Since Microsoft has not released the Windows Phone 8 SDK to all developers yet, it is reasonable to assume that there will be a relatively small number of native Windows Phone 8 apps to be available once the OS makes its launch. Such a reality is not uncommon with any operating system. Microsoft promised that Windows Phone 8 would allow any Windows Phone 7.5 app to run without modification.
What may pose a problem is how the language coming from Microsoft is not sounding so confident. Some were openly wondering if the delay of rolling out the SDK to everyone might be related to keeping some features locked down until closer to the official announcement. What may be more likely however, is that there is a backward compatibility problem. Windows Phone 8 is a clean OS break from its predecessor.
Here is the initial promise from Microsoft earlier this year:
In a September 12 blog post by Andrew Whitechapel with the Windows Phone Developer Blog raises the issue of compatibility in his first bullet point:
Now let us couple the blog post with what was said in a September 17 podcast, Windows Phone Product Manager, Cliff Simpkins is quoted as saying:
Where does that leave us? For many of the developers it leaves them still waiting on Microsoft to release the SDK. For the users and customers, it means that we should take note of how legacy apps perform on the Windows Phone 8 devices when they become available.
Assuming this is the real issue, the question of “why” remains unanswered. Or, this could be the grand Microsoft plan to keep us all in suspense until everything is announced.
sources: WPDownUnder, LiveSide.net and TheWindows Blog