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back to article Microsoft's uncloaks Phone 8 developer preview

Microsoft held its developer preview of the Windows Phone 8 operating system on Wednesday, and revealed that it is shifting the platform to share core kernel features with Windows 8 for better integration. At the rollout event in San Francisco, corporate vice president of the Windows Phone program Joe Belfiore said that …

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WTF?

"Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

If that is true, then this is an epic fail.

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Stop

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

You mean just like the many Android phones out there which their manufacturers have announced wont be getting ICS?

Or 1st Gen iPad owners who wont get IOS 6?

You mean like them?

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Trollface

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8" @Phoenix50

Careful - the Android apologists are about to downvote us all ;-)

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Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8" @Phoenix50

TBH I'm on tenterhooks awaiting the arrival of Bob Vistakin.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8" @Phoenix50

Is that THE Bob "Zune" Vistakin? He's famous round these parts!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

iPad owners have have had one major OS upgrade and countless smaller improvements. Hardly comparable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

I think we just need to wait and see what will become available, but we cant be foolish to think that we will get all the good news, firstly we cant pull NFC and multicore hardware out of our arses and make it magically work in our device, physically differences will limit what we could run on WP7.x hardware.

MS is going to back port many of the features to the devices but you can only have features that your hardware will support, so I don't think that's so bad, I also don't think that not having the unified core (presuming we're not since that's not confirmed or denied) will make a huge difference either.

Being able to run Native code would be a BIG bonus as would removing some of the ridicules amount of security built in to the OS, So far the OS has only been cracked when a 3rd part OEM screwed up, that's some achievement but its bloody annoying if you like to tinker with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

Is there any spac

for the mandato

truncated text jo

or has it been don

to death?

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Silver badge

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

"iPad owners have have had one major OS upgrade and countless smaller improvements. Hardly comparable."

Is there some law that any product, no matter how disimilar, must be compared to the iPad? It's a phone. I have a Lumia 710. The people who don't have a WP7 device seem to be getting more worked up about its inability to upgrade than those who have one. It's not suddenly going to stop working or no longer be able to do the things I bought it for. It's still a very nice phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

No not really like that at all.

You won't be able to run Windows 8 apps on a Windows Phone 7.5. The application format is now Windows8RT

Lumia owners just got right royally fucked over, as everyone here has been telling them for months, they fact that Microsoft were being totally silent on the upgrade path, meant there was none.

Really, how many times do these people need to get fucked over before they get the message?

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FAIL

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

Not only that, it's even funnier, as they won't be able to run the new apps either. The dire app store will stay dire, as developers move onto this years new burning platform.

Nice one Microsoft, what pitifully small userbase you have, you just royally screwed them over.

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Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

The store is hardly dire. Keep seeing a lot of new apps being added to the app store (have to say I hardly ever feel compelled to try them out - mostly because I don't care for ESPN, Grumpy Doves or the like on my phone).

I also write apps for WP7, and more recently for W8. When the dev tools come out for WP8 I'll move to that. Much like I moved from .NET 1.0 to 4.5.

I don't feel screwed over (I have a Lumia 800). I'd feel well screwed over if I bought a new Android handset today that didn't have ICS on it...

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Coat

Re: wont be getting ICS?

Phoenix50:"like the many Android phones out there which their manufacturers have announced wont be getting ICS?"

Sony told me I couldn't have ICS.

I installed it anyway.

HTC told me my G1 wouldn't be getting Gingerbread.

I installed it anyway.

Its the Android way :)

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Silver badge

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

>"Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8" If that is true, then this is an epic fail.

Ho hum... the biggest upgrades, besides this Win8RT kernal morph, seemed to be applicable only to new hardware anyway- i.e SD card support and screen res options.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

The least Nokia could do would be to remove Lumia from the 2 year contract market until they have the WP8 version. Well, not quite the least guess a warning sticker on the phone would do if product recall would mess up contractual obligations.

Letting Microsoft totally screw Nokias smartphone relunch isn't a great advert for Elops negotiating skills.

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@which their manufacturers have announced wont be getting ICS?

Not really.

The answer is in your question. Manufacturers. The fail is the manufacturers not Android.

If Nokia wanted to stop their Lumia range becoming more obsolete than my e72, they can't. Another nail I guess.

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Devil

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

Anyone who invests in release 1 of any Microsoft software is going to get their fingers burnt in several ways - this is just another of the inevitable "fails" of an MS first go at something new.

A better question is, was WP7.5 release 2, or is this?

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Facepalm

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

Shame you don't get that there's a technical reason why the original iPad won't get iOS6. But hey, should Apple of really bothered giving it two software updates in its lifetime?

Rest my case. =)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

People who willing bought WP7 Lumia phones on contracts weren't the brightest sparks in the first place.

When the Lumia 800/900 came out, I said that the phones will become obsolete in less than a year.

But no... telling the truth about the situation means you're hating on Microsoft, or you're an Apple/Android fanboy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

How can anyone possibly vote your comment down. You say you have a Lumia 710 and you don't mind not being able to upgrade, what is there to disagree in with that?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

What phones would that be then?

All the big boys (HTC, Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola), have either updated all their phones from 2011/2012 to ICS, or the upgrade is still ontrack for pretty much now.

I know for a fact Sony have already done all their 2011 phones (and even the Xperia Play, which they said won't be getting it, has not got one listed again, presumably it's your choice to update or not), HTC's list is equally impressive, all their 2011 phones, and even some high end handsets from late 2010.

Sounds like internet FUD. Trust me, watch ICS explode on the Google pie-chart next month, and the month after.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

You can't make a big leap forward and be 100% backwards compatible, they're mutually exclusive.

Also, there are so few WP7 users that it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

I think it sounds rather splendid - SD support is a massive thing to techies and support for DirectX sounds awesome.

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Meh

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

@h4rm0ny

"The people who don't have a WP7 device seem to be getting more worked up about its inability to upgrade than those who have one. It's not suddenly going to stop working or no longer be able to do the things I bought it for. It's still a very nice phone."

I think you have the most sensible post here. The lack of upgrade is not that big of a deal to anyone but those who feel they must constantly have the latest software. Everyone else, I'm sure, will continue quietly using their phones to the end of their contracts, and then will upgrade when they get a new phone.

I don't blame anyone who decides they don't want to invest in WP7 now, I wouldn't myself, but I don't think it warrants any vitriol.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

My old Nokia has been running for about 5 years on the same OS it had when I bought it. It runs just as well as it ever did. The same will be true for WP7 phones... upgrading to a new OS is just not a huge deal for typical users who will simply get a free upgrade in a year's time.

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Gimp

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

Two major upgrades. The first iPad started it's life on iOS 3 =).

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Silver badge

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

"How can anyone possibly vote your comment down. You say you have a Lumia 710 and you don't mind not being able to upgrade, what is there to disagree in with that?"

I have no idea. You get comments here expressing great joy just because something freezes during a demo. People don't seem to realize that the better MS's products are, the more it forces Apple, Linux and all the hardware manufacturers to up their game. It's some sort of bonkers tribalism. Further up the thread I was told I was "not the brightest spark" because I was happy with my phone. Hey, it does what I need and it cost less than £200 quid. I must have been an idiot to buy it because the moment Windows Phone 8 comes out it will turn into a pumpkin. Apparently.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

@H4rm0ny:

It's basically because lots of people in IT make their choice of OS (usually), they invest a lot of time in learning the OS, then rather than becoming familiar with other OSes, or other manufacturers systems they slag them off. I work in backup and recovery and the amount of tribalism for the backup package of choice and resistance to change for packages which are demonstrably better is incredible. Throw in a touch of being smug about having learned an arcane command line and defending that, rather than just accepting that sometimes it's just as valid to carry out tasks on the GUI and you've got people who would resist learning something new, in order to somehow defend their legacy knowledge.

Rather sad really, but it does mean that us multi OS, multi vendor package skilled people have better job prospects.

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Happy

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

I bought a Lumia 710 on PAYG for my daughter... it was cheap, it does the job and she likes it. Heck, it's even growing on me too (and I'm a die hard Fandroid).

I gather though that the the bright sparks over at XDA Developers are plugging away at getting Android running on the Lumia phones, not sure if they'll manage it or not (maybe they will?) but not having an upgrade to WP8 isn't the end of the world for my daughter. I dare say it'll last her a couple of years and then she might want something a bit newer with more bells and whistles, and eventually she'll get to the age where she'll be able to afford to buy whatever phone she wants.

Rob

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Pint

Re: "Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows 8"

Not really.

Think about it, phone 8 uses hardware that is not in use in older phones, the 7.8 update is fine for current phone users (like me)

I don't mind that my current phone will not be able to upgrade because it is perfectly reasonable to say that old outdated devices can't run newer software due to hardware restrictions.

If MS released phone 8 to current devices there would be all manner of things not working, not to mention people buying one phone only to find that it won't do certain things they thought it would because they got an old handset creating a lot of negativity for them.

All they want to do is preserve the quality of what they are selling.

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Bronze badge

Hmm...

All good things that he's saying but

a) They might just be too late to catch up on this one even if they get it all right

b) They won't have got it all right

Still, it's going to be interesting.

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Sil
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Not upgradeable is not ok

Really disappointed that a phone that will be about 1 year old when WP8 launchs will not be upgradable.Not asking for NFC to work obviously but there are no reasons for the other updates not to work.

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MIc
Thumb Down

Re: Not upgradeable is not ok

"but there are no reasons for the other updates not to work." sounds like you have a lot of experience managing the costs of legacy for an OS. Given that there are no reasons at all.

Is it possible you are saying something that just makes you feel good?... Nah you're just hyper smart.

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Gold badge

Re: Not upgradeable is not ok

Maybe it is part of their plan to increase the userbase. Have WP7 owners hand their phones to someone else and then buy a WP8 phone.

Except many may just think "sod it".

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Silver badge

Re: Not upgradeable is not ok

I suspect this will be down to the kernel not being backported to whichever ARMs run Windows Phone 7. Existing manufacturers aren't going to pay for something that won't sell more phones and you can bet quite a lot that Intel has contributed to the kernel which will mean restricting options even more. Expect Windows 8 phones to be even more identikit than Windows 7 ones. Be interesting to see how long anyone thinks it's worth trying to compete with Nokia - that might be Microsoft's long game.

Any comparison's with Android's upgrade strategy are flawed. While the problems with more recent versions (Gingerbread, Honeycomb, ICS) are largely down to the vendors and networks, they're not all that great and the number of DIY kits that allow you to upgrade yourself. Sure, that's very poor customer service driven partly by the desire to sell newer toys but also by the inability to manage the code base. Earlier changes included more significant work on hardware support so upgrades from 1.x based hardware beyond 2.x weren't really possible,

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Sil
Bronze badge

Re: Not upgradeable is not ok

It's not a legacy OS it's a brand new platform that Microsoft took many years to develop and a complete departure from wm6.

Therefore I expected a longer lifetime. In any case not supporting wp7 hardware is a commercial decision that I doubt will be popular with corporate customers and even less with consumers. I for one will stop recommending wp7 phones and recommend instead to wait for wp8 phones or look elsewhere.

Windows 8 wouldn't stand a chance if it didn't work on windows 7 compatible PCs. As it is it may still be a major commercial failure but that's another debate.

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They even abuse NFC as an excuse

First of all, nfc isn't some Sci-fi tech everyone is dying for. My $200 Huawei has it, my HTC high end doesn't.

Difference between them OS (and app) wise is zero. I just don't see apps strictly needing nfc on my HTC . That is all.

There isn't an os in IT history that needs multiple cpu/ core to function. Obviously, high end games or apps would be a disaster speed wise but just like Android, you can hide them from low end devices.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not upgradeable is not ok

Microsoft also assumed the Nokia loyalists will buy Lumia phones due to loyalty to the Nokia brand.

As it turned out, Nokia's market share kept shrinking and shrinking.

The truth is few people want a Windows phone. It doesn't matter which OEM's device you run the OS on. Please get the memo already.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: Not upgradeable is not ok

Why does it NEED to be upgradable?

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My impressions:

Disappointing that 7.5 users are being a tad shafted, but whe you think about all the manufacturers out there who have announced "No Ice Cream Sandwich" for their devices I guess this happens sometimes - and I sort of understand why they need to do this, in order to beak away from the old code base.

However, on the plus-side, NFC support (SIM card based which is very interesting), support for removable storage, a far more customisable start screen and better hardware, screen and multi-core support (64!) brings them into line with Apple and Google, as well as now supporting C++ and C should placate developers.

100,000 apps in the marketplace is brilliant too - peantus compared to the other 2 systems, but they achieved it in less time.

Finally, I'm glad to see a more intergrated eco-system starting to come together - Windows 8, Phone 8, and later (I expect) XBox will offer the most unified experience of any of the big players - not even Apple can hold that title.

All in all, very good.

Oh and you should probably note, I am a Microsoft supporter, I always have been and always will be. They're not perfect but I think they're great, so just fucking deal with it - people like different things.

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Apps

While WP7 apps are supposed to run on WP8, apps written to the new WP8/W8 are not compatable with WP7. So there is a question in terms of how long will developers support the WP7 apps?

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Re: Apps

That's a good question - MS have said they're going to re-complie all apps in the Marketplace so they're WP8 ready - so from that point of view it's a boon for devs, but the other way round? I wouldn't count on it.

The biggest problem they've got is that the old Windows Embedded CE core just wasn't up to the job anymore - not with what's coming out of Google and Apple these days. So the switch to the NT Kernel simply HAD to happen - I can't see any other option for them?

It's a real shame they've had to abandon 7.5 owners like this - I just hope it doesn't hurt them in the short term.

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FAIL

"old Windows Embedded CE core just wasn't up to the job anymore"

It was never up to the job, shame it's taken them well over a decade to realize it.

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Re: WP7 Apps on WP8

> While WP7 apps are supposed to run on WP8,

WP7 apps work in a fixed 800x480 screen size (or 480x320). So what will happen on a 1280x768 WP8, or 1920x1080 Surface ?

Will it just use 800x480 or be scaled or simply have the elements repositioned ?

100,000 apps may have to be rewritten.

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FAIL

Re: Apps

Given the number of apps for WP7, they could probably support them indefinitely.

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Anonymous Coward

The developer dilemma

So, does the WP developer choose to build a WP7 app, a WP8 app, or both?

Likely once WP8 is out, most will ditch the WP7 option so Lumia 900 users who bought outright or bought into a contract this year will be left in the cold, likely with a year or so seeing the WP marketplace pass them by.

Windows kernel 8 should be capable on WP7 hardware, after all over 10 years ago XP started out running on weaker x86 systems. Fail for Nokia in not insisting on updates as part of their MS deal.

Meanwhile, who is going to buy into a Nokia phone at all until WP8 is out, unless its pretty much given away. Going to be a long four months or so for Nokia.

As a developer, I'm positive on WP8 but have to say its a screwed up strategy.

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Windows

VPN?

Device encryption and VPN were critical features for business missing in 7 and 7.5. The former gets a mention, but what about VPN support? They surely must have that now, especially if they're using a unified codebase?

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Re: VPN?

I certainly hope so - it's coming with the NT TCP stack built-in to it, along with IP v6 support - they must logically be able to support it - but I agree I'd have liked more details about potential VPN support.

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Bronze badge

Re: VPN?

Well, if its Windows NT's TCP/IP stack, one would expect that at the very least, PPTP should be in there.

Plus, I think IPSec is a mandatory component of IPv6: http://ipv6.com/articles/security/IPsec.htm

So if they ship with IPv6 support, they should by rights, support IPSec VPNs.

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Win phone 9?

Don't be surprised if it needs windows 9 and obviously, win 8 handsets won't be upgraded.

This isn't the Microsoft we all know and hate/ respect for backwards compatibility. This is a small gang who puts a gigantic company to the bet and leader is ballmer. Microsoft we know would shave off features and make sure last major version owners get the upgrade.

Stay away until ballmer gets the boot.

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