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Microsoft evangelist goofed on Windows Phone 8 upgrade claim

The Microsoft evangelist who said that Windows Phone 7 devices would be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8 now admits he made a mistake.

Josh Miller/CNET

Microsoft developer evangelist Nuno Silva apparently confused applications with devices when he claimed that users of Windows Phone 7 (aka Mango) would be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 (aka Apollo).

Offering a mea culpa on his blog today, Silva said he was trying to echo Microsoft's own statements that existing Windows Phone apps would run under Apollo. But for some reason he gave the impression that current devices themselves would also be able to run the next version of Windows Phone.

"I mistakenly confused app compatibility with phone updateability, which caused the rumors we saw yesterday," Silva wrote. "I did not intend to give the impression I was offering new guidance on any products under development or their upgradeability."

The developer aroused hopes among the Windows Phone faithful by leading them to believe that Mango devices would be eligible to receive the Apollo upgrade. But various sources have been insisting for a while that there is no upgrade path.

Windows Phone 7 currently supports only single-core processors and WVGA screens. But reports claim that Microsoft will move to dual-core chips and higher-resolution screens in the next version, leaving current devices unable to handle Apollo's higher-end requirements.

Microsoft itself has refused to confirm or deny whether Mango devices can move to Apollo. Reflecting Silva's corrected comments, the company's recent statement also focused solely on app compatibility: "We have stated publicly that all apps in our marketplace today will run on the next version of Windows Phone. Beyond that, we have nothing to share about future releases."

So it seems buyers of the popular Nokia Lumia 900 and other current Windows Phone 7 handsets won't be able to lift off to Apollo. That factor that may prove disappointing to hardcore users but isn't likely to have much impact on Windows Phone sales at this point.