updated 03:20 pm EST, Mon January 13, 2014
Windows Phone update will work on current Windows Phones
Microsoft has confirmed that the next major update for its Windows Phone operating system, believed to be called Windows Phone 8.1, will in fact be compatible with all smartphones running Windows Phone 8.0. The software giant told Computerworld last week that the forthcoming update will run on current WP8 devices, assuaging fears among some consumers that the phones that they've bought over the past year would be left behind, as was the case with devices running Windows Phone 7 when Windows Phone 8 launched in October of 2012. Current Windows Phone 8 devices, though, will run the update, and Microsoft has pledged ongoing support for those handsets through the next year or more.
Microsoft has a policy of supporting updates for 36 months, Greg Sullivan, head of Windows Phone public relations, told Computerworld.
"We will not have the same experience as we had when Windows Phone 7 was upgraded to Windows Phone 8," Sullivan said.
The next update is expected to add a number of major features to Microsoft's platform, which currently sits in a distant third place behind Google's Android and Apple's iOS in terms of handset market share. Among the rumored elements are a notification center for the OS, as well as a digital assistant in the vein of Apple's Siri and Google Now.
An exact launch window for the update has not yet been provided. Many analysts believe that Microsoft is aiming for the springtime for the update, but Microsoft has not been forthcoming with details save to say that an update is on the way.