The celebration for Microsoft over the launch of Windows phone 8 came as a blow to Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT: NOK1V) (AMS:NOKA). Windows phone 8 won’t be available on existing Windows Phone 7 based devices including Nokia’s high profile Lumia 900.
Nokia, one of the biggest Windows Phone vendors in the world, was relying heavily on the Windows Phone platform in its transition away from its own Symbian. As a consolation to its vendors from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), existing devices may receive an update in the form of Windows Phone 7.8. This will add some but not all, of the Windows Phone 8 features to the older version.
According to Nokia, those who already have Lumia devices with Windows Phone 7, will be able to update their phones with some of the Windows Phone 8 features. Some features will include the start screen and download new apps from companies, like Zynga.
However, many features will left out. Nokia stated, “Microsoft also announced today that the Windows Phone Marketplace has reached 100,000 apps, and with Windows Phone 8 sharing the Windows 8 core, millions of Windows developers will also be able to develop for Windows Phone ecosystem. Lumia customers can expect thousands more apps to be introduced across Windows Phone platform.”
The last few years have not been kind to Nokia. It has been cutting and slashing costs where it can, and burning through its cash. Nokia’s flagship model, the Lumia 900, only launched in the US in April along with a huge marketing effort, which is now effectively obsolete thanks to Microsoft. Nokia sold 3 million units since the launch compared to 37 million by Apple in the same period.
Previously, Microsoft made Windows Mobile 6.X’s code incompatible with Windows Phone 7. Other similar issues arose earlier in the decade with moves between Windows Smartphone and Windows CE.
Analysts believe that many customers will now wait until Windows Phone 8 devices become available in the fall, instead of opting to buy a Nokia Lumia 900 in the meantime.