If you ever needed any proof it’s anything but roses ans sunshine over at Microsoft’s Windows Phone division, it’s this. The next version of Windows Phone, WP8, will run on the NT kernel, which marks a pretty substantial departure from the current release. This raises the question: will current handsets be upgradeable to WP8? First, Microsoft indicated no. Then they said yes (interview retracted). And now, they’re saying no again.
Windows Phone 8, codenamed Apollo, will be a pretty substantial upgrade for the platform, especially under the hood: it’ll move the fledgling operating system from the CE kernel to the NT kernel. With such a substantial upgrade on the horizon, a logical question arises: will current Windows Phone 7.5 handsets, including the new Lumias, get Windows Phone 8?
As it turns out, even Microsoft itself can’t answer this question – which, sadly, usually indicates the answer is ‘no’. First, a Microsoct exec dodged the question, after which Mary Jo Foley’s sources stated that no, current devices will not get Apollo. This was followed yesterday by an interview for Italian website Zame, in which the company said yes – however, this interview has since been taken down. Asked for comment by The Verge, Microsoft refused to provide details, repeating only their line affirming that current applications will run on Apollo.
The Verge dove deeper into the matter late last night, and from a trusted source – and The Verge is well-connected – they got the word that current devices will not be upgraded to Apollo. So, that brand-new Nokia Lumia 900 you just bought? It will be obsolete by the end of the year.
Taking all these clues together, it’s pretty obvious that current devices indeed will not be upgradeable to Apollo. It’s easy to see why Microsoft refuses to make a clear statement – they don’t want to impede sales of the new Lumia devices by flat-out stating they’re essentially unsupported by year’s end. If current devices were going to be upgradeable, they’d say so.
Windows CE is very light on resources, and I’m getting the idea that the new Windows NT-based Windows Phone will simply require heftier hardware – at least a dual-core phone, and possibly more memory too. All current Windows Phone devices are essentially the same, and only sport a single core.
If all this pans out the way I think it will, the platform will receive a significant blow because of this.