Microsoft released Windows Phone 8.1 in 2014, and this week the company is ending mainstream support for the operating system. That means the company will no longer promise to release security updates or other operating system updates after July 11th, 2017.

Will this affect a lot of people? Not really, in the grand scheme of things. Android and iOS dominate the smartphone space, with Windows holding onto a nearly insignificant market share.

But when it comes to the folks who are using phones running Windows software, almost three quarters of them are still running Windows 8.1.

That’s according to the latest stats from AdDuplex, which reports that only about 20 percent of smartphones running Windows are using Windows 10 Mobile. The remainder are using even older versions of Windows.

While these numbers come from third-party analytics rather than from Microsoft, they seem entirely plausible. Many phones that shipped with Windows Phone 8 or Windows Phone 8.1 never received software updates to Windows 10 Mobile.

So Microsoft’s move to end support on schedule for those phones means that plenty of folks are going to be left with few options other than to continue to use old software as it becomes increasingly insecure, or to upgrade to a new device… which may or may not be a phone that runs Windows software.

via Neowin

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4 replies on “Windows Phone 8.1 mainstream support ends July 11th”

  1. As the owner of two Nokia Win 8.1 phones — “support” was dropped a couple of years ago (it has been that long since I’ve received any OS updates other than manually updating maps and removing the Nokia apps after it was dismantled). It is disappointing because both phones (my 1st “smart” phones) have been trouble-free. The voice/signal quality on the $99 Lumia 521 was exceptional – the 4″ screen, perfect for my needs. It was retired because OEM batteries became unavailable, aftermarket batteries were sub-par out of the box.

    While family members have gone through numerous android and ios phones, my $79 Lumia 635 soldiers on as my daily driver (voice, email, text and occasional map lookup on the GPS). When the battery dies, my use of Microsoft products (other than my mouse) will also have come to an end.

    Thanks Microsoft and best wishes, it has been a nice ride! 🙂

  2. How to make a sinking ship look good – or at least better? Put her on fire and then claim you had to sink the ship to put out the fire.

  3. I like Windows Phone 10 less than 8.1. They toned down the color and animations in 10.

    I liked Windows Phone 8.1. I liked the live tiles paradigm on a mobile device. I liked the animations when all the tiles fly on and off the screen. I liked that it ran well on modest hardware. The settings were easy to navigate and clearly labeled. Microsoft initially had momentum when Windows Phone 8.1 launched. Unfortunately, they failed to deliver apps that people wanted. They made a lot of promises about upgrading that they failed to deliver. On the surface it looks like they have just about abandoned Windows Phone.

    I think Microsoft has a trust problem. They certainly have a follow-through problem. They burned a lot of people with promised upgrades and abandoned platforms (WinRT, etc). Their mobile strategy has been schizophrenic. I doubt all those Win Phone 8.1 users want to buy a new phone with Win Phone 10. Who wants to buy into an ecosystem that is decaying and unpredictable?

    I think Microsoft will try again when the hardware is capable of delivering a fuller desktop experience on the go. As long they don’t get caught up in a lawsuit with intel about Win32 app compatibility on ARM, that might happen fairly soon. It looks they are making a modest effort to get apps in the Windows Store. If they can get the store stocked and deliver a phone that can run all those apps they might be able to get some user momentum again. I’m not sure how many people will be willing to dive in at first with Microsoft’s spotty record. I’m going to be cautious about dealing with Microsoft’s mobile efforts going forward.

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