Hot off the heels of its compelling Surface tablet announcement, Microsoft has just unveiled the most complete preview of its Windows Phone 8 platform to date.
The new operating system sports a tweaked, four-column Metro UI and matches the aesthetics (and kernel!) of the company’s Windows RT offerings. The standardized handsets will officially support multi-core processors, expandable SD-based storage, NFC-enabled SIM cards, and two different display resolutions (1280 x 720 or 1280 x 768).
Unfortunately, along with the good news, Microsoft has also confirmed that existing Windows Phone 7 handsets will not support the new OS. That’s right: Even as new WP7 devices are still being sold, less than two years after the platform launched (and after only one major feature-bearing update, they’ll all be made “obsolete.”
Of course, that’s nonsense. Just like the original iPad won’t be made obsolete by Apple’s move to iOS 6, Windows Phone 7 handsets will still be usable — and supported — for a long time to come. Sometimes, it just takes a little perspective to understand the nature of the beast. The mobile industry moves mighty fast, and it can be expensive to keep up with. Indeed, to support old kit for too long can end up costing these companies their competitive edge, as new software often outpaces old hardware.
Without that competitive edge, there is no competition.
And without competition, nothing gets better.