://twitter.com/joe_easton3 Joe Easton

    Agreed; those of us that follow WP are over analyzing it and I hope that MS realizes that the common user will not be upset. It’s only the obsessed that are upset. MS is making the right moves; let’s just hope they can move fast enough.
    The only issue I see that the common user might have is app availability. If there is a really popular app that become available for WP8 but not their WP7.8 then the common user would be upset.
    So even though I don’t like it; the bottom line is the apps not the version of the OS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SherwetIbrahim Sherwet Ibrahim

    You’ve got a point, but it still sucks we’ll be missing out on features like USB mass storage, native screenshots, and others yet to be announced.
    Sure WP7.8 will work and look just fine, but I still feel betrayed and I’ll have to get over it.

    • http://twitter.com/Daves_Desk Hmmmm

      I’m only disappointed because 7.8 doesn’t come out until after WP8, it should come out now.

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