Microsoft has certainly been busy recently. Windows RT, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are now all here. What does that mean for legacy users of older Windows products? Largely it seems that Microsoft is content to focus on the future and offer up as limited support as possible for its last generation of Windows.
Windows 7 Support
For Windows 7 we are learning that the newest version of Direct X11 isn’t even making its way over to Windows 7. We also have learned that Microsoft has no interest in releasing future service packs for the still extremely popular Windows 7. Microsoft seems to be pushing hard towards its new Windows Store-oriented future. Whether that’s good or bad will probably depend on your own preferences.
The good news is that IE10 is coming to Windows 7, so Microsoft still intends to keep up with at least some of the more crucial software for its legacy versions of Windows. As far as Direct X, it will be years or longer before any games/programs absolutely require something higher than Direct X11 and so that’s probably not a huge issue.
Windows Phone 7 Support
What about in the Windows smartphone market? We already know that Windows Phone 7 users are stuck using the Zune Marketplace instead of the new Windows Phone app. We also know there is no upgrade path to Windows Phone 8 without a new device. Luckily, Windows 7.8 is almost here.
The last version of Windows Phone 7 has been hinted about quite a bit but now it seems we have a bit more information on when we can expect it to land. According to Windows Phone Brazil, Windows Phone 7.8 will arrive in Q1 of next year in Brazil, with a similar timeframe for the rest of the globe.
It’s good that Microsoft is giving users stuck with older hardware at least SOME of the good features from Windows Phone 8, but it is clearly not at the top of Microsoft’s priority list right now.
Moving Forward into a Tiled Future
As an early adopter, I don’t really mind that Microsoft seems to be pushing to the future and leaving the past behind– but for folks that like to stick with an older version of Windows this might be a bit annoying.
Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft will still fix bugs and security issues for Windows Phone 7 and Windows 7 far into the future. It is just clear that many of the great apps and even things like Direct X updates will be focused on the new generation of Windows. This isn’t that different from the past, but even Vista received things like Service Packs.
Do you think Microsoft is pushing forward to hard with Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8?
Should their legacy support for Windows Phone 7 and Windows 7 be stronger than it is or not?