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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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Relevant info
By B3an on 8/7/2012 3:52:57 PM , Rating: 1
WP7 market share grew by 277% in Q2 2012 compared to the previous year, despite the announcement about no WP8 upgrade. Thats 2.5 times the growth of Android and 10 times the growth of iPhones.

RE: Relevant info
By kleinma on 8/7/2012 4:19:56 PM , Rating: 3
I am a Microsoft fan, but we all know the facts are that marketshare growth is always huge when your existing market share is tiny. The reality is in the actual volume of handsets being moved, and every android makers is moving more phones individually than all the windows phones combined.

That said though, there is still a lot of room in this space, and I expect Win8Phone to do much better, especially since it has an entire Win8 ecosystem of PCs, laptops, tablets, and xbox to interact with and provide a cohesive ecosystem. Even if the new BB OS is decent, I think MS will take a chunk out of corporate phone purchases because I would expect Win8Phone to play nice with corporate IT policies, and should be easy to manage.

RE: Relevant info
By SkullOne on 8/7/2012 8:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
Gotta love sensationalist headlines. 227% increase from nothing is still...well nothing when compared to the competition.

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