Microsoft Screws Their Customers

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

You've Just Been Beta-Tested, Suckers!

I’ve written a couple of articles taking Microsoft and Nokia to task for their terrible marketing and implementation of their Lumia 900 smartphone. By claiming “The Smartphone Beta Test is Over“, the companies set the bar pretty high and unfortunately their phone just isn’t really all that good. But now Microsoft has announced something that totally shocked and surprised me. And I’m sure for the people that have recently purchased the Lumia or any other Windows 7 phone, shocked and surprised is probably more like straight-up pissed off.

As Microsoft is gearing up their marketing machine for the make-or-break, all-or-nothing release of Windows 8, they made a teeny-tiny little mention that oh, by the way, any current Windows 7 phones will not be able to upgrade to Windows 8. Yeah, that’s right. Anybody who has recently purchased a brand-new Windows phone, even the recently heavily promoted aforementioned Lumia 900, now owns an obsolete device. Sure, they’ll get a cosmetic update to Windows “7.8″, but make no mistake, Windows 7.8 is not going to be Windows 8. If Windows 8 is the future of Microsoft, current Windows phone owners are being left behind.

We really shouldn’t be too surprised, however. When Microsoft introduced Windows Phone 7 only a year-and-a-half ago, they abandoned their users at that point as well. People who owned Windows phones at that time (then known as Windows Mobile) were not able to upgrade, nor were any applications developed for Windows Mobile able to run on Windows 7 phones. The difference in this instance, however, is the brazen nature of the recent Lumia 900 marketing campaign. It is almost as if Microsoft is now spitting in the face of their users. “Ha! You’ve just been beta-tested, suckers!”

Mercifully, there aren’t that many Windows 7 phone owners out there. And this little turn of events will probably ensure there won’t be many more. But the problem for Microsoft is that this might also ensure there won’t be many Windows 8 phone users either. Fool me once …