So after a week or so of clamoring, commentary and multiple blog posts across the web we have news on the Windows Phone 7.8 front.
There is not much new in the news grant you but it is a heartbeat at least.
Bottom line from the content of the post from Terry Myerson, Corporate VP for Windows Phone, is as follows:
- Windows Phone 7.5 devices are target for the 7.8 update.
- Double the number of accent color choices to 20
- New lock screen option to display Bing Picture of the Day
- PIN/Password challenge to prevent accidental phone wipes on devices connected to Exchange accounts.
- New apps for 7.5 and 7.8 devices such as Word with Friends; Draw Something, Angry Bird Space and Star Wars.
- Market where customers can purchase apps and use Xbox service will grow by 30% to 95 countries.
- Early 2013 release is expected on as many devices as possible and they are working with carrier partners to test and roll it out.
To be honest that last one sounds a lot like the long and fractured process it took to get 7.5 out to first generation Windows Phone handsets.
The real meat and potatoes for this situation comes from the comments that are being left on the blog post entry.
As of this writing there are 50 comments posted. I rate 36 of them as negative and 14 as neutral or positive.
To start with there was one very good developer related question in reference to this update and the changes it will bring to Windows Phone 7.X:
Will there be an update to the WP7 part of the SDK to allow apps to take advantage of the new Tile Sizes and Templates?
Now on to the negative sentiment about the announcement. You of course you have the standard I am going to iPhone now since you did not get this done statements but there are some very thought provoking entries as well.
- It is illusory to think that developers will make apps for WP7 when WP8 is the most updated.
- disappointed. extremely disappointed. beyond extremely disappointed. the first WP78 announcement was in June of 2012. 5 months later, we still don’t have it. why you guys bother making announcements and then making us wait 6+ months to get it ???
- But we – as a windows phone 7 users – were the first who trusted the windows phones and supported the sales in the early launch so we deserve to get the new softwares as fast as possible which will not affect the new "windows phone 8" sales at all. I know that sales is the major company concern but put in your minds that early buyers have been patient with the early softwares errors and now it is time to get a new fixed more beautifull software.
- We as the early WP buyers & supporters deserve better than this !!!!! depressing
- This is really annoying. Microsoft does not seem to care about the people that chose WP7. Not only was my phone (Lumia 900) out of date one month after release in Switzerland, now I also have to wait forever just to get an update that doesn’t deserve to be called a "major" update.
- I find it appalling that we the loyal fanbase the 3% market share u guys had since wp7 launched still haven’t been given a firm date on the wp7.8 update.
- While I’m very excited for your progression, I am deeply dissapointed as a customer. By supporting you and your OS I expected that I would be valued and receive support for a minimum of a year. This is just a sad example of poorly thought out scheduling that victimizes your most loyal customers. With this news I have decided not to go ahead with my plans to fully adopt your ecosystem (WP, Surface, Win8) and instead return to iOS. Thank you for letting me know how you felt about me as a customer.
I think that last comment is how many early adopters/enthusiasts feel about the situation. We get that technology will change and do so very rapidly. However, when you are struggling to gain market share your biggest brand advocates are your early adopters and guess what early adopters/enthusiasts do? They talk about their experience through blog post comments, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. etc. etc.
It is in a companies best interest, whether they be big or small, to be transparent with those early adopters and enthusiasts. Regular updates similar to the Building Windows 8 Blog posts during the development of Microsoft’s latest OS kept the flow of information well – flowing.
What do you think? Do early adopters/enthusiasts have a right to this type of expression when it comes to technology and promises from companies?
Let us know your views below.