Have a Windows PC? Then you probably get security updates, bug fixes, and new features through Windows Update. That means Microsoft pushes updates over the internet and you can download and install them automatically or on your own schedule — and it doesn’t matter what company made your computer or where you bought it.

Have a Windows Phone? Then you might have to wait for the phone maker and wireless carrier to approve an update before it’s made available… if it’s ever made available.

But that could change when Windows 10 Mobile launches later this year.

windows 10 mobile

Microsoft’s Terry Myerson wrote in a blog post earlier this month that the company’s “continuous update process applies to all Windows 10 devices, including phones,” and ZDNet’s Ed Bott received confirmation that this means Microsoft is taking charge of the update process for smartphones and small tablets running Windows software.

So Microsoft will decide when to send out software updates for Windows 10 Mobile, not your wireless carrier.

Theoretically that should mean it won’t matter if you have a Microsoft Lumia phone, an LG Lancet, an HTC One M8 Windows phone, or another device. And it shouldn’t matter what wireless network you’re using. Updates should roll out regularly for Windows 10 Mobile just like they will for Windows 10 for traditional PCs.

It remains to be seen just how well reality will keep up with theory though: will Microsoft be able to continue updating phones indefinitely? Or will the company eventually drop support for older devices that can’t handle the latest features?

Bott also notes that the Microsoft-controlled updates will be available for all devices running Windows 10… but only after they’re running Windows 10. Any existing device that currently runs Windows Phone 8.1 should be able to support Windows 10. But it’s still up to carriers to decide if or when to roll out the free update to Windows 10.

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5 replies on “Windows 10 Mobile updates will come straight from Microsoft (not your carrier… maybe)”

  1. I thought this was the original plan with earlier versions of Windows Phones until a whole bunch of exemptions were made and carriers were allowed to delay updates. I’ll remain skeptical until I see it.

  2. Expect more carriers to “Just Say No” to supporting any WinPhone devices on their networks. Microsoft has ZERO weight to be throwing around in the mobile space. I suspect instead that this entire story will just quietly die and Microsoft will pretend they never said it.

  3. That may be the plan but the carriers may have something to say about it.
    I hope Microsoft handles updates better on phones than they do on desktops/laptops. I can just see needing to make and urgent call, looking at the phone and seeing; installing updates, please wait…

    1. carriers will have a small input, ms will control the carriers to push to all to windows 10 devices alonside with their own insider preview, the same time when it pushes within 4-6 weeks through their new update system inside windows 10 mobile OS, codename project milky way, that gives update fast same as the PC/Xbox and other windows 10 editions counterparts, bringing updates through a automatic continuous updates every month and big updates a year, this update mechanism similar to iOS update system. This brings it up to par with Apple handles iOS updates. Pushing Carriers aside with control of delays like before 8.1+ and below. This will make android updates a joke. This is real. Its going to happen. Im personally sick of android poor updates delay, 10% lollipop, while 80-90% WP users already have 8.1+ now and moving to WP when windows 10 is out.

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