In what is disappointing news for Windows Phone users, Microsoft has confirmed Windows 8 will not be coming to smartphones running Windows 7.5, but some features will be available via an update.
The announcement was made at the Windows Phone Developers summit currently taking place in the US, where Microsoft has been showing off the new OS, which looks virtually identical to the metro UI we saw in the Windows 8 beta.
The reason appears to be hardware based – among the features of the new OS is support for multi-core processors and NFC, neither of which feature in Nokia’s existing Lumia range, neither of which are found on the Nokia Lumia 900 (above) or Nokia Lumia 800.
According to The Verge Greg Sullivan from Microsoft states: ‘The nature of the investment (in Windows Phone 8) is primarily in areas that are not exploitable by existing hardware…. To do the work to bring all of those elements to a platform that can’t exploit them wasn’t necessarily the most efficient use of resource.”
However it’s not all bad news. Microsoft will be bringing some features of the new OS to devices in the Windows Phone 7.8 update and the UI will look identical to Windows Phone 8 smartphones with a new Start screen with support for new tile sizes.
It’s worth considering that the update has been designed for a multi-core phone, so if single-core phones like the Lumia 900 get the update, performance will be compromised – something Microsoft doesn’t want to happen.
At the moment Microsoft hasn’t confirmed which devices will be getting the Windows 7.8 upgrade, but we’ll bring you more news when we get it.