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Rumor: No Windows Phone 8 Upgrades for All Current Handsets?

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Rumor: No Windows Phone 8 Upgrades for All Current Handsets?

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Rumors are swirling about whether or not the new Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) will need new hardware in order to run properly.  There are two sides of the story but Microsoft has yet to publicly comment; adding fuel to an already burning fire.

MS evangelist says all 'actual' Windows Phone 7 devices will be able to update to version 8

In an interview with wmpoweruser.com, Nuno Silva, a Microsoft evangelist, revealed: "What Microsoft said/stated and what I'm allowed to tell you is that all actual devices will get (upgraded) to the next major version of Windows Phone (we're talking about Apollo)"  So current Windows Phone owners have nothing to worry about, right?  Well, not so fast...

'Insider' sources say Windows Phone 8 will require dual-core handsets

In an attempt to read between the lines of an official Microsoft employee's statement, Mary-Jo Foley of ZDnet came away with a sense that all the apps for Windows Phone "Mango" would work on "Apollo", but that there was no confirmation that those devices running version 7.5 would viable for the OS update.  Then her annonymous Microsoft sources tell her that her inkling was correct:

"My sources have claimed that Apollo isn’t going to be pushed to existing Windows Phone users — which may be a carrier decision as much as, if not more than, a Microsoft one."

-- Mary-Jo Foley, ZDnet

Paul Thurrott alleges that he obtained more specific information about this claim: Windows Phone 8 may require a dual core processor.  Here's his exact words:

"Allow me to set the record straight. No. It [the update for Apollo] 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."

-- Paul Thurrott, Windows ITPro

Both Thurrott and Foley are emphatic in their defense of their insiders and their stance in the matter.

Counter-arguments abound

A blogger for Mobility Digest, Rama Uppugunduri, was one of several bloggers making technical arguments against Thurott and Foley's claims. 

His first argument made reference to Microsoft's demo of a tablet that ran Windows 8 at the Mobile World Congress 2012 Barcelona.  Uppugunduri sited that Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 share the same kernel and the tablet was running on a Single Core ARM Processor.  See video below:

Uppugunduri also brings to the forefront recent Microsoft trends such as their Tango update which doesn't require dual core processors as evidence to support his belief that Windows Phone 8 won't need a hardware upgrade.

Twitter source says they're working some issues out

MS_Nerd is another microsoft leaker who is claiming that Paul Thurrott is only right in the sense that the recent builds of WP8 don't work reliably on the current Windows Phone devices, but MS is working on it.

Credible source... or not?

wmpoweruser makes a note of credibility in their rebuttal of Thurrot's stance:

"In this case Thurrott seems to be relying directly on his credibility. It is of note that Paul has been wrong in the past, most likely because his sources gave him the wrong information."

With opinions stemming from rumors, the Windows Phone  world seems to be on edge.  Microsoft's mum reaction to the debate seems to have fueled a fire that won't end until an official word is released. 


Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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