No news doesn’t necessarily mean bad news

Paul Thurrott is worried about the lack of any Windows Phone 7.8 information:

Today, almost exactly one month after the Windows Phone 8 release and over 5 months after it was announced, Microsoft has never really publicly discussed Windows Phone 7.8 again nor has it hinted at when it might be released.

Microsoft, silence is no way to treat early adopters, the people who are your most loyal customers. It is the most disrespectful thing you can do, in fact. Combined with the weird and continued holes in your ecosystem strategy—the inability to get Xbox Video content on Windows Phone 8 as only one obvious example—it’s unclear to me why you think anyone should support you or your mobile platform.

Welcome to the world of Apple, where you’re told precisely nothing about upcoming releases. Apple occasionally announces new product updates but hasn’t exactly been stellar with their self-imposed deadlines.

However, the folks over at Windows Phone Central have been posting plenty of updates:

I’m sure Thurrott knows about these (it’s what he does) so his article’s focus is more on the lack of official updates from Microsoft. Microsoft haven’t officially discussed any updates to WP7.8 since June so it’s been a few months since it was last mentioned.

There’s a number of reasons why this is and I suspect Microsoft is playing it safe. WP7 was a very touchy subject when they announced that it couldn’t be upgraded to WP8 so they want to be sure any news or updates they release are rock solid. I don’t see that as a problem. Sometimes it’s just better to keep your mouth shut and that’s exactly what Microsoft are doing. If we’re to trust the rumour that WP7.8 has gone RTM then they’ll no doubt be waiting until they are ready to push the update. Apple, a company famed for it’s secrecy, has dropped the ball in the few times they’ve made commitments recently. Remember the Push Notifications delay? That took months to materialise. iTunes 11 has been pushed back as well as the shipping dates of the latest iMac.

It’s most likely they haven’t released any updates simply because there isn’t one. I do agree a time scale would’ve been useful but from a business standpoint, I wouldn’t announce one either. That way, those early adopters who are always keen to get the new tech first will probably just end up upgrading their device. The more people who upgrade, the less who’ll need the update and notice if it falls short of expectations. (For an incremental update, I suspect a number of folks are imagining it’ll bring all the features of WP8 – it won’t). Is this a bit underhanded? Of course it is – but that’s business. It’s in Microsoft’s interest to make money, just like any other company.

If Thurrott really wants to know how it feels to be screwed by being an early adopter, he should buy a Motorola. Those guys (don’t forget Motorola is owned by Google) really know how to screw their early adopters.