Microsoft will launch a preview of Windows 10 for phones in February, with the full version of the software expected to roll out later this year. So what does that mean for folks with smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1?

According to Microsoft’s Chris Weber, “the majority of Lumia phones” that are already running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 will be upgraded to run Windows 10 software.

windows 10 phones

Weber says the latest version of Windows has been designed to support existing Lumia phones, which comes in a range of shapes, sizes, and performance levels. There are low-cost entry levels with low-resolution screens, small amounts of RAM, and basic cameras, as well as high-end phablet-sized devices with speedier hardware and better cameras.

Some Windows 10 features might not be available on all phones… and some may only support future phones with hardware that hasn’t yet been released. But basically Microsoft is saying that if you buy a Lumia phone now, there’s a good chance it’ll be able to run Windows 10 when it’s available… it just might not run it quite as well as devices yet to come.

New features in Windows 10 for phones includes an updated Settings app, support for custom backgrounds on the home screen, new versions of Microsoft Office apps that have been optimized for touch, and a new Outlook app.

Phones running Windows 10 will also be able to synchronize data with tablets, notebooks, or other PCs running Windows 10 through Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service… and they’ll even run some of the same apps. The Outlook app, for instance, is basically the same software whether it’s running on a phone with an ARM-based chip or a desktop PC with an Intel or AMD processor.

Microsoft is also encouraging third-party developers to create what it calls Universal Windows Apps which will be able to run across different types of devices.

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5 replies on “Windows 10 coming to “majority” of Lumia phones”

  1. So you get a new settings app and some gimmick on the homescreen, but it could slow down your device and you could lose compatibility with old apps. On the other hand if you don’t update, you’ll loose compatibility with the newer apps. Or is WP 10 still compatible with the old apps? And if it is, will the new OS fit on the same partition leaving about same amount of storage for the apps, or is it bigger? Just some concerns for the only WP phone in the family, a Lumia 520.

  2. Last line of the paragraph right below the picture: “…high-end phablet-sized devices with speedier hardware and batter cameras.”

    batter cameras? i didn’t know microsoft cornered the the niche market of bakery photography with the lumia line of phones 😛

  3. The big questions is how well these older phones will run the new software. This is not just a Microsoft problem. iPhones and Android phones sometimes get upgrades that may be an upgrade in OS but a downgrade in usability due to having marginal hardware.

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