For those upset over Microsoft’s decision not to upgrade existing Windows Phone 7 devices to Windows Phone 8 (but rather to offer them a new Windows Phone 7.8 update) I offer this tidbit: Nine months after replacing Android 2.3 with Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”), and more recently 4.1 (“Jelly Bean”) new non-upgradeable Android 2.3 phones are still being released. And only about 16% of the total population of Android phones have been upgraded to 4.0 or 4.1. That’s less than the number running ancient versions of Android such as 2.1 and 2.2.
When you compare Microsoft’s plan to Apple’s history then Microsoft doesn’t look so hot, but when you compare Microsoft to Google Android it looks like Microsoft is making the right decision. Or at least they have a massively good data point to support their decision. And Microsoft is at least providing an update for all their earlier devices, even though it doesn’t bring all the Windows Phone 8 goodies with them. That puts Microsoft somewhere between Google and Apple in the consumer-friendliness dimension.
I’m still upset that Microsoft isn’t going to give me Windows Phone 8 for my Lumia 900, but at least I know I’m no worse off than if I were living in the Android world.