A riveting round of dueling rumors was played out today over news related to the upcoming Windows Phone 8 upgrade, codenamed Apollo. On one extreme, TheNextWeb announced that a Microsoft representative stated that all current Windows Phones will be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8. On the other side of the spectrum is The Verge, which is reporting that none of the current Windows Phones on the market will receive Windows Phone 8 upgrades.
TheNextWeb‘s report comes courtesy of WMPoweruser, a website dedicated to all things Windows Phone. They reported an exchange between “Microsoft Evangelist” Nuno Silva, based in Portugal, and Portuguese mobile forum Zwame,
Q: In terms of devices, who today have one is it expectable that…
A: What Microsoft said/stated and what I’m allowed to tell you is that all actual devices will get upgrade to the next major version of Windows Phone (we´re talking about Apollo)
Q: When you say actual devices. Are all that came out to market?
A: Are all that came out. Since the first generation that were bought. The LGs and SAMSUNGs.. OMNIA 7 which were the first devices with Windows Phone reaching the market.
Basically, everything from “Microsoft Evangelist” to “Portuguese Mobile Forum” strongly suggests that this is not necessarily what Microsoft has in mind for Windows Phone 8. Not to categorically state that what Silva said isn’t true, but anything from a source that far-flung from Redmond needs to be viewed with heavy skepticism.
Alternately, The Verge reports that a “trusted source close to Microsoft” claims that the opposite is true – that no current Windows Phones, including those running Mango, will be able to run Windows Phone 8. There’s nothing quoted in the story that backs up that claim, which makes this story about as believable as the one that preceded it.
Both claims sound like stretches. Windows Phone 8 coming to all Windows Phone handsets ever released sounds like a pipe dream. That said, it seems unlikely that even the most recent Windows Phone handsets would be ineligible for an upgrade to Windows Phone 8. That move that would essentially kill sales for those phones, including the popular Nokia Lumia 900, while users wait for Windows Phone 8 handsets – or just throw their hands up and turn to Apple or Google. Granted, the Windows Phone 8 platform, which will supposedly offer some sort of a unified experience for Windows smartphones, tablets, and PCs, will be a pretty big step up from Mango, but the idea that no current phones will be compatible seems like bad business.
It seems more likely that the process will be no different than most software upgrades – the most recent devices will be Windows Phone 8-ready, while the older ones will be left behind. But then again, I don’t know any more for certain than the sources of the two stories mentioned above.