Microsoft has finally answered the question that many Windows Phone owners have been waiting for. Will current Windows Phones get the Windows Phone 8 Apollo update? Sadly, the answer is no.
The company confirmed the bad news at the Windows Phone 8 event today with Microsoft’s Greg Sullivan telling The Verge that the Windows Phone 8 update will not arrive for current Windows Phones. Instead, some current devices will get an upgrade to Windows Phone 7.8 which apparently will bring the same “look and feel” as Windows Phone 8 but won’t have the same features on board.
This means that those who recently bought a phone like the Nokia Lumia 900 won’t see Windows Phone 8.
Sullivan explained the company’s reason for not upgrading current Windows Phones with Windows Phone 8 by saying that “the nature of the investment is primarily in areas that are not exploitable by existing hardware” and that the “Lumia 900 getting support for using dual-core or NFC doesn’t mean a lot because it doesn’t have the hardware to take advantage of that.”
Instead, some current devices – the Lumia 900 is one of the likely candidates, will get upgraded to Windows Phone 7.8.
Sullivan explains further saying:
“When you pull that Lumia out of your pocket after you’ve received that 7.8 update, it will look and feel the same as a Windows Phone 8 device Because you don’t have a multicore chip and don’t have some of these other elements, it didn’t make sense for us to make those investments for devices that couldn’t really exploit them.”
According to Paul Thurrot of WinSuperSite, Windows Phone 7.8 will bring three elements to current Windows Phone owners.
- A new start screen that will look like the Windows Phone 8 start screen.
- Windows Phone 7.8 will bring tile customization with support for three tile sizes.
- The update will be delivered directly and won’t be rolled out by individual carriers.
The company is not saying which current devices will get the Windows Phone 7.8 update. Sullivan did say that the latest generation devices, we assume he means phones like the Lumia line and the HTC Titan II, will be the phones that Microsoft will be looking to upgrade.
However, those who own aging phones like the Samsung Focus probably should start crossing their fingers now because it looks like there is a possibility that neither update will arrive for phones with that type of age.