Microsoft's next OS update for Windows Phone 7 smartphones won't be available until sometime in 2013 -- months after Windows Phone 8's release. Windows Phone 7.8 was supposed to provide many of the new capabilities to current Windows Phone customers, whose Windows Phone 7 smartphones can't run Windows Phone 8.
The news, posted on a Microsoft blog today, led to a stream of frustrated comments from Windows Phone 7 users, complaining they will have to wait until at least two months after the launch of Windows Phone 8 to get some of its new features. Several wrote that, as early adopters of the OS, they've been abandoned by Microsoft and will soon be abandoned by developers that won't bother releasing software for the older platform.
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"I feel like I wasted my money, sadly not recommending to my friends to buy Windows Phone now. One year with my Lumia and now I will be abandoned," read one user post. "Disappointed. Extremely disappointed. Beyond extremely disappointed. The first [Windows Phone 7.8] announcement was in June 2012. Five months later, we still don't have it," read another.
The release news came only in the final paragraph of the Microsoft post, entitled "An Update on Windows Phone 7.8," that was largely a repeat of some of the new features the update will bring: "We know you're eager to get the Windows Phone 7.8 update, and we want you to know that we're working closely with our hardware and carrier partners to get it tested, approved, and rolled out to as many devices as possible in early 2013," reads the message. The blog post is attributed to Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of Windows Phone.
Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for the IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org