It’s the burning question of our time: will current Windows Phones be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8, or not? Ever since WMPowerUser republished a Zwame.pt interview with a Portuguese Microsoft evangelist saying that “all actual devices will get upgrade to the next major version of Windows Phone (we´re talking about Apollo)”, we’ve been caught up in a maelstrom of “will it or won’t it upgrade?”.
While the evangelist in question, Nuno Silva, quickly retracted his statement, saying that he was talking about apps and not the OS upgrade, the waters have continued to be muddied by a variety of hints, tweets, claims, and counter claims. What Silva did say, and what has remained true, at least coming from Microsoft, is that:
While we have given Windows Phone developers this preliminary guidance on app compatibility to help them with long term project planning, Microsoft does not have any further news to share on future products at this time.
On the “no upgrade” side of the battle, The Verge, Paul Thurrott, and Mary Jo Foley have all said that they are hearing from their sources that there will indeed be no upgrade path from Windows Phone 7.5 devices to Windows Phone 8.
But there have also been a number of recent indications that the opposite may be true, at least for some devices, Nokia among them.
On April 15th, Nokia India hinted, at least, that the Nokia 800 might be upgradeable:
Then, on April 20th, Nokia evangelist and developer from Spain, @joaoluisc, tweeted that the Nokia Lumia 610, 710, 800, and 900 are “getting #WP8”, and that the info was coming “From a confidential insider source that I trust 200%”.
WMPowerUser also reported a tip and asked if it’s possible that “today’s high end WP7 handsets become tomorrow’s low-end WP8 phones”:
Our tipster have apparently spoken to HTC and Nokia reps in South Africa, and have been told they will not be launching the HTC Titan or Nokia Lumia 900 handsets officially in the country until Windows Phone 8 becomes available, at which point they will come pre-loaded with the OS.
Nokia Saudi Arabia was asked about the arrival of the Nokia Lumia 900.
They responded that the Nokia Lumia 900 will be available in October with the Windows Phone 8 update and with 100% Arabic support.
So while Microsoft isn’t officially saying anything, but apparently unofficially saying “no upgrade”, there’s at least some indication coming from various Twitter sources that at least some phones might be upgradeable.
So which way to lean? While we’re not sure that all current Windows Phone devices could or should be upgraded, it seems like the second generation phones, especially the ones with front facing cameras (almost a necessity for Skype) could be upgrade targets. While the carriers may not want to upgrade any phone, ever, certainly Nokia will be pushing hard for making its customer base happy. Since the newer Mango phones will have a year or more left on their contracts, Nokia owners won’t like being left out in the cold after buying a Nokia 900, say, only months before Apollo comes out.
What do you believe? Will all Windows Phones become Apollo Phones? Will only the latest versions be upgradeable? Or will Microsoft, Nokia, and the carriers leave current Windows Phone users out in the cold?