Microsoft has disappointed many owners of Windows Phone smartphones, announcing that the next mobile operating system – Windows Phone 8 – won’t work on any of the current generation smartphones. As a result of the news released by Microsoft, Nokia’s stock ticker collapsed within a few days at the lowest level in the last 16 years.
Apparently indifferent to the damage caused to its main hardware partner, Microsoft officials explained why Windows Phone 8 cannot work on current generation of smartphones. They say the main reason is the fundamental changes brought to the architecture of their OS.
Although it looks somewhat similar, Windows Phone 8 is built on the foundations of the Windows 8 RT system (tablets with ARM processors), which in its turn was created using a Windows NT kernel, just like the one found in the Windows operating systems for PCs.
However, Windows Phone 7 is based on Windows CE (a reduced version of Windows 95), as well as the ‘old’ Windows Mobile.
Unlike WP 7, the core used for Windows Phone 8 supports multi-core processors and advanced graphics cores, high resolution screens, support for microSD cards and NFC connectivity – all of them being features that require new hardware. According to Microsoft, although WP8’s adaptation to current hardware is theoretically possible, the investment would be too expensive and the benefits to small to justify the effort.
In return, Microsoft decided to develop in parallel Windows Phone 7.8 – a WP7 edition with WP8 interface. Those who install the update package will enjoy the new Windows 8-style of Start Screen and can continue to use applications designed for Windows Phone 7.
Unfortunately, none of the new applications created for Windows Phone 8 will work with WP7. This means that users will either be happy with the current collection of applications or will invest in a smartphone with Windows Phone 8. The same rule applies to the games created for WP8 handsets, which have too advanced graphics to be rendered by the graphics processor installed on a previous-generation smartphone.
As expected, Windows Phone ecosystem’s fragmentation blows up the entire offer of smartphones with Windows Phone 7.x, whether we are talking about models from Nokia or other manufacturers. Until updating the smartphones offer with models compatible with Windows Phone 8, the current supply of products is rapidly becoming undesirable for any user informed, eager to have unrestricted access to applications in the Windows Phone 8 era.