While current Windows Phones â€“ even those that just launched this year â€“ will be cut off with Windows Phone 7.8, future Windows Phone 8 devices will get at least 18 months of software updates. Moreover, these updates won’t require the Zune software anymore, but will be pushed out over-the-air to eligible devices.
However, Apple has historically provided iOS updates for its various devices over a much longer timeframe â€“ the iPhone 3GS, introduced back in 2009, will receive iOS 6 later this year, plus minor updates after that, which makes for over 40 months of updates. If the Windows Phone team sticks to its yearly release schedule, 18 months would mean only one major update plus six months of additional minor updates.
In fact, first-generation Windows Phones, which launched in late 2010, would already be outdated by now, so that of course brings us to the “at least”. Microsoft has seemingly learned to under-promise and over-deliver, but still, shouldn’t it â€“ like Apple â€“ be able to guarantee at least two major updates, especially now with the switch to the NT kernel in Windows Phone 8?