There are a lot of ways you can look at Microsoft’s decision not to make Windows Phone 8 upgrades available for Windows Phone 7 handsets. You can rationalize that plenty of Android phones get left behind as well, or that technical issues made it smarter for Microsoft to start fresh, but that doesn’t make it any easier to live with for all those early adopters who took a chance on the new platform. While Windows Phone 7.8 may be here to help placate that group, what about current Windows Phone 8 users? Will they find themselves in the same boat once Microsoft releases the next major revision to its mobile platform? It looks like that answer is “no”, and Microsoft will have WP8 users covered.
Microsoft’s Greg Sullivan spoke with PC Magazine at the Mobile World Congress, where he explained that WP8 users will be included as Microsoft updates Windows Phone. We realize that such a thing can’t last forever, and at some point – even if it’s years down the line – older devices will be left behind, but for as far into the future as Microsoft can currently see, these users may just be safe. As Sullivan put it, “we’re going to have an upgrade path going forward.”
Specifically, he points to architecture changes in Windows Phone 8 that give Microsoft more flexibility with the system software. We realize this isn’t necessarily official word from on-high, and even good intentions can run into obstacles, but this assurance has us a bit more optimistic about the future for current WP8 hardware.