Windows Phone 8 Not To Be Compatible With WP7 Devices?

With Windows Phone 7 Microsoft has specified basic hardware requirements for all Windows Phone 7 devices. Known as WP7 chassis, this standard across phones is to provide a similar experience across all WP7 devices. The current chassis requirements are:

  • ARMv7 based applications processor
  • Hardware accelerated DirectX and Direct3D
  • Capacative multi-touch screen
  • Camera
  • Bluetooth + Wi-Fi
  • FM Radio
  • A-GPS
  • Accelerometer, compass, light, proximity sensor

Another important shift with Windows Phone 7 is that Microsoft will be pushing software updates and not the OEMs. In a tweet @lituus has explained how the upgrdes will be numbered:

  • major updates – 7.X00
  • performance updates – 7.XY0
  • security patches – 7.XYZ

He further points out that with Windows Phone 8 hardware will get a refresh, which means that the chassis requirements will be upgraded and existing Windows Phone 7 devices will not be compatible with Windows Phone 8.

#tip WP7 major updates as 7.X00 version, performance updates as 7.XY0 & security patches as 7.XYZ. v 8.000 for next-gen HW to be clean breakless than a minute ago via web

In my opinion, this has a good and bad side to it:

The Good: It will allow phone manufacturers and Microsoft to leverage latest hardware capabilities.

The Bad: WP7 value for money now depends on WP7’s shelf life as decided by Microsoft. To put that in perspective, iPhones have a 2 year shelf life after which some features of new iPhone OS updates don’t work on older iPhones and that is quite frustrating given that iPhones aren’t exactly economical devices.

(h/t to Michael, I had missed the tweets)