Microsoft May Pass over Apollo for Windows Phone 7.7 Update

A short while ago, Microsoft sent out invitations for a June 20 event that promised the “future of Windows Phone.” Pundits everywhere expect that Microsoft would unveil Apollo, otherwise known as Windows Phone 8, the smartphone counterpart of the Redmond-based company’s upcoming desktop operating system. The new mobile OS promises a slew of improvements over the current version in Microsoft’s bid to become a viable third supplier of smartphone operating systems.

However, WMPoweruser has raised an alternative possibility: instead of the full-fat Windows Phone 8, Microsoft could instead unveil a “stripped-down” version of the upcoming OS. Based on a German-language report on BusinessWeek, the site speculates that the update could be given the 7.6 or 7.7 version number.

Microsoft could be worried that current phones may be unable to deliver a sufficiently smooth user experience on its upcoming mobile OS. Alternatively, BusinessWeek hinted at potential compatibility problems, saying an “update is not technically possible because Windows Mobile 8 uses different chip sets.”

Reports on the possibility of Windows Phone 8 upgrades for existing Mango users have repeatedly see-sawed between “yes” and “no,” and this report definitively sides with the latter camp. Hopefully, Microsoft will give us some details on Windows Phone 8 at its June 20 event, even if that date doesn’t see the new OS’ official launch.

Whichever way it falls, Microsoft has positioned itself squarely in the middle of the two giants of the mobile space – Apple and Google – who are expected to hold their own key conferences, where they are expected to outline their plans for the near future. The coming few weeks could be completely full of surprises, all things considered.