Windows Phone 8 is now out, but Windows Phone 7.x is far from extinct, at least according to Microsoft. While we’ve yet to see the newest version of Windows Phone 7, dubbed 7.8, it is said to be released to RTM now and will bring some of the best features from Windows Phone 8 to those with older hardware.
That being said, Windows Phone 7.8 will still be based on the older core (CE) and will largely require a completely different app ecosystem. Sure, apps designed for Windows Phone 7 will work fine with both Windows Phone 8 and 7 handsets, but not the other way around. As time passes, Windows Phone 7 is going to likely be left out in the dark when it comes quite a few useful apps.
Still, in a recent interview with TechRadar, Microsoft’s Windows Phone corporate VP Terry Myerson ensured Windows 7.x users that both platforms would co-exist for quite a long time. In his own words:
I would expect both platforms to exist for quite some time, from a global point of view. Windows Phone 7.8 devices will span much lower price points than Windows Phone 8 devices, initially, and given the application compatibility across the platforms, it makes the ecosystem stronger to have more device and more price points.
We value every 7 and 7.8 customer we have; we’ll continue to work for them as well but it is true that Windows Phone 8 is our future platform.
The bottom-line is that Microsoft is attempting to leverage both platforms to cover the low, mid and high-end market. While the United States and other major markets will probably start to see less of Windows Phone 7, and more of the newest OS, this won’t be the case in many markets in Asia, Africa and elsewhere across the globe.
This isn’t that much different from Android, when you think about it.
Most of the Android users with newer handsets have ICS or Jelly Bean, but there are quite a few with lower-cost handsets that are still running on the much older Android Gingerbread.
Do you currently own a Windows Phone 7 device?
Are you planning on rushing out and upgrading to Windows Phone 8 hardware as soon as possible or are you happy with your current Windows Phone 7.x handset as long as it gets reasonably decent support with Windows Phone 7.8?
[ source ]