The Redmond-based software maker said at the Windows Phone 8 developer conference in San Francisco that existing Windows Phone 7.5 Mango devices will not receive an upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system.
As a remedy, Microsoft revealed that several features in Apollo would still make its way to these smartphones through a Windows Phone 7.8 update.
The update will push the restyled Windows Phone start screen, which is one of the main selling points of Windows Phone 8, the new resizable widgets and improved color options, to existing phones.
“When you pull that Lumia out of your pocket after you’ve received that 7.8 update, it will look and feel the same as a Windows Phone 8 device,” said Greg Sullivan, senior Windows Phone product manager, to The Verge.
“Because you don’t have a multicore chip and don’t have some of these other elements, it didn’t make sense for us to make those investments for devices that couldn’t really exploit them,” he added.
Microsoft has yet to confirm what other Apollo features will come to existing Windows Phone 7 devices, and when it will release the Windows Phone 7.8 update.