Windows Phone 8 “Apollo” coming to 1st or 2nd Gen devices?

By Kip Kniskern | In Mobile | Posted March 10, 2012 59 comments

cebitOne big question upcoming with the expected holiday season release of Windows Phone 8, code named “Apollo”, is whether or not current devices, either “1st generation” (that is, those devices that shipped at or near the initial launch of Windows Phone, for example the Samsung Focus), or “2nd gen” (that is, post “Mango” devices like the Nokia Lumias) will be upgradeable.

Microsoft has publically said that all Windows Phone apps will run on Apollo, but has not said publically if older handsets will get the new OS.  But this week a German Windows Phone enthusiast from WP7app.de, while attending the CeBIT conference in Hanover, Germany, and visiting a Microsoft booth,  was able to get a “Microsoft Manager” to admit that older handsets will indeed be able to be updated.  In an only slightly nonsensical Bing translation of the German post, he explains:

I got two pretty interesting answers to my question on a there present Manager of the stand it because would look like Apollo with the update to Windows phone 8.

On the one hand, yet no exact date for the update were called the staff, the objective is however end of 2012. On the other hand, second generation equipment will definitely (e.g. all Lumia phones, HTC TITAN and radar etc.) the update in "any form" first generation devices, very probably also get. It is however must assume that some new features hardware related, not on older devices will work. As an example, use the front camera in Skype was called here, which is not for all devices for understandable reasons. This is also evidence that Skye will be integrated into Windows phone 8 into the operating system.

A second “Manager” at the booth was not able to confirm the information, taking more of a company line and saying that “there is still no official information intended for the public”.  Indeed we have to take this comment by an un-named booth exhibitor with the somewhat dubious title of “Manager”  in a conference in Germany with a grain or 2 or 10 of salt.

But still, while we would welcome the opportunity to upgrade our 1st gen phone, of course it would not provide the latest and greatest in hardware, including front facing phones, better graphics, etc., etc.  In fact we’re waiting anxiously for Apollo to ship with a new 3rd generation of phones, conveniently right when our 2 year contract with AT&T is up.  Upgrading 2nd generation phones like the Nokia 800 and 900 does seem to make a lot of sense, especially as they will only be in the middle of their contract cycles, and as it would help to differentiate Windows Phones from the fragmented Android market.

What do you think, should Microsoft make sure that Apollo is as backwards compatible as possible?

(via WMPowerUser)

Posted March 10th, 2012 at 10:24 am
  • Brandon

    One thing that might help to solidify this and also provide even more information to those concerned is whether or not MS plans to do another “developer beta” w/ Apollo as they did w/ Mango – it allowed everybody w/ a WP Dev account to get *legitimate* updates to beta versions of the OS to not only test out their hardware and provide feedback to MS on what units accepted it, but also test out our apps on the OS before it became available an ensure that what we’d published was ready to go at launch time.
    If MS does another dev beta w/ Apollo, you can almost bank on the fact that that means Apollo is compatible w/ pre-Gen3 devices, as devs would all have gen1 and gen2. Then, by doing this, any restrictions they put in place on the beta (eg: only available to gen2 devices, perhaps) would likely be how the full Apollo would be distributed.
    This would also give us answers *before* Apollo ships on just *how* compatible/incompatible present apps will be on the new version.

    I’ve tweeted at Joe Belfiore regarding this to no avail, perhaps the folks at liveside could push some more buttons and see what comes of it?

  • Brandon

    One thing that might help to solidify this and also provide even more information to those concerned is whether or not MS plans to do another “developer beta” w/ Apollo as they did w/ Mango – it allowed everybody w/ a WP Dev account to get *legitimate* updates to beta versions of the OS to not only test out their hardware and provide feedback to MS on what units accepted it, but also test out our apps on the OS before it became available an ensure that what we’d published was ready to go at launch time.
    If MS does another dev beta w/ Apollo, you can almost bank on the fact that that means Apollo is compatible w/ pre-Gen3 devices, as devs would all have gen1 and gen2. Then, by doing this, any restrictions they put in place on the beta (eg: only available to gen2 devices, perhaps) would likely be how the full Apollo would be distributed.
    This would also give us answers *before* Apollo ships on just *how* compatible/incompatible present apps will be on the new version.

    I’ve tweeted at Joe Belfiore regarding this to no avail, perhaps the folks at liveside could push some more buttons and see what comes of it?

  • slimshady322

    I think 95% of apps will be compatible with Low End devices introduced with Tango (such as the Nokia Lumia 610 with 265MB of RAM), all apps will be compatible with Windows Phone 8 devices

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      Yes you’re right. I’ve slightly fixed the article. Thanks!

  • slimshady322

    I think 95% of apps will be compatible with Low End devices introduced with Tango (such as the Nokia Lumia 610 with 265MB of RAM), all apps will be compatible with Windows Phone 8 devices

    • damaster

      Yes you’re right. I’ve slightly fixed the article. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/StLDreiling Will Dreiling

    Worth noting too that for many, AT&T upgrade discounts begin at 18 months. So if even Gen 2 devices aren’t upgradeable to WP8, anyone who adopted WP7 w/in the first 6 months will either have to wait before pulling the trigger on an upgrade to WP8 hardware (in my case, at least 4-5 months), be content w/ a 2-year contract on an already obsolete WP7 device, or go w/ another platform. I was planning on getting the latest Nokia device available the moment I was upgrade eligible, but I won’t until Microsoft confirms an upgrade path for at least current generation WP7 devices. As the former owner of a WM6.1 phone, and as a friend of several Pre and Pre 2 owners, I know there’s nothing worse than spending 2 years on a dead mobile platform. Devs w/ razor-thin margins can’t afford to waste time on a platform that is a dead end, which regretably is what WP7 will be if Microsoft doesn’t upgrade existing Gen 2 hardware.

    • lumpaywk

      MS has already said all current handests will get the next major update, they have also already said that all updates will roll out from them at the same time and so far both have been true and there is no reason to think otherwise. Android on the other hand has proven over and over that if your lucky enough to get an update at all you are still left waiting months maybe even a year so by time you get the update its already out of date. So if updates are what worries you then MS is the safest bet of any (even apple on purpose bricked old handsets to force people tio buy new hardware).

  • http://dreilingstl.tumblr.com/ Will Dreiling

    Worth noting too that for many, AT&T upgrade discounts begin at 18 months. So if even Gen 2 devices aren’t upgradeable to WP8, anyone who adopted WP7 w/in the first 6 months will either have to wait before pulling the trigger on an upgrade to WP8 hardware (in my case, at least 4-5 months), be content w/ a 2-year contract on an already obsolete WP7 device, or go w/ another platform. I was planning on getting the latest Nokia device available the moment I was upgrade eligible, but I won’t until Microsoft confirms an upgrade path for at least current generation WP7 devices. As the former owner of a WM6.1 phone, and as a friend of several Pre and Pre 2 owners, I know there’s nothing worse than spending 2 years on a dead mobile platform. Devs w/ razor-thin margins can’t afford to waste time on a platform that is a dead end, which regretably is what WP7 will be if Microsoft doesn’t upgrade existing Gen 2 hardware.

    • lumpaywk

      MS has already said all current handests will get the next major update, they have also already said that all updates will roll out from them at the same time and so far both have been true and there is no reason to think otherwise. Android on the other hand has proven over and over that if your lucky enough to get an update at all you are still left waiting months maybe even a year so by time you get the update its already out of date. So if updates are what worries you then MS is the safest bet of any (even apple on purpose bricked old handsets to force people tio buy new hardware).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donald-St-Maurice/875440695 Donald St-Maurice

    pretty sure the crappy htc surround won’t get the update as usual, the zune freezing bug still hasn’t been fixed since last september so…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donald-St-Maurice/875440695 Donald St-Maurice

    pretty sure the crappy htc surround won’t get the update as usual, the zune freezing bug still hasn’t been fixed since last september so…

  • quppa

    If Apollo is compatible with second generation devices, I see no reason why it shouldn’t work with first generation devices. Hardware specifications haven’t changed much between generations, apart from the addition of front-facing cameras (there were phones released late last year with 1 GHz processors – the same speed as first generation phones).

  • quppa

    If Apollo is compatible with second generation devices, I see no reason why it shouldn’t work with first generation devices. Hardware specifications haven’t changed much between generations, apart from the addition of front-facing cameras (there were phones released late last year with 1 GHz processors – the same speed as first generation phones).

  • Avatar Roku

    At first I thought they would limit app availability by OS version, but now we know from Tango phones that they are limiting by RAM. This makes me think all phones will be upgraded to WP8 and some new apps will require more than 512MB RAM to be installed.

  • Avatar Roku

    At first I thought they would limit app availability by OS version, but now we know from Tango phones that they are limiting by RAM. This makes me think all phones will be upgraded to WP8 and some new apps will require more than 512MB RAM to be installed.

  • http://disqus.com/samirsshah समीर शाह

    Go for PC-Tablet-Mobile unification, if that requires to have partial compatibility with previous generation, then be it. Unification is the holy grail and Microsoft has almost reached that with PC-Tablet Metro. Unification will SERVE MICROSOFT FOR YEARS AND YEARS.

  • http://www.slideshare.net/samirsshah Samir Shah

    Go for PC-Tablet-Mobile unification, if that requires to have partial compatibility with previous generation, then be it. Unification is the holy grail and Microsoft has almost reached that with PC-Tablet Metro. Unification will SERVE MICROSOFT FOR YEARS AND YEARS.

  • Alexandru D.

    For some time I am seeing  “1st or 2nd generation phone”.
    I have a HTC 7 Mozart with 576 RAM with Mango.
    How do I know what generation is my phone ?
    Thanks !

    • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

      Not sure that Microsoft has ever used the terms “1st gen” or “2nd gen”, but we use the terms here to mean “phones that came out pre-Mango” or “phones that came with Mango installed”.  Your Mozart was an initial launch, and thus a “1st gen” phone.

      • Damaster – LiveSide.net

        Yup what Kip said. You can also check out our Windows Phone Device Gallery http://www.liveside.net/windows-phone/ - the last column in the table indicates which “gen” it is. 7.0 means “1st gen” and 7.5 means “2nd gen”.

        • Alexandru D.

          My phone had WP 7.0 installed and now i have Mango.
          Thanks for the replies !

    • Syed Shoaib

      Check whether mozart has a first generation snapdragon inside it or the second generation… 

      • iTrollHard

        That’s not what makes a Windows Phone 1st or 2nd generation.  It’s what version of Windows Phone came pre-installed.  Windows Phone 7.0 = 1st generation.
        Windows Phone 7.5 = 2nd generation.

  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandrudionisie Alexandru Dionisie

    For some time I am seeing  “1st or 2nd generation phone”.
    I have a HTC 7 Mozart with 576 RAM with Mango.
    How do I know what generation is my phone ?
    Thanks !

    • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

      Not sure that Microsoft has ever used the terms “1st gen” or “2nd gen”, but we use the terms here to mean “phones that came out pre-Mango” or “phones that came with Mango installed”.  Your Mozart was an initial launch, and thus a “1st gen” phone.

      • damaster

        Yup what Kip said. You can also check out our Windows Phone Device Gallery http://www.liveside.net/windows-phone/ - the last column in the table indicates which “gen” it is. 7.0 means “1st gen” and 7.5 means “2nd gen”.

        • https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandrudionisie Alexandru Dionisie

          My phone had WP 7.0 installed and now i have Mango.
          Thanks for the replies !

    • Syed Shoaib

      Check whether mozart has a first generation snapdragon inside it or the second generation… 

      • iTrollHard

        That’s not what makes a Windows Phone 1st or 2nd generation.  It’s what version of Windows Phone came pre-installed.  Windows Phone 7.0 = 1st generation.
        Windows Phone 7.5 = 2nd generation.

  • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

    Not sure that Microsoft has ever used the terms “1st gen” or “2nd gen”, but we use the terms here to mean “phones that came out pre-Mango” or “phones that came with Mango installed”.  Your Mozart was an initial launch, and thus a “1st gen” phone.

  • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

    Not sure that Microsoft has ever used the terms “1st gen” or “2nd gen”, but we use the terms here to mean “phones that came out pre-Mango” or “phones that came with Mango installed”.  Your Mozart was an initial launch, and thus a “1st gen” phone.

  • Batiger05

    It would not make sense (even if it were easy to do) to allow 1st generation phones to upgrade because it will probably both hurt their performance on the more demanding OS and discourage owners to upgrade to 3rd generation phones as soon as they become eligible.  On the other hand, 2nd generation devices should be expected to get the upgrade since owners would not be immediately eligible to upgrade anyway and the slightly better hardware would probably run Apollo satisfactorily.  I would guess that the powers-at-be are shooting for a balance between maintaining optimum performance (independent of OS) and promoting current Windows Phone users to buy a new phone.

    • Batiger05

      I should add that I am a happy Windows Phone user, and since I will be eligible for a new phone in Jan 2013, I would prefer just getting Apollo on a brand new dual core device rather than upgrading my Samsung Focus (which is excellent on Mango anyways).  That said, if I were buying a Lumia 900 now, I had better get the Apollo OS when it comes out!

    • lumpaywk

      There is nothing to suggest that wp8 will be more demanding, in fact a lot to suggest the exact opposit. MS Has been going to great lenghs to lower hardware specs not only on mobile devices but on PC’s as well hence why windows vista is the most power hungary, Windows 7 is less so and windows 8 much less so. If the rumour is tru that they will swap out the kernal then we could look at a dramtic drop in hardware requirement. The only reason android sucks more juice is because it is rushed out with as many features you can squeeze in with no real thought to how they work and how much power they use. The android world is if its running slow give it more power but this is how we end up with massivly bloated OS’s and MS has already learnt this lesson.

  • Batiger05

    It would not make sense (even if it were easy to do) to allow 1st generation phones to upgrade because it will probably both hurt their performance on the more demanding OS and discourage owners to upgrade to 3rd generation phones as soon as they become eligible.  On the other hand, 2nd generation devices should be expected to get the upgrade since owners would not be immediately eligible to upgrade anyway and the slightly better hardware would probably run Apollo satisfactorily.  I would guess that the powers-at-be are shooting for a balance between maintaining optimum performance (independent of OS) and promoting current Windows Phone users to buy a new phone.

    • Batiger05

      I should add that I am a happy Windows Phone user, and since I will be eligible for a new phone in Jan 2013, I would prefer just getting Apollo on a brand new dual core device rather than upgrading my Samsung Focus (which is excellent on Mango anyways).  That said, if I were buying a Lumia 900 now, I had better get the Apollo OS when it comes out!

    • lumpaywk

      There is nothing to suggest that wp8 will be more demanding, in fact a lot to suggest the exact opposit. MS Has been going to great lenghs to lower hardware specs not only on mobile devices but on PC’s as well hence why windows vista is the most power hungary, Windows 7 is less so and windows 8 much less so. If the rumour is tru that they will swap out the kernal then we could look at a dramtic drop in hardware requirement. The only reason android sucks more juice is because it is rushed out with as many features you can squeeze in with no real thought to how they work and how much power they use. The android world is if its running slow give it more power but this is how we end up with massivly bloated OS’s and MS has already learnt this lesson.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

    All mobile devices are moving towards a multi-core world so I think MS should do everything they can to optimize Apollo for that scenario.  Currently, Windows Phone has no more than 4% market share so it isn’t like MS has to worry about angering a large user base.  I would love to see them focus on making Apollo shine in its full glory on killer new hardware.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

    All mobile devices are moving towards a multi-core world so I think MS should do everything they can to optimize Apollo for that scenario.  Currently, Windows Phone has no more than 4% market share so it isn’t like MS has to worry about angering a large user base.  I would love to see them focus on making Apollo shine in its full glory on killer new hardware.  

  • lumpaywk

    OMG this issue is still being reported on? It came out after Eldar said in a blog post that they wont be. Eldar has some credability in the phone space except he has a vendetta against MS and spouts random rubbish to try and destroy them. This is a cas ein point and MS replied to him putting him straight, but its to late the cats out the bag. On from that everyone wanted to look like they had news so reported the same nonesence like it was there own. MS has always said that the phones will all get all the updates at around the same time and deployed by MS. Why we keep thinking its gonna go down the Android route after all this time that MS has kept to that word i dont know. I wont look up the quote now from ms but it read something like “All current windows phones will get the next major update” The major updates are the yearly ones first being Mango next being Apollo.

  • lumpaywk

    OMG this issue is still being reported on? It came out after Eldar said in a blog post that they wont be. Eldar has some credability in the phone space except he has a vendetta against MS and spouts random rubbish to try and destroy them. This is a cas ein point and MS replied to him putting him straight, but its to late the cats out the bag. On from that everyone wanted to look like they had news so reported the same nonesence like it was there own. MS has always said that the phones will all get all the updates at around the same time and deployed by MS. Why we keep thinking its gonna go down the Android route after all this time that MS has kept to that word i dont know. I wont look up the quote now from ms but it read something like “All current windows phones will get the next major update” The major updates are the yearly ones first being Mango next being Apollo.

  • Brettstr42

    I really hope the update comes to the 2nd gen phones. I want to pick up the Titan II this month and if they deny the update well that just might a Android switch make. To have two great phones come out 6 months before the next major update and then not give said phones the update would be a crying shame. On another, slightly different topic, isn’t Tango the next update or is it just a minor update? Thought the Lumia and Titan II were said to include the Tango update. Anyway, Apollo better come out for these phones. MS most certainly will loose many a customer should they deny updates to newer phones.

    • iTrollHard

      Yet you’re talking about switching to Android. Even WITHOUT an update to Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 7/7.5 is a far better user experience than Android 4 on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon.  I live in an area with LTE.  No matter the presence of LTE or the most recent version of Android, I really miss the HTC Arrive I had on Sprint before moving to Verizon (due to better coverage).  Due to my impatience, I did not get the HTC Tropy because Verizon doesn’t carry them in-store. 

    • iTrollHard

      Yet you’re talking about switching to Android. Even WITHOUT an update to Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 7/7.5 is a far better user experience than Android 4 on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon.  I live in an area with LTE.  No matter the presence of LTE or the most recent version of Android, I really miss the HTC Arrive I had on Sprint before moving to Verizon (due to better coverage).  Due to my impatience, I did not get the HTC Tropy because Verizon doesn’t carry them in-store. 

  • Brettstr42

    I really hope the update comes to the 2nd gen phones. I want to pick up the Titan II this month and if they deny the update well that just might a Android switch make. To have two great phones come out 6 months before the next major update and then not give said phones the update would be a crying shame. On another, slightly different topic, isn’t Tango the next update or is it just a minor update? Thought the Lumia and Titan II were said to include the Tango update. Anyway, Apollo better come out for these phones. MS most certainly will loose many a customer should they deny updates to newer phones.

    • iTrollHard

      Yet you’re talking about switching to Android. Even WITHOUT an update to Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 7/7.5 is a far better user experience than Android 4 on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon.  I live in an area with LTE.  No matter the presence of LTE or the most recent version of Android, I really miss the HTC Arrive I had on Sprint before moving to Verizon (due to better coverage).  Due to my impatience, I did not get the HTC Tropy because Verizon doesn’t carry them in-store. 

  • That Phone Is A Brick

    Why would anyone in their right mind buy a Windows Phone that cannot be upgraded to the next OS?

    • damaster

      Ask the millions of people who bought Android and iPhones that cannot be upgraded to the latest Ice Cream Sandwich and iOS5.

      • Shameer Mulji

        As far as iOS goes, apple does a decent job of supporting their device for at least 2 to 3 years with regular updates. They deserve credit for that.

        As far as android is concerned, that’s a different story. The upgrade path on that platform is inconsistent & unpredictable.

  • That Phone Is A Brick

    Why would anyone in their right mind buy a Windows Phone that cannot be upgraded to the next OS?

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      Ask the millions of people who bought Android and iPhones that cannot be upgraded to the latest Ice Cream Sandwich and iOS5.

      • Shameer Mulji

        As far as iOS goes, apple does a decent job of supporting their device for at least 2 to 3 years with regular updates. They deserve credit for that.

        As far as android is concerned, that’s a different story. The upgrade path on that platform is inconsistent & unpredictable.

  • Robyn

    As someone who has already been burned after purchasing an HTC HD2, based the widely and endlessly diseminated reports that “sure, it will run WP7″, I can say that these “non-confirmation confirmations” by shadowy nobodys are worth exactly nothing.

  • Robyn

    As someone who has already been burned after purchasing an HTC HD2, based the widely and endlessly diseminated reports that “sure, it will run WP7″, I can say that these “non-confirmation confirmations” by shadowy nobodys are worth exactly nothing.

  • Phillip Tracy

    Absolutely necessary for backwards compatibility.

  • Phillip Tracy

    Absolutely necessary for backwards compatibility.

  • http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110819035644AA8qMZ6 joycez meyer

    All the current devices will be capable to run WP8, but u have to know there are (or will be ) two “versions” of Windows Phone. High performance, and low performance. 

  • http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110819035644AA8qMZ6 joycez meyer

    All the current devices will be capable to run WP8, but u have to know there are (or will be ) two “versions” of Windows Phone. High performance, and low performance.