The trouble with Windows Phone 8
Microsoft confirmed that existing Windows Phone devices won’t get upgraded to Windows Phone 8. That includes the Nokia Lumia 900, which launched just two months ago. Microsoft is releasing an update, Windows Phone 7.8, which will have many WP8 features, but that may not be enough to satisfy early adopters.
Windows Phone is still a fledgling platform, even though it’s been out since the Fall of 2010. Consumers who decided to buy a Lumia 900 over the far more mature iPhone or Android phones put a certain amount of faith in Microsoft and Nokia. Now that faith has been betrayed. Losing the love of a handful of users is no sweat for Microsoft, but for Nokia it could be disastrous.
What’s even worse, it seems that Nokia knew it was building obsolete devices when it joined up with Microsoft last year, sources tell TechCrunch. At that point, Nokia had no choice but to agree to Microsoft’s terms: It desperately needed a new mobile OS. But if true, the arrangement would validate the greatest fears Nokia’s fans had about the Microsoft deal. Nokia effectively sold its soul to build the Lumia phones.
The far bigger problem for both Nokia and Microsoft now is that they’ve triggered the Osborne effect. Now that every knows that Windows Phone 8 will only be available on new devices this Fall, who’s going to buy a Windows Phone before then? Chumps, that’s who.
Both Nokia and Microsoft are obviously aware of the potential issues following the Windows 8 announcement, though that doesn’t seem to mean much. In response to a pleading letter from a Lumia buyer (via Engadget), Nokia CEO Stephen Elop wrote:
Apparently, a long-term experience to Elop means a phone that’s made obsolete in less than a year.
Looking below the Surface
Then there’s Surface, Microsoft’s bold attempt to finally build its own PC hardware. Like many, I was intrigued by the tablet (though not as much as VentureBeat’s John Koetsier, who went ga-ga for it). The Surface’s design is slick, the accessories are actually innovative, I can’t wait to touch-type the heck out of that keyboard cover, and in many ways, it offers a glimpse at the future of computing. Check out our hands-on with the Surface for more details on how amazing-looking this device is.
The Surface with Windows 8 Pro, for example, is no different than a standard Windows laptop. You’re not compromising productivity like you do with the iPad or Android tablets.