Originally Posted by arob
Wow, that's a very blinkered response!
The other way of looking at it is that Microsoft is ensuring that the OS version available for certain devices is designed for those devices, with all features enabled that can be. Apple on the other hand 'tell' people that they're getting iOS4/5/6/..., but in reality it's a cut-down version with a whole host of features removed. As much as everyone loves to hate on Microsoft, they're potentially addressing the upgrade/fragmentation issue in a clearer, more upfront way than Android or iOS (at least older Apple devices can run newer cut-down versions of iOS, unlike the mountain of old Android handsets that can't be upgraded any further due to hardware limitations and networks no longer supporting the old versions). It's a different approach, but I think it's actually a far less damaging one than is being reported by the media.
What he's saying is pretty much true though. You guys are trying to make something out of nothing here by comparing old phones to current ones. Apple has addressed the upgrade "problem" better than anyone else in the industry. Pretending otherwise is just fatuous.
Google has screwed things up because they knew that if they didn't allow control to the manufacturers and carriers, no one would build Android phones. So they have a major, and continuing problem.
Microsoft needed to move away from Win Mobile as quickly as possible, once they belatedly realized that they were wrong about it and the iPhone.
But they had nothing to replace it with, so they just updated CE to rev 3, and added a new UI from the Zune, which was all they had available. They changed the programming model a bit from what the Zune had, and Boom! A new OS, sorta.
But they knew that it wasn't competitive with the Linux based Android, and the Unix based iOS. But it takes years to come up with a really new system, even one based on something else. So it took years for Microsoft to come up with WP8. But that's totally different from WP7. Since the new phones will be much more powerful than the old, now obsolete models, they can run the fairly simple apps the old models have.
But the old phones can't run WP8. Ok, so that's obvious. Microsoft had no choice here, as I keep saying. But that doesn't change the fact that it's crappy for the people who have bought WP7 phones. The ones who bought them over a year ago, will probable get some discount for a new one. Those who bought them in late 2010 will be eligible for a new one at whatever cost they would be paying anyway. So far so good.
But those who have been buying phones less than a year from the time the new ones will be out will be entitled to no discount at all. They will have to pay full price. To pretend to yourself that this is equivelant to what Apple does is dreaming.
But, I still think that Microsoft might do something here. They seem to love throwing away large amounts of cash. So it's possible, for the publicity, that they might offer a discount to those who bought phones too late to get one. Possibly, if they're in a really good mood, they will give everyone who bought a phone on a plan, the amount they would have to pay on that plan to get a new phone. That could be anyrhing from nothing to maybe $300.
This would cost them several hundred million to a billion, or so. They can afford it. They are losing about $3.5 billion a year on Bing, why not a bit more to satisfy customers. And heck, they lost over $8 billion over the years on the Xbox, and are losing money on it now. So if the phone is so important to them, they shouldn't balk at losing some more to make customers happy.