Wow, busy week for Mr. Ahonen. Somehow I’m not surprised that he is going on with the “Osborne effect” again. If you read my previous blog, you know already that the Elop Effect is just exaggerated FUD, but this time he is even more far off.

So his blog goes ranting about “now Ballmer says there won’t be a migration path for Windows 8 either” [1]. That’s the most weirdest sentence ever produced by this man. Let’s first read what he has been saying about Symbian, MeeGo, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone in the past:
I remember back then, working in the PC industry, how clumsy it was to install Windows after you had installed DOS. And many subsequent Windows editions still had the DOS ‘kernel’ visible and even had user-adaptable elements to it. But yes, Microsoft took the trouble to provide a migration path from DOS to Windows on the PC.” [2]
Now here he defines migration path as “old programs can be run on the new platform”. Not true, but let’s keep it like that for a moment. Then let’s talk about MeeGo and Windows Phone:
Nokia’s Symbian has traditionally had a migration path and Nokia even built a migration from Symbian to MeeGo via its developer tools called Qt. Thus any apps now developed for Symbian would also run on MeeGo. The developers of Symbian were particularly pleased with this extra effort that Nokia had invested in its ecosystem.
Nokia’s intended OS, MeeGo would then benefit from the migration of most current Symbian content.
The selected Microsoft WP7 operating system did not have a migration path from Symbian. It did not have a migration path to or from MeeGo. It did not even have a migration path from the previous Microsoft OS, Windows Mobile. The previous Microsoft developers were particularly upset that Microsoft refused to support them in migration.” [3]
Now he gets it all wrong as DOS-Windows model does not match to Symbian and MeeGo. Even with Qt you needed to do reworking in order to get same program run on both platforms. Considerably less than porting from Symbian to WP, but still, same program did not run on MeeGo “as is”. You needed to do some configuration, recompilation and – most likely – double coding. So he talks about two things under name of migration path:

  1. App-compatibility, meaning that same apps actually run on new platform (Not the case between Symbian and MeeGo)
  2. Migration path – a way to port existing apps to new platform. (Case With Symbian and MeeGo)

Now he is right, Windows Mobile was so different OS that there was no point to try to do Migration path to Windows Phone. But then we get to ugly part. Let’s read the whole sentence as this is what he has based :

And now Ballmer says there won’t be a migration path for Windows 8 either. Your existing WP7 based smarpthone is an expensive paperweight: you have to buy a new smartphone to enjoy Windows 8 on it

Now this I think is the WTF moment of the year. What does Migration path have to do with the OS version? “Update to next version of the OS” is NOT migration path, it’s making new OS compatible with old HW! (Which is often not feasible as old HW is not powerful enough to run the new OS version)

But to negate this fully:
There is App-compatibility between Windows Phone 7.x and Windows Phone 8.
Yes. ANY current program runs in WP8. ANY new program not utilizing WP8 features/APIs will run on BOTH. It’s same situation as it is already in Android 4.0 – new programs don’t run on older phones, but compatibility works vice versa.
More than that, it’s the same SDK you use to develop both, so there actually is also Migration Path from WP8 to WP7.x! You can (not without effort, but with reasonable effort) rewrite your program to ALSO run in WP7.x, you just have to maintain two versions. (On the other hand, why would you write your program for WP8 alone if you did not need WP8 features or native API in the first place?)
Transition from Symbian to Symbian^3 was EXACTLY like WP7.x to WP8, EXCEPT this time old users get an upgrade! When Nokia launched N8 (and Symbian^3), they (according to Tomi Ahonen) turned existing Symbian based smartphones to “an expensive paperweight”.
YES old Symbian programs were able to run on Symbian^3.
NO you could not run new Symbian^3 programs in old devices, unless programmer made 2 versions – one for each version of Symbian.

So once again Tomi Ahonen is feeding FUD to the mass. And people will buy it as they don’t see the difference between “you get new OS version to your device for free” and “next products are coming with the new operating system version”.

Think PC world: When Windows 95 came to market, were people expecting it would run on their old 286 and did they expect full upgrade for free? NO!

When Android 4.0 (ICS) came to markets in 2012, were people owning HTC tablet demanding the upgrade? (I guess they were, but none is still coming). If you bought HTC tablet the day before announcement, tough luck!

For Lumia’s not having migration path: It’s not fact. It’s FUD.
For Lumia’s not having OS update: It’s not new. It’s not migration path.

Most interesting thing is: Tomi does not talk about apps. If we look at application development, there is installed base of 0 devices for Windows Phone 8. Any sane developer makes first Windows Phone 8 version, and then considers the WP8 version. It will take a noticeable time before application developers do WP8 version first. During that time older WP7 devices definitely are not “Osborned”.

Listing this as one more lie Tomi Ahonen needs to admit publicly.





Guideline for commenting:
I hate the way Tomi Ahonen deletes criticizing comments from his blog. However, I plan to follow three of his principles: I’ll delete comments that are

  1. Personal insults to someone
  2. Duplicates
  3. Spam

In addition, if you wish to challenge my previous posts, please comment to those.