Wednesday 31 October 2012

Windows Phone 7.8 OTA update may be delayed

With the new Windows Phone 8 platform recently being launched, Microsoft is creating an ecosystem with its devices. However, at the keynote, Microsoft did not provide any information about Windows Phone 7.8. This would come as disappointing news for those who have taken the plunge with Windows Phone 7 devices such as the range of Nokia Lumias, Samsung Windows Phone devices and others. A recent report by WPDang states that these handsets will not be updated to Windows Phone 7.8 as well in the near future.

As per the report, the over the air (OTA) update will not be issued immediately. Instead, the manufacturers will focus on launching devices running on the Windows Phone 7.8 platform before issuing updates to existing devices. Hopefully, the wait for getting Windows Phone 7.8 on existing devices will not be very long as these handsets will not receive Windows Phone 8 at all.

None of the existing WP 7 devices, including the Nokia 900, are eligible for a Windows Phone 8 update. In order to avoid a riot outside their stores, Microsoft promptly announced Windows Phone 7.8, a sort of ‘value pack’, if you will, for existing devices. All handsets running WP 7.5 or Mango will be upgradeable to WP 7.8 and one of the new features that the update brings with it is the new customizable homescreen from WP 8. Users of the Lumia 800 and other such devices will be able to resize the homescreen widgets as well as choose between different colour schemes for better personalization and this goes for all Nokia Lumia handsets.

In an interview with The Verge, Greg Sullivan explains this decision, “The nature of the investment [in Windows Phone 8] is primarily in areas that are not exploitable by existing hardware. To do the work to bring all of those elements to a platform that can't exploit them wasn't necessarily the most efficient use of resource.”

While we understand that WP 8 is a completely different beast, altogether, it’s surprising that Microsoft couldn’t optimise it for single-core handsets. Perhaps it was the amount of RAM and not an issue with the CPU. Who knows, perhaps someone will manage to strip it down and port it over to older handsets. Not everyone cares about dual-core on their phones, NFC and all that jazz, so for them, the WP 7.8 update is more than welcome. “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,” said Sullivan. This should keep many WP 7 users happy for the time being, until they decide if they need to take the WP 8 plunge.

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