Photo: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
Earlier this year, Microsoft and Nokia showed off a new flagship Windows Phone, the Lumia 900.This was the phone that was finally going to make the Windows Phone OS a viable contender against Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, they said. The “smartphone betxa test was over,” they said.
A few short months later, we learned the Lumia 900 was dead in the water. Its hardware wasn’t compatible with Windows Phone 8, the new version of the operating system that was set to launch in the fall. In short, Lumia 900 owners and owners of other Windows Phones wouldn’t be eligible for the latest and greatest features found in Microsoft’s best mobile OS to date.
Luckily, Microsoft promised to keep those people happy with a software update to the older Windows Phones called Windows Phone 7.8. That version is supposed to bring some Windows Phone 8 features like a fully-customisable home screen to the Lumia 900 and other last-generation Windows Phones.
But with all the attention on the new generation of Windows Phones running Windows Phone 8, a lot of people (including us) completely forgot about Windows Phone 7.8 until Paul Thurrott brought it up this week. The fact that Microsoft hasn’t mentioned Windows Phone 7.8 in about five months and its refusal to comment on the update since then is a scary omen that it may never arrive.
Microsoft, silence is no way to treat early adopters, the people who are your most loyal customers. It is the most disrespectful thing you can do, in fact. Combined with the weird and continued holes in your ecosystem strategy—the inability to get Xbox Video content on Windows Phone 8 as only one obvious example—it’s unclear to me why you think anyone should support you or your mobile platform.
Microsoft’s intentions were good when it announced Windows Phone 7.8. It clearly didn’t want to punish early Windows Phone adopters. But now it just feels like Microsoft was misleading Windows Phone owners to avoid a bunch of complaints. If Windows Phone 7.8 is coming, Microsoft needs to tell its customers when. If it’s not coming, Microsoft needs to bite the bullet and admit it can’t fulfil its promise.
Anything less would be an insult to those who rushed out and bought a Lumia 900 or other Windows Phone earlier this year.
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