Oh boy, we don't think this is going to go over well with Windows Phone fans and to be honest we're pretty steamed about this ourselves too. Microsoft's Greg Sullivan has been making the interview rounds with several publications, and CNET UK managed to squeeze out a vital piece of info from him: Microsoft had doomed Windows Phone 7 right from the beginning.
In fact, it was before the beginning, as Sullivan admitted preliminary work on porting the shared Windows core (i.e. the reason Windows Phone 8 won't run on older devices) began ahead of the first-gen device shipped in late 2010. We don't want to take anything out of context, so we'll take the most pertinent excerpt from the article verbatim:
Yet according to Greg Sullivan, senior product manager for Windows Phone, Microsoft knew all along it would be orphaning Windows Phone 7. Asked when it started developing Windows Phone 8, he reveals development work was going on in parallel with Windows Phone 7 -- and even earlier.
"It was right after Windows Phone 7," Sullivan said, speaking in an interview with CNET UK. The team that developed the 7.5 release actually was working in parallel with the core team that was already beginning [Windows Phone 8]. In fact some of that work was already initiated before Windows Phone 7 was even available -- so this goes back a little bit."
Unifying the Windows Phone and full-fat Windows kernel "was always the plan", he adds.
He refers to this Windows 7 to 8 schism as a "generational shift". "Once in a while there are these generational shifts in a platform and sometimes companies do it in a way that doesn't bring along any of the existing users... we've tried to do it in a way that really continues the momentum for the platform from a developer standpoint and that continues to bring new value to existing customers," he says.
From this it's evident that Microsoft and its hardware partners, in particular Nokia, knew full well that 7.x devices would never be updated to WP8. If existing users didn't already feel betrayed enough by getting cut off from the ecosystem, after this a lot of trust is going to get thrown out the window. Not cool, guys.
Source: CNET UK