Since Windows blogger Paul Thurrott called Microsoft out last week for not providing more details on an important update to older Windows Phones called Windows Phone 7.8, there's been a lot of discussion as to whether or not Microsoft can deliver the software in a timely manner.
A little background: Windows Phone 7 devices are not compatible with Windows Phone 8, the new mobile OS that launched about a month ago. Windows Phone 7.8 is supposed to bring some major features found in Windows Phone 8 to older Windows Phones such as a customizable home screen.
There are some rumblings that the update called Windows Phone 7.8 could come as early as this week, and Microsoft might be announcing something soon, according to TechCrunch.
In short, once you get Windows Phone 7.8 on your device, you shouldn't expect too much more from Microsoft. That's bad news for early adopters because they're going to miss out on new Windows Phone features as Microsoft continues to improve Windows Phone 8. It's even worse news if you bought a phone like the hyped Lumia 900 that launched in April.
Now for the good news.
If you buy a phone running running WP8, you won't have to worry about being left out of the next upgrade cycle.
That's because Microsoft designed WP8 to be compatible with advanced hardware like multi-core processors and HD screens that should keep the OS viable for several hardware generations to come. So if you buy one of Nokia's new Lumia phones or the HTC Windows Phone 8x, you're all set. Microsoft is really good at making sure its hardware partners maintain strict spec guidelines, so software updates can be pushed out to all devices at the same time, just like Apple does with iPhones and iPads. That's a good thing.
If Windows Phone 8 feels like a giant do-over for Windows Phone, that's because it is.
Windows Phone 7 failed to gain any real traction after nearly two years, and Microsoft needed to abandon its Windows Phone 7 customers and come up with a more powerful and competitive OS. That's what Windows Phone 8 is. And if you were lucky enough to hold out for WP8, there's a good chance you won't have to go through the same disappointment as WP7 owners.
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