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By tying NFC and in-app purchases together, Microsoft killed support for legacy devices

Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone 8 is fast incoming and promises to deliver more substance behind the company's already slick Metro graphical user interface.  But a key storyline has been the controversy surrounding Microsoft's decision to leave legacy device users out in the cold with no upgrade path to Windows Phone 8.  Instead, they get a partial update -- Windows Phone 7.8.

After Microsoft made that clear, much discussion has focused on which features will and won't be included in Windows Phone 7.8.  The Verge has dug up details from the Windows Phone Developer Center on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN), which indicate that Windows Phone 7.8 users will not get in-app purchases.

Microsoft chose to launch Windows Phone from the ground up. As a result, certain commonplace features like cut and paste were mysteriously absent at launch.  Many of those missing features were included in a series of updates -- the biggest of which was Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango".

But Mango apps still lacked in-app purchases, an essential feature for Android and iOS developers.

Rather than go for half-hearted near-field-communications (NFC) wireless payments and in-app payments, Microsoft decided to make a brand-new shiny "Wallet" hub for Windows Phone 8, which securely stores users' credit cards and allows a common payment API.

Windows Phone 8
In-app purchases are only for Windows Phone 8, not WinPhone 7.8. [Image Source: The Verge]

The bad news is that by tying NFC and in-app payments together, Microsoft essentially nixed in-app payments for legacy devices, which lack NFC.  It's still possible that the feature might creep into Windows Phone 7.8, but for now MSDN says that in-app payments will only be available for Windows Phone 8.


Sources: MSDN, The Verge



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RE: *wah*
By kleinma on 8/7/2012 3:31:48 PM , Rating: 4
Phones are legacy devices the second the next version comes out. Do you have any idea how many android phones that weren't released that long ago are stuck in 2.x land and will never, ever see the light of 4.x? Even those who upgrade via a custom rom are missing much of the feature base because the hardware lacks what the software requires.

The only exception I have seen to this is Apple, and in their case, it might work for the most recent previous gen iPhone (3gs when 4 came out, 4 when 4s came out, and eventually 4s when 5 comes out), but all the older gen iPhones get the new iOS, but don't have the hardware to support the new features, and run slower than hell with each new iOS revision (I am sure iPhone 3G users are thrilled when iOS updates come out for their phone improving iPad features).

Although considering who I am replying to, I might as well be talking to a brick wall.


RE: *wah*
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/7/2012 4:04:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Phones are legacy devices the second the next version comes out. Do you have any idea how many android phones that weren't released that long ago are stuck in 2.x land and will never, ever see the light of 4.x? Even those who upgrade via a custom rom are missing much of the feature base because the hardware lacks what the software requires.
Exactly.

Android ICS arrived Oct. 2011.

I got my Windows Phone in April 2012, over six months (half-a-year) later and my Evo 4G still hadn't received an update yet, at the time of my upgrade.

There was a ROM floating around February-Marchish, but it had some issues with Sprint network, according to posts I was reading, so I decided to avoid.

The fact is that all the platforms leave behind owners of outdated devices to some extent.

For Android owners you have deal with slow updates and the discovery that some "features" when you eventually do get the update (like NFC) don't work because you don't have the hardware to support them.

For iOS, you'll get the update on time, it will just run really slow and some apps will be practically non-functional, if your device is over one generation (1 yr.) removed from the launch device.

For Windows Phone, you'll get a partial update (Windows Phone 7.8), but you won't get some of the cool new features.

At least Microsoft is being up front about this.

For smartphone fans, you have a pretty clear cut decision -- upgrade on a yearly cycle, or deal with missing out on the latest and greatest fun features, no matter what platform you're on.


RE: *wah*
By kleinma on 8/7/2012 4:15:36 PM , Rating: 4
Hey Jason, I just wanted to say your articles have gotten much better as of late. I used to bitch at you pretty consistently, but the quality of the read has gone up. A few typos and errors are always forgivable, otherwise there would be no news sites on the internet I could visit.


RE: *wah*
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/7/2012 8:10:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Hey Jason, I just wanted to say your articles have gotten much better as of late. I used to bitch at you pretty consistently, but the quality of the read has gone up. A few typos and errors are always forgivable, otherwise there would be no news sites on the internet I could visit.
Thanks! It'll probably sound cliche, but I'm honestly always trying to improve and open to suggestions.

Writing 3-5 articles every day is a pretty grueling pace, but I've tried to cut down on my bad habits e.g. homophones switcheroos; while adding more details and considering both sides of the picture even when I mostly personally gravitate to one. But I know I still have plenty of room to keep improving, so I appreciate the feedback both neg. and pos. :)

Kris Kubicki, our old executive editor, was a great mentor to me early on, but now that he left, I've been left on an independent study of sorts with you guys as my compass of whether I'm hitting or missing.

When I started writing @ DT about five years back I remember telling myself I wanted to write the kind of news I would want to read. It sounds selfish, but basically, it means that I want to write news that's on interesting topics treated with a bit of humor and analysis, but in such a way as to be balanced and informative -- complete, but not needlessly long-winded. Many topics just strike me as boring and set off my inner "oh h3ll no!", but I always get excited when I dig up interesting stories to give you guys.

Some days I disappoint myself, some days I pat myself on the back for a job well done. But no matter which it is, I always keep trying because I love my job -- writing for you guys!!


RE: *wah*
By quiksilvr on 8/8/2012 9:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
You have improved greatly over the years. Hopefully in time your colleagues will do the same.


RE: *wah*
By Varun on 8/7/2012 4:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
First off, I am a WP owner.

I think it's easy to criticize Android updates (or lack of) as a win for Windows Phone, but really, it's not. Windows Phone has historically had a lot of issues getting updates out, just like Android.

And lets be honest. If you buy a GSIII today, you are going to get some updates. If you buy a Lumia 900 today, you are also going to get an update to 7.8. No, you won't get everything that WP8 brings, but you get the new start screen.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, they had to reboot the OS after Windows Mobile. The worst part is they had to reboot again so soon.

I still think they could have made some effort to port some of the features over to existing phones, but they chose not to. We can argue whether they should have or not, but still they are leaving people in the cold.

I personally am OK with this because WP8 looks to be heads and shoulders better than WP7, and in theory will never need another platform reboot again since it will be code shared with Windows RT. But not everyone is happy about the Lumia 900 they now have for another two years with no new features coming.


RE: *wah*
By jonmcc33 on 8/7/2012 5:06:14 PM , Rating: 4
After having my WP7 phone (HTC Arrive) for the past 10 months I can say I regret it. I love the interface but lack of apps kills the platform completely.


RE: *wah*
By ctodd on 8/7/12, Rating: 0
RE: *wah*
By nikon133 on 8/7/2012 5:36:24 PM , Rating: 2
True that.

My 3Gs is slower and slower with every update. At this stage I get occasional slow-down-to-crawl for very simple things, like creating and sending new txt message.

I did get a few benefits, like folders (which I use a lot) but on average, nothing ground-breaking... and of course, I missed on Siri, video editing... other features available to 4 and 4s.

My battery seems to be lasting longer, to my surprise, but that might just be me using phone less than before.

All in all, I wouldn't mind reverting back to 3.x where my phone was silky smooth.

I'm not blaming Apple for this - I'm well aware my phone is 3 years old and there is only that much you can squeeze from 2009 hardware. But, after my experience, I'm neither trilled with perspective of having iOS6 upgrade incoming for my 3Gs.

In my mind, if phone satisfies my needs when purchased, it will serve as well for the next year or two, even if better stuff is being released. Lumia 900 is still strong candidate for my next phone; I'll wait to see what are WP8 offering, but being aware that I am not too demanding smart phone user, I know I don't need latest and greatest one available, and few $ saved on phone are a few $ available for other things I want to grab.


RE: *wah*
By name99 on 8/7/2012 11:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For iOS, you'll get the update on time, it will just run really slow and some apps will be practically non-functional, if your device is over one generation (1 yr.) removed from the launch device.


You can say this nonsense as often as you like but that won't make it true.
iPad 2 runs fine with iOS5, and will doubtless be as fast or faster with iOS6. Likewise for iPhone 4.

"Opinions differ on the shape of the earth" doesn't make you some sort of superior journalist; it merely makes you an idiot.


RE: *wah*
By Reclaimer77 on 8/7/2012 5:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
Apologist nonsense. Moral relativist crap. Nuff said.

This is why you people continue to NOT understand why nobody uses Windows Phone and their market share is too low to even statistically measure.

WP has to be BETTER than Android. You cannot keep using the same excuse that "well Android updates are slow, so it's okay". No, it's not okay. For Microsoft to gain headway here against the critical mass marketshares of iOS and Android, they have to be ahead of the curve. They have to be doing better.

This is worst than the ICS situation. Having an older OS version is one thing, but the difference between WP 7.5 and WP 8 is ton of functionality that you simply cannot get with an "older" phone. That's not the case with Android.

quote:
Although considering who I am replying to, I might as well be talking to a brick wall.


Yeah you should consider who you're talking to. I'm not sure I like your tone. You should have some respect, you nobody.


RE: *wah*
By kleinma on 8/7/2012 5:51:09 PM , Rating: 4
You amaze me at how you manage to post something with so many different points, and yet have all those points be incorrect. That is a very obscure talent you have that I am sure you invest much effort into.


RE: *wah*
By Reclaimer77 on 8/7/12, Rating: 0
RE: *wah*
By JNo on 8/7/2012 11:01:11 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The only exception I have seen to this is Apple ... but all the older gen iPhones get the new iOS, but don't have the hardware to support the new features,


Shut up! :)

Older iphones *do* often have hardware capable of running new features but are deliberately left out by Apple. The iphone 4 didn't get siri, turn-by-turn or speech to text and is capable of all of those. The 3GS doesn’t support FaceTime, offline reading, shared Photo Streams, VIP lists or Flagged Smart mailboxes. The ipad2 doesn't get cellular facetime or siri. The ipad doesn't get iOS6 at all.

It's deliberate, aggressive, shameless, forced upgrade behaviour from Cupertino.


RE: *wah*
By melgross on 8/8/2012 6:26:48 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it's so terrible that Apple still supports phones that are 3.5 years old with new OS updates that give more features, even if they can't support all of them. It's also bad that this allows more newer apps to run than would otherwise be possible.

As for the 33GS, we still have one here, even though we don't use it as a phone anymore. iOS 5 runs just fine on it. It's not slower. My older 3G had problems with iOS 4. Some of that was fixed with later updates, but the phone still ran slower. The 3GS had a number of speed ups which has continued to work out fine.

That apparently Apple is going to release 6 for it is pretty decent of them. When new Android phones come out with an OS that's already 6 months (or in the case of the new Sony, a year) outdated always amazes me. But then, most people don't even know their phone runs Android. They bought the phone because of the size, or, most likely these days, because it's a Samsung, another company with a poor record of supporting older models.

The thing about Win Phone, is that Microsoft needed to come out with this in a real hurry, and they did the easy thing. They could have gone to the version of CE that allowed multi CPU cores, but that would have been more work, and more time. They must have known from the very beginning of development that these phones wouldn't have been upgradable. It's sad, but I think they felt they had no choice.


RE: *wah*
By WalksTheWalk on 8/8/2012 10:41:24 AM , Rating: 2
Let's be honest:

1. Apple has better support for iOS devices than Android or WP, hands down. They update older phones with the newer OS more often. You can also bring it to any Apple store and get good customer service for it. The tradeoff is that you need to have an iPhone and there are very few models.

2. Android's OEMs do not update as often or very timely, but most do get some minor or major updates. It all depends on the OEM and it's hit or miss. The tradeoff is that you can choose from many devices and features.

3. Windows Phone has had a good track record for updating WP7 devices up to the point of WP8 where a brick wall is hit. The problem here is that there are no future updates for the current hardware, guaranteed, and there is limited hardware to choose from. Once WP8 hits shelves, MS will probably do a great job on updates assuming they don't do another full reboot of the OS. For WP7 devices there are not good tradeoffs. No WP8 update, where the entire API will change and apps will not be backward compatible, AND lack of hardware choice.


RE: *wah*
By tayb on 8/8/2012 11:24:20 AM , Rating: 2
Apple: Some software features deliberately left out of new software versions. Almost all products receive an update.

Android: No software update available for many phones, ever. Vast majority of the market still stuck with 2.x versions.

WP8: No updates for "legacy" phones... even if the phone is 8 months old.

quote:
It's deliberate, aggressive, shameless, forced upgrade behaviour from Cupertino.


Compared to Android updates it is a godsend. My Droid X stopped receiving updates less than a year after it was released. At least old Apple products get updates with some features stripped.


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