1. Rallicat's Avatar
    I know of course that Windows Phone Apollo is a long way off, but I wanted to get people's thoughts on how likely they think it is that Apollo will be made available to users of the current generation of handsets (and the new ones currently being launched).

    Microsoft have so far done an OK job in getting updates out to users, setting themselves apart from Android, and putting the old 'WinMob' approach of the past behind them. It's a refreshing change - I beleive that getting updates and new features into the hands of users helps drive up the customer experience, and in turn drives loyalty.

    When we look at other platforms like iPhone/iOS, we see that even major updates are released for handsets even when they're a couple of generations old. For many of us, when we buy a handset we typically find ourselves tied into a contract, and I'd like to think that the phone will receive updates during the life of that contract. Certainly the apparent lack of updates was a deal breaker for me on the Android side.

    So... what are people's thoughts?
    11-08-2011 03:35 AM
  2. pikacz's Avatar
    i'm 99% sure we'll be getting updates for a long time, and 99% of droids won't
    11-08-2011 03:49 AM
  3. Big Supes's Avatar
    If Apollo is going to be pushing the envelope, my guess is that it won't be available to current handsets. Hardware requirements, that could likely be the standard for Apollo gen handsets, e.g. dual-core, higher display resolution, ff camera, etc, could make Apollo limited to newer, better handsets. I'd be more than fine, if that were the case.
    11-08-2011 04:11 AM
  4. Judge_Daniel's Avatar
    I think the best route for MS would be to charge older phones a few dollars to upgrade, similar to iOS. That way, there would be incentive to upgrade, while still not leaving others behind. I just wonder how it is going to work once they change screen resolutions.
    11-08-2011 04:14 AM
  5. Judge_Daniel's Avatar
    If Apollo is going to be pushing the envelope, my guess is that it won't be available to current handsets. Hardware requirements, that could likely be the standard for Apollo gen handsets, e.g. dual-core, higher display resolution, ff camera, etc, could make Apollo limited to newer, better handsets. I'd be more than fine, if that were the case.
    I was actually thinking the same thing, but I think I'm too optimistic to make myself believe it. I wonder if they would make more upgrades to WP7, although WP8 will be released. Kind of like how they still have Service Packs for Vista and XP even after 7 was released.
    11-08-2011 04:16 AM
  6. Rallicat's Avatar
    If Apollo is going to be pushing the envelope, my guess is that it won't be available to current handsets. Hardware requirements, that could likely be the standard for Apollo gen handsets, e.g. dual-core, higher display resolution, ff camera, etc, could make Apollo limited to newer, better handsets. I'd be more than fine, if that were the case.
    I have to say, this is something i doubt I'd be happy with. The iPhone 4 and 4S brought new hardware to the handsets, but that hasn't stopped Apple releasing iOS5 for the 3GS.

    As someone considering buying a WP7 handset this month, the prospect that the handset I buy might get left behind in less than 12 months (and before the end of any contract i might get tied into) is concerning!

    Maybe I've been spoiled by being an iPhone owner for three years - but you get used to just getting updates - the almost total lack of updates on Android was a deal breaker for me. Things seem better on WP7... but they need to /stay/ better to ensure that good user experiences are maintained.
    11-08-2011 04:26 AM
  7. Big Supes's Avatar
    I have to say, this is something i doubt I'd be happy with. The iPhone 4 and 4S brought new hardware to the handsets, but that hasn't stopped Apple releasing iOS5 for the 3GS.

    As someone considering buying a WP7 handset this month, the prospect that the handset I buy might get left behind in less than 12 months (and before the end of any contract i might get tied into) is concerning!

    Maybe I've been spoiled by being an iPhone owner for three years - but you get used to just getting updates - the almost total lack of updates on Android was a deal breaker for me. Things seem better on WP7... but they need to /stay/ better to ensure that good user experiences are maintained.
    That's an extremely valid point, Rallicat, and I hope MS maintain their "putting people first" policy, when it comes to updates. I just anticipate issues, if, and when, they choose to release multiple variations of multiple OS editions. I mean, and I'm no cynic, they've got a serious feat awaiting if they're going to make this work - the main problem being the carriers; it's all well and good for Apple with a mere fraction of hardware and software variations in comparison.
    Rallicat likes this.
    11-08-2011 04:51 AM
  8. Rallicat's Avatar
    That's an extremely valid point, Rallicat, and I hope MS maintain their "putting people first" policy, when it comes to updates. I just anticipate issues, if, and when, they choose to release multiple variations of multiple OS editions. I mean, and I'm no cynic, they've got a serious feat awaiting if they're going to make this work - the main problem being the carriers; it's all well and good for Apple with a mere fraction of hardware and software variations in comparison.
    Certainly, changes will have to happen sometime, and hardware changes are of course going to drive differences in system requirements for future updates.

    Also of concern is a post by Mary-Jo-Foley highlighting possible plans to switch the kernel in Windows Phone, which might also bring difficulties when it comes to updates. (Could and should Microsoft change the heart of Windows Phone? | ZDNet)

    I certainly don't expect 'updates forever' - but I think Microsoft would do well to try and keep phone handsets supported with updates for the duration a user might have one on their contract. For me, a good update policy would be to support updates for at /least/ 18 months following the End-of-Availability of a handset.

    Personally, I plan to buy a Lumia 800, and I'm on a network that will allow me to upgrade in the last three months of my contract, so I could easily dispense with my handset after 15 months if I wanted to - but then, I'm a fairly savvy user who works in IT and reads around the issue quite allot - ordinary users probably don't go to such lengths!

    Time will tell of course, and I plan to provide as much feedback as I can through whatever channels I can to try and get the message to Microsoft that their users are still customers (and potentiall loyal customers) long after they've bought the phone - if Microsoft don't support them, we can be damn sure carriers and vendros won't!
    11-08-2011 05:28 AM
  9. Pronk's Avatar
    I reckon it might be a limited upgrade on current hardware as happened with the iPhone 3G and some HTC Android handsets - enough to keep owners happy, but not enough to dscourage an upgrade given there'll almost certainly be a decent spec bump.
    11-08-2011 06:03 AM
  10. canesfan625's Avatar
    If Apollo is going to be pushing the envelope, my guess is that it won't be available to current handsets. Hardware requirements, that could likely be the standard for Apollo gen handsets, e.g. dual-core, higher display resolution, ff camera, etc, could make Apollo limited to newer, better handsets. I'd be more than fine, if that were the case.
    Pushing the envelope doesn't automatically mean anything of the sort. Its like saying I need a new Xbox because the dashboard wont fit on the 1st gen. IIRC Windows Phone actually has more on board memory. Microsoft wants to unify their devices. Pushing the envelope could be hinting at the rumors of Apollo being Windows 8/same OS across all devices. Plenty of more stuff in the rumor mill like that.

    *EDIT* The reason these things happen on Android is because there is no hardware spec by google. All phones will see Apollo.
    11-08-2011 06:38 AM
  11. Rallicat's Avatar
    I reckon it might be a limited upgrade on current hardware as happened with the iPhone 3G and some HTC Android handsets - enough to keep owners happy, but not enough to dscourage an upgrade given there'll almost certainly be a decent spec bump.
    Well the 3G is now quite old, but even the 3GS got iOS5.

    I can understand a desire on the part of the vendors to want to give people a reason to upgrade to a newer handset, however most users get their smartphones on contract, so /can't/ upgrade before that contract expires, or at least enters an upgrade period.

    If handsets that aren't even a year old end up getting left behind, it leads to users becoming dissapointed that their handset can't get new features or run the latest apps. Maybe they don't have much right to expect that if their actual /handset/ isn't the latest model, but precluding them from getting an update artificially is just crazy - Microsoft seems to have so far recognised that with their approach to updates, but with increasing pressure from vendors, I have to wonder whether they'll fold in the long run.

    I hope not.
    11-08-2011 06:48 AM
  12. jalb's Avatar
    I am hoping that Microsoft does not fall into it's familiar "ten versions of a product" routine. I thought that the whole point of dictating hardware was to avoid fragmentation. Now we are possibly looking at Nodo devices (Hi Focus 1.4 owners), Mango, Tango1 and Tango2, and Apollo, all within a year and a half of launch.

    Windows Phone Pro
    Windows Phone Home
    Windows Phone Home Ultimate
    Windows Phone Home Starter Edition
    Windows Phone Home Street Fighter Alpha Challenge Turbo Edition II
    Bleh
    11-08-2011 07:44 AM
  13. Rallicat's Avatar
    I am hoping that Microsoft does not fall into it's familiar "ten versions of a product" routine. I thought that the whole point of dictating hardware was to avoid fragmentation. Now we are possibly looking at Nodo devices (Hi Focus 1.4 owners), Mango, Tango1 and Tango2, and Apollo, all within a year and a half of launch.

    Windows Phone Pro
    Windows Phone Home
    Windows Phone Home Ultimate
    Windows Phone Home Starter Edition
    Windows Phone Home Street Fighter Alpha Challenge Turbo Edition II
    Bleh
    Well the situation is a whole lot better than it used to be with WinMob devices. So far /most/ handset owners have got updated, and fragmentation doesn't seem to be an issue.

    Of course, if handsets very quickly get left behind due to major releases, then defined specs or not - the effect is very similar to fragmentation - different versions with people getting 'trapped' on a version they can't move up from.
    11-08-2011 08:22 AM
  14. Rallicat's Avatar
    Additional: I've created a suggestion to Microsoft asking them to keep supporting phones. It's speculative I know, since we don't know the future plans for Apollo yet - but it's good to get the ball rolling! Bring future major updates to existing handsets
    11-08-2011 08:24 AM
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