Is Nokia's Windows Phone Plan Doomed to Failure?
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Nokia and Microsoft, since announcing their partnership in February 2011, have been working to convince consumers and professionals that with their smartphone collaboration they re swinging for the highest fence. The partners maintain that these are phones of the most notable craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology--phones that will compete against the Apple iPhone and high-end Android devices and re-establish Nokia as the world s top-selling phone maker.
It shocked many when at the Microsoft Windows Phone Summit event in San Francisco June 20, the pair, after introducing the very lovely and feature-rich Windows Phone 8 operating system and sharing that a software development kit (SDK) will arrive later this summer, confirmed that current smartphones running Windows Phone 7.5, such as the Lumia 900--phones it seemed that sweat and tears had been shed to sell--would not be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8.
The 7.5 handsets will instead receive an update to 7.8, which includes the Windows Phone 8 start screen--which has been improved with, among other things, the ability to include more colors and dictate which of four size options a user would like each app tile to be and a few new apps.
"Windows Phone 8 is a generation shift in technology, which means that it will not run on existing hardware," Microsoft"s Joe Belfiore explained in a June 20 blog post. "But we care deeply about our existing customers and want to keep their phones fresh, so we re providing the new start screen in this new update."
Tech writer Stephen Robinson responded as surely Microsoft and Nokia anticipated some people would. He Tweeted, "Microsoft blew any chance it had for me to support WP. Back to iPhone full time. Lumia few months old, won't get latest update. Insane."
Technology Business Research Senior Analyst Ken Hyers, relating to the sentiment, says he's baffled how Nokia keeps telling potential customers it s phasing out its devices, which, surprise, surprise, stops people from buying them.
"I just don't understand why Nokia has been so inept in how it has handled its product road map. It publicly abandoned Symbian long before it had Windows Phone products, and now it's telling the world that its current Lumia phones have a very limited shelf-life, measured in months," Hyers told eWEEK.
Hyers added, "I think we can expect a very bad summer for Nokia as consumers turn their backs on the company."