Paul Thurrott: no Apollo for existing Windows Phones

Paul Thurrott: no Apollo for existing Windows PhonesThe Windows Phone “ecosystem” is very much up in the air at the moment, with fragmentation this and compatibility that being discussed here, there and everywhere.

Now Paul Thurrot, reporter, author, podcaster and news editor for Windows IT Pro, says – quite emphatically – that existing Windows Phone handsets will not receive the Apollo update.

Monsieur Thurrott reckons he has it on good authority that early adopters of Windows Phone will be left behind when Windows 8 (codenamed Apollo in the world of smartphones) arrives later in the year.

Paul croons: “Allow me to set the record straight. No. It won’t happen. Not for the Lumia 900, and not for any other existing phone. It won’t happen partially, through an update that will deliver just some features, and it won’t happen for those who wish to pay for such an update. It simply isn’t happening. Sorry. But please don’t email me about this; I’m just the messenger.”

There are three reasons, apparently. Reason the first: it’s not economical. By the time Apollo arrives, there’ll be something like 20 million Windows Phone users. In terms of tailoring and rolling out updates, it’s just not worth it for such a small user base.

Second, the existing hardware is decidedly modest, and Apollo will see Windows Phone handsets sit side by side with Windows 8 tablets and PCs and that. It’s time to go multi-core, man; convergence is the name of the game.

Finally (and this is my favourite reason), Paul says: “wireless carriers would never, ever, ever, ever deliver this update to users.” Ok then.

Of course, nothing is official just yet. Only last week, Microsoft Portugal Developer Evangelist, Nuno Silva, claimed in an interview that existing Windows Phones would be upgraded to Apollo, however the offending video was later pulled. Over to you, Microsoft.

via: Windows IT Pro

Read more about: Nokia Lumia 900Windows PhoneNokia Lumia 610Nokia Lumia 710Nokia Lumia 800

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7 comments

Pondlife  Apr. 24, 2012 at 14:05

Sounds decidedly odd wonder what it offers that the carriers wouldn't want.
Be hard to tell if this impacts on sales of WP7 phones won't it.

RealMatch  Apr. 24, 2012 at 15:35

If confirmed that would appear to be pretty much the death of WP7 and with it Nokia.

Nice going Microsoft.

Pondlife  Apr. 24, 2012 at 15:51

Little wonder that they are in no hurry to confirm it, though I suspect it's true.
That said there's an assumption in some places that it would mean no more wp7 apps immediately, whereas I think as with change to new gen consoles there would be crossover period while wp7 still has more users than wp8.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 24, 2012 at 16:28

I assume it is TRUE. Pault T is a Microsoft hardcore defender. If he dishes out bad MS news, it is probably true.

satchef1  Apr. 25, 2012 at 05:35

Paul Thurrot doesn't suggest that this is the death of Windows Phone 7. Actually, I'll go further than that; no credible source has claimed that Windows Phone 7 has no future. It's looking likely that Windows Phone 7 handsets won't receive the upgrade to Apollo, but it appears that the main reason for this is hardware requirement. Based on this, it would appear that Windows Phone 7 very much has a future; if Apollo won't run on Windows Phone 7 hardware then Apollo is no good for the lower half of the market. Windows Phone 7, on the other hand, is perfect for the lower half of the market. It scales really well on low-cost hardware. The Tango update is probably the biggest hint that this is how things will pan out. Why go to all the bother of improving memory scaling, adding low-resolution support etc, only to pull the plug on the platform 3 months later? That isn't exactly being cost-effective.

My guess; Apollo is the new high-end platform tying in with Windows 8 and the next Xbox dashboard update. It will be designed to compete directly with iOS6 and Android 5.0 devices. Existing Windows Phone 7 devices will continue to receive updates for another 18-24 months, with new handsets on this platform being aimed squarely at the low-mid areas of the handset market. During this time, hardware costs should come down sufficiently to allow low-end handsets based on the Apollo fork of Windows Phone.

Personally, if this is the case then I can't really find cause for complaint. There's two things I wouldn't want to see; all existing WP7 hardware being abandoned, or a stripped down version of Apollo hitting WP7 hardware, complete with the sort of performance that makes the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 1st iPad 'fun' to use these days. Other than that, I'm happy.

corgi74  Apr. 25, 2012 at 13:35

Paul Thurrot doesn't suggest that this is the death of Windows Phone 7. Actually, I'll go further than that; no credible source has claimed that Windows Phone 7 has no future. It's looking likely that Windows Phone 7 handsets won't receive the upgrade to Apollo, but it appears that the main reason for this is hardware requirement. Based on this, it would appear that Windows Phone 7 very much has a future; if Apollo won't run on Windows Phone 7 hardware then Apollo is no good for the lower half of the market. Windows Phone 7, on the other hand, is perfect for the lower half of the market. It scales really well on low-cost hardware. The Tango update is probably the biggest hint that this is how things will pan out. Why go to all the bother of improving memory scaling, adding low-resolution support etc, only to pull the plug on the platform 3 months later? That isn't exactly being cost-effective.

My guess; Apollo is the new high-end platform tying in with Windows 8 and the next Xbox dashboard update. It will be designed to compete directly with iOS6 and Android 5.0 devices. Existing Windows Phone 7 devices will continue to receive updates for another 18-24 months, with new handsets on this platform being aimed squarely at the low-mid areas of the handset market. During this time, hardware costs should come down sufficiently to allow low-end handsets based on the Apollo fork of Windows Phone.

Personally, if this is the case then I can't really find cause for complaint. There's two things I wouldn't want to see; all existing WP7 hardware being abandoned, or a stripped down version of Apollo hitting WP7 hardware, complete with the sort of performance that makes the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 1st iPad 'fun' to use these days. Other than that, I'm happy.


Mmmm, Fragmenty
(Insert Homer Simpson gargle noise here...)

RealMatch  Apr. 25, 2012 at 13:46

And when your userbase is so small to begin with, fragmenting it is even more dangerous.

Plus even in the short term, while the the Lumina 800 & 900 may be nice, are many people really going to spend money on a high-end WP7 handset if the OS will be obsoleted in a couple of months by the release of WP8 ?

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