Windows Phone 8.1 Officially Dead, Windows 10 Mobile on Life Support for Now

Windows Phone 8.1 officially dead, Windows 10 Mobile on life support

Windows Phone 8.1 will no longer receive feature or security updates as of July 11. After 7 years of touch and go, WP is officially dead – at least, as far as Microsoft is concerned. However, Windows 10 Mobile will continue to be ‘kept alive intravenously’ until it reaches the end of its natural life. That’s both good and bad news.

The bad news is obviously from a user perspective. Even though Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile don’t have the massive market share enjoyed by their richer cousins, iOS and Android, there are still millions of users holding on to their surprisingly resilient Lumias and other devices running these operating systems.

These users – especially of Windows Phone devices – will have to accept the fact that their phone’s days are numbered. Of course, zero support doesn’t mean you have to throw the phone away, but it will increasingly make your device more prone to hacker attacks and other security vulnerabilities.

As for Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft has already parked it in a non-moving branch of beta builds called Feature2. That’s essentially a retirement home for older Windows versions, and it’s right next to the graveyard!

The really bad news is that Nearly 75 percent of Windows smartphones currently run on Windows Phone 8.1, which was killed. That means one in four Windows smartphone users are now left in the cold. Of course, the entire group is a mere fraction of a percentage point when it comes to market share, but that’s still a significant number of users.

And now for the good news, which you’ll need to squint your eyes really hard to see – if at all you do. The good news is that Microsoft has been working on a brand new version of Windows 10 Mobile, and their own in-house hardware to go with it. Many have speculated that this is the real Surface Phone, and that’s definitely a possibility.

Admittedly, a lot of Windows device users won’t necessarily see that as good news because it’s very unlikely that this new version of Windows 10 Mobile will be available to older devices. There is bound to be some new hardware for this version that won’t be there on older models.

However, the fact that Microsoft isn’t giving up on its mobile ambitions is most definitely good news. Whether or not the new Windows 10 Mobile version on a possible Surface Phone is going to revolutionize the smartphone industry remains to be seen. But that’s beside the point. The first thing for Microsoft to do is to launch something. Everybody’s waiting, and it’s been years since rumors first started floating around about a Surface Phone.

Hopefully, the newer Windows 10 Mobile on the new device will change the world’s perception about smartphones running Windows. The company is already preparing to release Windows 10 on ARM cellular devices by the end of the year, but we think that’s just a stop-gap release until the real Surface Phone is ready to see the light of day.

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