Perception and conveying a cohesive message is very important. In fact, the ability to do this right coupled with a good product can change fortunes; case in point, Apple. I bought the Samsung Focus when it was launched, it died. The phone came with Windows Phone 7 that was updated to Windows Phone 7.5 no thanks to AT&T. Then came the news of a new reboot–Windows Phone 8 within weeks of Nokia’s big Lumia 900 launch in the US. Due to Microsoft’s poor skills at conveying messages, this came as the finger to Lumia 900 & Windows Phone 7.5 device buyers. The reason I say this is because sometime later, Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7.8–an update to WP7, alongside Windows Phone 8. It was slightly reassuring but by then Microsoft had received all the possible bad press they could get. It was baffling and highly disappointing to see a company that boasts of world-class engineers at how poorly they handle conveying messages.
Windows Phone 7.8 is Windows Phone 8 with a changed core and minus some key features for WP7.x handsets. Similar to what iOS6 is for iPhone 4, much like how iOS5 was for iPhone. But. Apple is skilled at conveying the right message. Despite the lack in features for older handsets, Apple claimed that iOS6 will be available older iPhones–and Apple won user confidence (they always had the hipster Valley apologists, they don’t count). Anyhow, Microsoft for some odd, absurd and utterly stupid reason decided to call it Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8. Why could they have not, for nomenclature and a better cohesive message, called it Windows Phone 8 and, behind the scenes, pushed Windows Phone 7.8 for older handsets while having Windows Phone 8 on new handsets?! And if you say they couldn’t for technical reasons, I say Microsoft boasts of the smartest engineers in the industry–it’s time for them to step up. And use some goddamn common sense.
It’s really that simple. iOS6 has several key features missing on older iPhones but the message out of the company is that the OS is supported on older phones, Microsoft has two versions. And then there is the fact that they still haven’t pushed out WP7.8. The only plausible reason for this divided approach is Microsoft’s all hands on Windows Phone 8 approach, this would explain the delay in getting WP7.8 out of the door. How about helping the world economy by hiring some more resources, there is no dearth of talent, look at Syracuse University.