Mobile OS Upgrade Strategies

Home | Blog | Bio and Contact | CSLA .NET | CSLA Store

12 August 2016

I’ve heard a few people complaining recently because Microsoft isn’t enabling Windows 10 upgrades for all the legacy Windows 8 and 8.1 phones that exist out there in the world.

I understand that complaint and the frustration. Everyone wants the newest stuff!

The thing is that we have examples of different strategies around vendors upgrading legacy devices to their latest OS, and there appears to be no perfect answer.

For example, Apple is quite aggressive about upgrading people to the latest OS, often resulting in complaints as people agree to the upgrade and then find that their phone has become almost unusably slow.

Google/Android is less aggressive overall (I understand this is due to carrier constraints more than Google itself). But all my Android devices have been carrier unlocked, and so I’ve been able to upgrade them as each new version of Android comes out. My tablet is now entirely useless because it is so amazingly slow. Most apps just crash, and those that run are glacial. And this device is just 3-4 years old, so what gives?

Microsoft is just being (imo) upfront that if you did upgrade some devices to Windows 10 that your experience would be terrible. Just like the experiences of many people on iOS and Android. So they aren’t supporting an upgrade that would make us all cry.

I don’t know the right answer here. Is the Apple/Google approach correct? Encourage and/or let people upgrade to the point that their device is a brick? Or is Microsoft right by not allowing people to upgrade their device to where it is useless?

At the end of the day the result is the same: we all end up having to buy a newer device to run the OS we want to use.