Windows Phone 8 will not be supported on current devices

21 Jun 2012

Unfortunately, the new Nokia Lumia 900 is not compatible with Windows Phone 8

If you’re a current Windows Phone owner and you’re excited about the launch of Windows Phone 8, don’t be. Your current device will not support the latest software expected to launch in autumn, so you’ll need a new model if you want to enjoy the benefits.

While disheartening for early adopters, this news is probably hardest felt in the Nokia camp. The Finnish phone manufacturer’s latest smartphone, the Lumia 900, will reach only Windows Phone 7.8 and no higher, meaning adoption of this new model could remain low as consumers hold out for a newer handset with the latest software – and Nokia could be fighting off stiff competition in this department.

As well as Nokia, three other major phone manufacturers will be producing Windows 8 phones, including HTC, Huawei and – the daddy of them all – Samsung.

Windows 7.8 upgrade for Nokia Lumia 900

The inability to upgrade is not merely Microsoft’s way of being mean to its current users, but rather a symptom of the new operating system’s requirement for dual-core processors – something that the existing models simply do not possess.

That said, Nokia Lumia owners need not despair. The Windows 7.8 upgrade, which is expected to arrive sooner than the new phones will hit the market, will offer Windows Phone 8 features, like the new start screen, and ongoing updates going forward.

Also – to appease disgruntled users, perhaps – Nokia has also introduced a new range of apps for easier contact sharing, better photos, and the ability to share content with DLNA-enabled devices.

Game on with Zynga

Microsoft also intends to address its apps Marketplace figures (100,000 compared to 500,000 for both the App Store and Google Play) with the announcement that gaming company Zynga will be building apps for Windows Phone.

As you may well have guessed, apps written specifically for Windows Phone 8 won’t be supported on older operating systems, but it has been implied by Nokia on its Conversations blog that new games – like Words With Friends and Draw Something – will be compatible with the 7.8 upgrade.

Early adopters of Windows Phone 8 will be spoiled, too, as Microsoft is offering first-look access to upcoming features for those who register their new devices.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.