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No upgrade to Windows Phone 8 – So why exactly would I buy a Nokia Lumia phone again?

  • Microsoft introduced new Windows Phones (Nokia Lumia) into the Market in partnership with Nokia.
  • Those phones (on the Windows Phone 7.5 platform) got mostly positive reviews.
  • Excitement (slowly) started to build about Microsoft getting into the mobile phone space.
  • Now it appears those phones will not get the upgrade to Windows Phone 8.
  • Windows Phone 8 may be out by year end/early next year.
  • I thought the no upgrade thing was just rumor and conjecture until I read Paul Thurrott’s piece a few days ago. I quote:
    There were some dueling stories about whether it would be possible to upgrade any existing Windows Phone handsets—including first-generation Windows Phone 7 devices and newer Windows Phone 7.5 handsets like the Lumia 900—to the forthcoming Windows Phone 8. 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.
    Now I respect Paul a lot and know that he probably has iron clad confirmation from Microsoft about this. He goes on to outline the 4 reasons why this won’t happen which boil down to the fact that it would make no sense for Microsoft, Phone Networks and Phone makers. Once again, you can read his article here. Without commenting on his reasons why, I just have to say that this is just awful news for Microsoft and for Nokia. It can be argued that all this is just “inside baseball” and only technology writers and enthusiasts care about this. To believe that, you would need to have a very cynical view about consumers. You would have to believe that they don’t care about which phones they buy and will be more than happy to discard their device for a new one in less than a year. I disagree. I think this is just one more piece of empirical evidence that Microsoft are making this up as they go and don’t have a step by step strategy for getting their Windows Phone message through. Basically, it now seems clear that they rushed out these new Nokia Lumia phones as a stop-gap between Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8. As a consumer, I would imagine that it doesn’t feel good to own a stop-gap device. The tragedy of this is, a lot of people who have Microsoft phones now actually love them and like Microsoft. This is basically giving those people the middle finger. Some have speculated that Microsoft may eventually offer free hardware upgrades to these customers when the time comes. EVEN IF the upgrades are free when the time comes, the damage is already done. This is one more reminder to people that Microsoft phones are not drama free. One more reminder that they come with more than just functionality, you have to be worried about upgrades, updates, redundancy and politics. In addition, you now have to worry about Windows Phone 8. What if they change their minds and make Windows Phone 8.7 the OS to have? What then? – Go ahead, tell me that you know this won’t happen…..(silence) Google has a similar amount (albeit not as serious) of drama around Android Phone updates – what updates will this vendor get, is that update coming to Sprint, when is the update going to be available, can I hack it? etc. etc. Microsoft need to understand that consumers want stability in their mobile hardware choices not devices that may be obsolete almost immediately. Nokia, if this is true, your Lumia is going to be sell fewer units and once again, Apple iPhones look more attractive by comparison. Enough from me, what do you guys and girls think? Use the comments below…]]>

    Written by Onuora Amobi


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    1. I fell into this middle-ground group with motorola and the dext in the UK. I vowed never to buy another motorola product and will probably stick to this. The negative impact of being ignored like this stronger than one would imagine.

        • Come on! This is a tragic decision and one that will as you so clearly state, really upset the user base, especially the newcomers who have just adopted it. My partner bought one for use in our business. He loves it, I love it but use Windows 8 on my laptop and can see the benefits and new features 8 would bring his phone. Now he’s going to be stuck with this handset some 10 months into the 8 release with no upgrade option! My best friend is after a new phone and I have implored him to get a windows phone and he now wants the 900. I will now tell him to not bother as this will seriously hack him off! I was going to get a windows phone as soon as possible but again I will now not even entertain it and remain on apple. There’s just no logic to these decisions. 

    2. How is this different from most Android Phones?   I agree that with apple you get some some updates, even if those updates will slow your phone down, but with android you are at the whim of the manufacturer first and the carrier second.  With any phone these days you are getting what you buy at the time of the purchase and anything that comes after that is gravy.

        •  Android phones may be a pain in the ass to you sir, but to the millions of people that have them world wide, they do they job as advertized. And they will still outsell anything that MS comes up with just as they are stomping the snot out of Apples iPhone..

    3. Dude,
      get over yourself!!! At the rate at which people by new devices these days, I think it doesn’t matter. I will be ready for a new device by end of year … and then a year later I will be ready for one again … Just because I want a new phone and because I want a new design … most people are like that or the rate of smartphones purchased wouldn’t be this high … Almost every person I know upgrades there phone on a regular basis to get the latest OS and bandwidth … So stop making a big deal about it and get yourself a new phone by the end of the year … It is sooooo wired how people are so upset about the little phone costs, but everybody seems to be willing to pay all of these super overprized providers like AT&T and Verizon … That’s where you spend most of your money, not on the phone …
      The Dark lord

    4. Ok. In the UK we get locked into 18 – 24 month contracts that give you the phone apparently free (you pay a huge amount over this period so not really free). No one I know wants to fork out $800+ a year on a new phone. I don’t care what new device comes out and nor do people I know and support. They want longevity in their investment and the ability to update to new features on the existing kit for as long as possible. And some of you are missing the point. What do all those people who are due upgrades on renewal of a 24 month contract going to do now? Wait with their old handset for 8 next year? Or go for a competitor and forget Microsoft? This isn’t a small thing it’s a seriously bad choice. 
      And I’m not a Microsoft hater. I am a Microsoft engineer and reseller. 2012 is going to bring some major game changers from Microsoft. Bad press like this is due to poor decisions doesn’t help the cause. 

    5. This is another reminder that Microsoft’s desire to merge their mobile and desktop OSes into one is a bad idea. It’s like they are doing it just to do it without considering the real world ramifications.
      I like my Windows Phone (Samsung Focus) more than any mobile device I have owned. It won’t be big issue to me if it never gets Windows 8, but if Microsoft wants us all operating under the Windows 8 umbrella, they need to get their act together. Competition is too fierce for them to stumble like this.
      If anyone wants to see how to unify users under one brand, just look at Apple.

    6. truth is, “ALL phones are outdated as soon as you buy them (including iphones)”!!!  it is planned that way, so we are forced to spend more, if we want more….
      i have a droid x (1.5+ years old, had to do the 2 year contract to afford it), guess what, android 4 (ice cream sandwich) is not supported (although the hardware can handle it)!!!  this  is not google’s choice, but verizon’s, my service provider, because they want me to buy a new phone (plain & simple)! 
      all service providers business models; “Let’s give super good deals to new customers, screw the customers who have been with us for 10+ years!”…
      the old iphones cannot run the newest ios!  
      all 3g hardware cannot be upgraded to run on the 4g networks!
      it is, “PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE”, by design!  we are at the mercy of the phone/service providers to pay more and more and more and more!!! get it???
      what you are ramblin’ on about microsoft & the phone service providers (probably more so than microsoft) is what all of them are doing (including apple), 
      bottom line….

      • My iPhone doesn’t feel obsolete. I didn’t need Siri and it was fast enough so the 4S didn’t make me feel bad. 
        That was a nice to have.There’s a difference between a natural upgrade cycle and releasing a product KNOWING it’s almost obsolete.

        • my droid x doesn’t feel obsolete, i just cannot upgrade it to the latest os or faster network.  it does exactly what it did when i bought it, and i can still download thousands of free/great apps that make it a useful tool.  like beauty, “it is all in the eye of the beholder”!  when i signed the 2 year contract i knew what i was in for.  the point is the microsoft windows 8 phone is NO different a situation than all of the other existing phones out there and there will never be one in a different situation…  so, the people who climbed on board with the windows 7 phones are in the same place we all are!
          Heck even out PCs will not be able to upgrade to Windows 8 without us spending some money & time!  
          Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, AT&T and such companies are not Non-Profits after all…

          • I violently disagree.
            You said it best..
            “when i signed the 2 year contract i knew what i was in for.” 
            Do most people buying the Lumia know what they are in for today?

            •  Do ANY people buying cell phones know what they are in for? Most of them just go in and buy a phone with “neat gadgets” or that “look cool” I highly suspect that less then 2 or 3% actually check and see what the phone can and cannot do before they buy it. This has been confirmed by a friend of mine that works in a Verizon store (His name is Ton) and a nephew that works for Centennial. And these are the two largest cell phone companies out there with AT&T being third and Sprint being 4th. So while you may disagree, the facts of the matter say otherwise.

    7. Why do you suppose they would sell that much new phone for only $99? WP7(.5) is a “holder” for Nokia until WP8 is out. They couldn’t bleed with Symbian for another year. The Lumias are generating decent press while waiting for the ducks to line up. In spite of being the world’s largest cell phone manufacturer people were writing them off as dead.

    8. I have someone reliable @MS who said there would be one but details are hazy at the moment. So don’t despair and get more grey hair. BTW don’t you 
      already  have a few to count on ? 

    9. I bought a Lumia 900 knowing it would not upgrade to WP8. It is a fantastic device. I’m sure it will serve me well for 12-18 months

    10. well there we go whats the difference as long as the phone does the job you bought it for if theres an upgrade then thats just a bonus

    11. This is disappointing news – it is sad that Microsoft can’t be better than their compitition and offer an solid upgrade path. I again confirm that it may be wise to wait and see what shakes out.
      Thanks and keep up the great work Onuora.

    12. Here it goes! I was about to commit to windows phone! I really am confused now! The reason by Paul sounds extremely illogical with a tinge of stupidity… Even before holding their ground properly, they have started digging their own grave…
      As you rightly pointed out, not only does this make the existing customers feel cheated, new customers will surely think twice before buying a win 8 phone… What will one do when win 8.01 will be launched!
      But that said, windows 7 phone is by itself a pretty good one… And what if the current hardware will simply be not able to handle windows 8 phone!

    13. A very bad move on Microsoft’s part as the Lumia 800 has been out ion South Africa for less than three months. Even though I am a loyal Microsoft supporter I feel let down by this move as a three month wait would have been acceptable, a non upgradeable phone on the other hand is very disappointing even if it is head and shoulders above the competition. I will not be looking at changing my phone again before 2014 so definitely a lost sale for them.

    14. At first i do have a cynical view on consumers whom a lot are quite stupid otherwise companies such as Apple would not be able to milk them that much.
      Second, it is quite a poor strategy from both Microsoft as Microsoft should have hardware requirements sufficiently high to at least enable WP7 phones to be updated to both WP 7.5 and WP8.It is quite stupid when one knows how Microsoft has locked Windows Phone specifications and was supposed to have a well though and well planned phone strategy, seing how late they are to the game.
      Third,it is quite a poor strategy from Nokia because Nokia should have waited for Windows Phone 8 especially if Nokia knew what would happen.
      Samsung and co are being smarter than Nokia as they are patiently waiting for WP8 before releasing new Windows Phones.
      All this said, i think that this update problem will not have a significant impact on either Microsoft or Nokia, assuming the vey small marketshare of Windows Phones and if (but this is a big IF) Nokia and potentially other OEM come with some mind blowing WP8 based devices.Perhaps that WP8 has some features which require at least dual cores or even quad cores.
      Btw, wasn’t Microsoft supposed to have a dual strategy with Windows Phone:*Keeping WP7.x for low end devices,especially those aimed at emerging market, and why not Legacy devices*Using WP8 for high end devices
      Because if it is their strategy, they could keep updating WP7.x until the legacy devices get too old and then use WP 7.x for low end devices, think Symbian S40. While WP 8.x will be used for mid to high end devices for the years to come until WP 9.x. And then it will be bis repetita.
      In all case i would not consider another Windows Phone before WP 8 O.S is availlable.My next phone is the Galaxy Note as soon as it got the Android 4.x update.

        • It is quite easy to see how this dual strategy would work. All the excitment will revolve around WP8 devices for developped countries and for people wealthy enough to buy them. What about not wealthy people and emerging/not developped countries ? Do they not deserve cheaper, more taylored solutions ?Also a simple counter example to what you say is the iPhone. All excitment is supposed to be with newer,more recent iPhones, yet older/cheaper iPhones sell well too despites not being able to provide all the features of the most recent model. See the pattern ?
          With a partner like Nokia which used to successfully handle up to 3 different platforms (Symbian s60,Symbian s40 and Symbian s30) , one doesn’t need to be a genius to understand that both Microsoft and Nokia, which also happens to be a specialist of emerging markets, can built a well thought dual strategy.So this dual strategy makes sense and if efficiently executed could be quite effective.

    15. It’s sad but true Microsoft is revealing each time they make a decision regarding their future in each of the Technological areas they compete in, that they have no direction. This shooting from the hip, will come back to haunt them. Perhaps this demonstrates that they need new leadership at the top.

    16. Nope. Already have the phone I need (Motorola Droid Global 2) and am quite satisfied with it. I refuse to get a phone and be locked into proprietary cell because of ignorant makers. With my android phone I have a plethora of programs as well as ways to make calls as well as full color games if I wish and they are not all from the same overpriced store.

    17. Dear Onuora,
      Microsoft had made our tech world alive by introducing new innovation to the market.  
      I might call this “Windows Revolution”, after Windows 7 was release, I see great changes in serving the call from the market. I belief, I’m left behind in reading the technology using handphone, I spent most to speed on Windows computer software.
      It started as the new Windows was introduce, there are new things emerging using Windows logo in the market, the Tablet PC and Windows Phone. These are now seeing in most of the computer stores and magazines besides Destops and Laptops with the best unique brands, spesifications and prices. I just read the last weekly magazine, that most of the handphone prices are decreasing but not for Android and Apple products. I still wonder maybe competition, the age of reason, new commer is the cause or something else? For Windows Lumia 710, there is slight drop, but still hold at a good level.
      Glad to hear that Microsoft has introduce new Windows Phone (Nokia Lumia) with the new Windows software planted there. Most of the handphone these days have the same functionality for communications, it all depends largly on the cards, few are modified differently to fill the consumers needs. I just bought a handphone that uses Carl Zeiss, Tessar 2.8/5.45 5 megapixel for the camera which prove to have good view in capturing pictures. I hope Windows Product will survive in this uncertain market situations.  
      Thank you.

    18. Sounds like Internet drivel to me I was at a Microsoft partner conference in the UK today and Nokia was present and though Windows Phone 8 wasn’t mentioned both companies were fully supportive of the device!!!

    19. ok This is without a doubt the stupidest ting Microsoft  has ever done. Why you ask, because right now as we read, Apple is in Court to stop Samsungs Galaxy III from hitting the US markets.You can only get Galaxy  III thru pre-order. If w8 phones wanted to make a statement and upgrade from w7 cell phones, it just killed itself from the market, Im certainly not going to throw my Noia away and purchase a new cell just to get w8 on it. This just doesn’t make any sense for Microsoft to do this. It was fun while it lasted Thank You Microsoft , for pushing everybody to the Ipone or Android, phones we really don’t want, a big Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    20. Well, it goes without saying but this is extremely unfortunate, but I love my Nokia lumia 900 and as long as it is still supported and not forgotten then I will continue to love it and windows 7.5. If you won’t give us the new software then at least remember this OS.

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