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back to article Microsoft's promises slow upgrade for loyal Phone 7 customers

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 users may not be able to upgrade their handsets to Phone 8, but an update promised by Redmond will make them look as though they have – though not until next year. Windows Phone 7.8, probably the last upgrade to the "Tango" version of the OS, will add the customizable application tile sizes of its …

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Silver badge
Windows

So basically a lot of bling and nothing else...

I'm not impressed, not in the very least.

Now, before I continue let it be very clear that I'm quite happy with my Omnia W and unlike some other WP7.5 owners on several Windows Phone fora I have no intention what so ever to suddenly get rid of my phone. IMO that's plain out stupid; when I picked it up I knew exactly what it could do, its current features are all I need so... Why bother ?

But that doesn't mean I'm not quite disappointed but most of all heavily under impressed with Microsoft on this front. If this is how they're trying to win the mobile market then they're doing a horrible job IMO. No; I'm not referring to this "update" which basically only consists of a lot of cosmetic changes, one I'm most likely going to skip entirely.

I'm referring to all the commotion with the introduction of Windows Phone 7 concerning the hardware; How Microsoft, in a certain way, lied to us. Well, not really lying of course but they sure gave out a lot of impressions which now turn out to be hardly as important as they claimed. Because when it came out Microsoft set very strict minimum requirements which any hardware should meet if its manufacturer wanted it to be a Windows Phone. Sure, I know all those requirements got adjusted in no time after, that's not the point.

The point being is that with their reputation on the Windows platform (buy Win7 in 2007, keep on using it until 2018 with continuous updates easily) they set a tone with all those requirements. Something which now turns out to be completely bollocks. Also the various statements on how they felt sorry about having to drop Windows Mobile completely, but now they would do better.

The way I see it WP7 is now basically dropped completely as well.

Why is it that Apple users can run later versions of their mobile OS on older hardware and Microsoft users cannot, even despite all those hardware requirements? It makes no sense. It would have made sense if Microsoft wouldn't have started getting so uptight over their precious minimum specifications.

Still... I would be pleasantly surprised if Microsoft would now provide a free developer unlock for WP7.5 users so that we can at least build our own software for it. But... I'm afraid that's most likely wishful thinking. After all; on the mobile market its money first, users second...

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Silver badge
Windows

Re: So basically a lot of bling and nothing else...

Shame it took you so long to realise how little its customers mean to most companies after they have your money. (Even your "friends" at Microsoft.)

Even the fuckers that then expect you to be repeat customers.

Welcome to the modern world!

Icon hand crafted in the U.K.O.G.B.A.N.I. Minimum price, 45p per unit. (50p for the affluent Jocks.)

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Silver badge
Windows

@AC

Actually that's not the problem...

I never put too much trust in a company, only the functionality of what they deliver and the agreement under which they operate. That's why I made sure that the phone as I got it met all my requirements, I would like more functionality but I don't need it.

Main point is: if Microsoft keeps this up they're never going to get a foothold in the mobile market. Ever. And that kinda bugs me at time because they have much more potential than this. Even if it sometimes blows up in their face during launch :-)

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Re: So basically a lot of bling and nothing else...

I struggle to get what you say here.

MS are updating your phone, software can still be written for it (and many devs will continue to do so because why not - code for 7.5+ will work happily on 8) and you can load your own apps on it by grabbing the free SDK.

As far as I can tell it'll continue to receive software patches for a good while yet. My partner got an HTC 7 two years ago now, when they were just out. The phone is still patched, will get a substantial upgrade, entirely free, in a month or so, and the thing continues to just work for her. These things are still good, functional pieces of kit.

I sometimes worry about the state of mind of people on tech forums - something that continues to receive security and functionality patches more than two years from release is somehow a bad thing? My partner could easily get 3+ years of patched up smartphone.

Of course, MS could do like Motorola and many others. I remember my Milestone getting its final update. It was promised, came very late, and turned the phone into a sluggish lump. A year later I had to use it again as its replacement got broken - I couldn't use the marketplace at all, or even a third party one - apps simply won't install, and the software was so sluggish I remembered why I got rid of it. Some of the built in apps could no longer talk to the services provided... it was simply horrible. Then I remembered it was only five months older than my partner's HTC.

I'm so very tempted by a Lumia 920 (or maybe the more pocketable 820) because I love the idea of a phone that'll still be working properly and patched up in two or three years time.

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Bronze badge
Meh

Re: So basically a lot of bling and nothing else...

Thanks Mr Elop, but it's still a bit of a crock that they didn't even try and get WP8 on older devices. Every time MS - with what, 70000 employees? - say they can't do something, someone from xda-developers does it. They should've:

a) provided an Apple-like way to back up app data, SMSes etc for easy upgrades.

b) tried their damnedest to get WP8 running on the 15 or so devices that were released with WP7 on them, prioritising recent ones such as the Lumia series.

HTC Trophy owner here, very happy with it and might just stick it out until the next round of devices come out, because I still pick it up and think, "Wow". No other device has lasted 18 months and done that, and I can't even explain why.

P.s. please no-one be the numb-nuts who says, "ERRR I think you'll find that not all of those employees work on WP7 device upgrades, idiot". I know they don't. I'm so glad I don't have to converse with you in real life.

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Re: So basically a lot of bling and nothing else...

I agree that some way to export SMS would be nice - I mean, I've learned to let go of SMS from a while ago, to be honest, as they're not something I personally find that useful to go back to *but* I do still like to archive stuff.

I'm not sure about WP8 running on old hardware though - it just wouldn't be a nice experience - it's not that the framework wouldn't necessarily work, but that as soon as you tried to install any later apps it would grind to a hot, battery sucking halt. That's what I found with my Milestone - just got rubbish with time and upgrades. A colleague said the same thing of her old HTC Desire - the hardware was I fine condition, but it was laggy and didn't have enough memory to do anything. Similarly, once an iOS phone has had two major version upgrades it starts to feel visibly slow and laggy.

I think the rescuing factor is that 7.8 seems to be being maintained in order to sell low cost smartphones in developing markets. £100 is out of the reach of the average Indian, but £50 isn't. It's not impossible that £50 Win 7.8+ phones will be being sold for a long time to come. Of course, that could mean that in a while all the apps are developing nation related while our lot have moved onto WP8 - forget The Times, but The Hindu might be available, and while you'll never have Instagram, you may well get a handy app for checking the market price of chickpeas. But you'll still have a stable, quick, secure and pleasant phone that still does what it always did, which is more than can be said for an Android equivalent.

My original iPhone still works, incidentally. I use it now as a handy in-car MP3 player, because I'm too cheap to pay for a Bluetooth connection. I just wish it didn't need a mobile network connection to do some things. No patches for about a year now, however, but I had a lot of respect for Apple for at least trying to keep things going and supported for so long. Same with MS. But Android, unless you buy a Nexus or get lucky, is full of fail from a satisfaction point of view.

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Bronze badge
Megaphone

P.p.s.

Vote for backup in WP7/WP8 here. You know how bad it is? We all (15k people) voted for it in WP7, and they closed the FR saying it was present in WP8 (which it isn't 100% either) - not what we asked for :) That incredibly cynical display got me to open that new FR.

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Coat

when the price gets right then ppl will buy WP8

WP7.5 Nokia 601 lumias just hit £120 unsubsidised/unlocked here in italy, (I bought a HTC instead online from Germany for a similar price)

Windows phone 7.5 -> 7.8 is a great package for teenagers - nobody wants to nick them!

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Pie

I purchased a Lumia 710 for £90 unlocked a few months ago, knowing that WP8 was coming out and that it wouldn't be up-gradable, but I also knew it did what I wanted it to do and for a 'smart' phone was very cheap.

Phones go out of date, probably much to quickly in this day and age, but if you purchase a phone that does what you want it to do then you should be happy with it for 2 years or so shouldn't you?

It's great that MS release updates for phones rather than having to wait for the phone companies to release them, apple have a slightly easier time of it in my view as they have a very reduced range that they have full control over, but even they don't allow the latest IOS on the iPhone 3.

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