With the Windows Phone Summit wrapping up in California, we’re starting to see the various bits of information about what’s next for current generation Windows Phone devices blend into a cohesive story. So here’s what we’ve, been able to piece together so far.

Microsoft seems to have been hammering this fact home, and so we will too. No Windows Phone 7.0 or 7.5 devices will be upgradable to the next big release from Microsoft. Instead these devices will be treated to a smaller update that will allow them to use a newly updated Start Screen. Currently Microsoft isn’t discussing what other features might be included in Windows Phone 7.8.

There are also particulars in the way Windows Phone 7.8 devices will interact with the Windows Phone Marketplace once it’s Windows Phone 8 counterparts hit the streets. Apps that are written specifically for Windows Phone 8 will not be compatible with Windows Phone 7.5 devices. Developers will be able to continue deploy apps for Windows Phone 7.8 devices, though so the impact of splitting the application ecosystem should be minimal in the short term.

Those are really all of the details we have for older devices at this point. We’re sure a lot of you aren’t into too thrilled about the line being drawn in the sand, (particularly Nokia Lumia 900 and 910 users).

6 Comments on “Introducing Windows Phone 7.8”

  1. All devices will be using Windows Update from here on out though, according to Paul Thurrott. So that should be interesting. It leads one to believe that Microsoft could, in theory, trickle out new features to those still on 7.x, like maybe IE10, or an improved version (9.5?). With the carriers out of the update picture on legacy devices, it leaves Microsoft with more room to support legacy devices, until the WP8 ecosystem is growing and thriving.

  2. I think it makes sense (while sucking for current users) It is smart to start a “next phase” with a clean slate to provide a solid ecosystem for Windows Phone users. Creating a design that is limited to older hardware specs prevents an ecosystem from progressing. Microsoft could have easily left Windows 7.5 in the dust. Their move to release a “partial 7.8 release” tells me they are still dedicated to their “old” users, while remaining strongly dedicated to advancing and strengthening the ability of their future devices. In my eyes Microsoft is attempting to keep both sides as strong as possible and I see little reason to complain.

  3. Microsoft knows that really old WP7 users, like my self I have a Surround, are getting ready to have there phones become upgradable. In November, I am able to get another phone if I sign up for 2 more years on my contract.

    • Exactly. You got a Surround? Let us pray… Seriously though. It’s the best thing they can do for us. Nokia + Windows Phone 8 specs equals the most awesome devices you’ve ever seen.

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