Broken Promises: Microsoft Splinters Windows Phone Community

Posted on March 18, 2016 by Brad Sams in Windows Phones with 0 Comments

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When a new operating system is released, there is generally excitement about new features and performance enhancements that arrive with the platform. But when Microsoft announced the release of Windows 10 Mobile yesterday, they managed to anger many of their loyal fans by breaking a promise they publicly announced on Twitter.

Back in November of 2014, the Lumia account on Twitter stated that all Windows Phone 8 devices will be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile. As we learned yesterday, that is not the case. Phones like the Lumia Icon, Lumia 920 and the Lumia 1020 are all being left behind which is upsetting a number of Windows phone fans, myself included, as I have two Lumia Icons that will not be receiving the OS.

If that wasn’t bad enough, one user on Reddit is quite perturbed as they bought a Windows phone that was initially stated to be updated to Windows 10 Mobile but that promise was quietly retracted on Microsoft’s Canadian store.

Seeing that some flagships were left off the list of being upgraded to Windows 10 mobile, there was hope that a ‘second wave’ of supported devices would be announced. As Neowin notes, that’s not the case and what the company announced this week is the final list of devices that will run the new OS.

[Update] Despite saying that there is not a second wave of devices, they may update the initial list (isn’t that a second wave?) to include the Lumia Icon.

The company says that the reason they are not supporting the OS on some devices is that feedback from Insiders resulted in a sub-optimal experience after upgrading. What’s odd about this is that the Lumia Icon, sometimes known as the Lumia 929, is nearly identical to the Lumia 930 with the only difference being that the 929 runs on Verizon’s network; the Lumia 930 is receiving the Windows 10 mobile update. Further, low end devices like the Lumia 435, will be updated to the new OS.

It’s not a secret that the Windows phone community is quite small in comparison to the Android and iOS counterparts but what separated Windows from Android was the promise of updates. It is well known that Android devices are not updated timely unless they are a Nexus device but Microsoft promised Windows phone users that they would not fall into this scenario. Yet, here we are with former flagship, as well as other mid-tier phones, being put on the sideline.

The bigger issue here is not that these phones have been bypassed, it’s that Microsoft has broken its promise.

The company is not being clear if they are at fault about the updates not arriving because of the carriers (there is a long history of Verizon and Microsoft feuding) or if they simply do not want to devote the resources to supporting this older devices. And maybe that’s it, the company found that the install base of these phones is limited and dedicating time to supporting them is not a good use of resources but if that is the case, simply being transparent about the issue is better than being silent.

If this all sounds familiar, that’s because this is not the first time Microsoft has splintered its base. When Windows Phone 8 was announced, the company said Windows Phone 7 users would not be able to upgrade to the new OS. The company did try to appease those users with Windows Phone 7.8 update but ultimately, they were left behind.

Windows phone was once thought of as being different than Android because of guaranteed updates but the reality of the situation is that Windows phone users have had update promises broken, which makes it no different than buying an Android phone.

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