A data point on the lack of Windows Phone 8 Upgrades

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.

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3 Responses to A data point on the lack of Windows Phone 8 Upgrades

  1. SteveS. says:

    You make an excellent point here. I am stuck on Android Gingerbread (2.3.5) and just recently received my second “update” on the phone after about 15 months when I bought it. But my update wasn’t to Android 4.0. It was from Android 2.3.3 to 2.3.5. The version numbers may not be exact but who cares. And a second data point here, my wife has a Nokia Lumia 900 that we got back in April. She loves it and said its the best phone she’s had (coming from Blackberry phones). When I told her that her Lumia 900 wouldn’t be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8, she said she doesn’t really care, it does everything she needs it to do…

    I am anxiously waiting for Windows Phone 8 and new devices to make the switch from Android.

  2. Randizzle says:

    While the Windows Phone upgrade model is somewhere between less evil than android, and not as awesome as IOs, there is more disappointment to me then just an “oh, well.”

    The 84 percent that are not upgrading are also purchasing the cheapest smartphones around and there is no such thing as enthusiast bargain hunter when it comes to technology. Also, for this 84 percent, a smartphone is waaay too much phone for them, and most likely they are chasing to keep up with technology or just cannot see standard buttons on the lil cell phones IMO.

    I get that an update for software is extremely hardware relevant, as in if you don’t have the hardware to support the feature it doesn’t work. I get that Microsoft needed to restructure the OS completely and leave WP7 behind. But under false pretenses….I have read they knew it was dead before they released it and were working on WP8 at the same time. Its like they were launching with VHS when the DVDs were coming out next month. However, I don’t think its fair that they left the early adopters high and dry without some compensation other than a flashy new start screen. I purchased the WP7 with the understanding that Microsoft was going to at least bother to advertise. And now with Windows 8 on the way it all makes sense. Bundled advertising for the whole Windows 8 line of desktop, tablet and phone makes for a pretty slick campaign, but that doesn’t change the fact that I believed in Microsoft to show some love like 2 years ago.

    I have already dealt with fact that WP7 is last to have companies build apps (if at all) and now choking on the probability of these companies building WP8 only apps that I have been waiting for and cannot use on my antiquated OS. Ya know the ones like DirecTV everywhere or even hulu. I am the one who defended WP over and over. I am the 16 percent. And now I am hesitant to rush out and get a Windows Phone 8. Fool me once…

    • halberenson says:

      WP8 work did indeed go on in parallel with WP7, however at the time they expected WP8 to run on the WP7 hardware. The Windows 8 team later imposed the new hardware requirements on them.

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