Windows Phone 7.8 and Feelings

So the news is out. Windows Phone users of current generation devices will be unable to upgrade to Windows Phone 8, a.k.a. Apollo. The collective sigh of frustration from many tech savvy, early adopters after the announcement was made at Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 conference today was palpable abhorrence. Yet, I feel not for them. Don’t get me wrong, is it a bummer I won’t be getting stuff like Wallet and games with P2P in mind? Sure. Is it a buzzkill on the actual hardware that most of us current users have?

Not at all.

Furthermore, we knew more or less when Apollo would come out, and looking at competitive hardware coming from Apple and Google’s OEMs, we also knew the sort of specs that were coming out for Windows Phone 8 in order to be on par with the competition. Surprising then the many reactions of current users with christened new Lumia 900s and Titan IIs. The lack of perception and forward thinking that, hey, stuff gets updated all the time, ecosystems move forward, is a bit jarring. Particularly the vitriol that some commentators on many tech sites have claimed the ‘wool-over-our-eyes’ approach that supposedly Microsoft and Nokia employed to ensnare unsuspecting customers, duping them into purchasing an ‘obsolete’ dead in the water Windows Phone 7 device.

This information on upgrading paths and who gets it, who doesn’t will probably affect a minimal percentage of people who actually care about this stuff. Last I heard, my grandmother wasn’t spewing four-letter words at her monitor when Apple released iOS 5 and Siri was nowhere to be found on iPhone 4 devices. In reality, we are a minority. Mom and Pop don’t care that Windows Phone 8 has 64-core compatibility.

They care if the phone can make a phone call. They care if a text message with a cat picture on it got through. They care if they can fling a bird through the sky to its untimely death, crashing through a very hard slab of concrete.

That’s what they care about. That a phone can function the barest, simplest actions that make everyday life a little more easier, more enjoyable. I doubt the day Windows Phone 8 rolls out that my trusty HTC Titan will cease to perform the basics.

Which isn’t to say that Microsoft maybe should have raised the bar a little higher when creating Windows Phone 7. Specs as they are, can limit you in a way. Had Microsoft developed Windows Phone 7 with more future proof specs, this little ordeal with current owners of Nokia devices might be a little easier to swallow. Maybe, they could have avoided it all together. Well, that’s hindsight for you.

As for me? Hey, I have an HTC Titan, and I’m in no hurry to switch it up for a new behemoth Windows Phone 8 device. The Titan, at its current state, does what it’s supposed to do: Make calls, open emails, and look at cat pictures. It’s actually silly how much we expect and demand our phones to do, yet how little we actually use such abilities. NFC chips and quad-core processors are nice, but how much of that is actually a functioning, day-to-day requirement for most people?

In honesty, we should be glad we are getting a 7.8 update to begin with. With a small percentile of marketshare, Microsoft could have written us off, and focused mostly on Windows Phone 8. We could have been part of that “Beta Testers” segment, so pleasantly articulated by Nokia. We could have been truly left behind. Yet, come fall, we’ll get a new update bringing in new features. That’s the third main update that current users have enjoyed. If anything, we have been lucky to be brought along this far.

Just ask any Android user for the alternative.