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Microsoft Will Pull the Support Plug on Windows Phones 7.8 and 8 Next Year

Screen shot 2013-03-20 at 7.51.18 PM

[Photo Credit: Windows Phone Daily]

I have much experience in writing on iOS and Apple news, and I entered the tech world some few years ago with iOS and Apple on my mind (and before my eyes) on a daily basis. I have come to own Android devices (in particular, the GS3) and appreciate the customization and technology found in Google’s OS, but have never given up on the fact that other operating systems (such as Mozilla FireFox and Windows) could help me appreciate tech even more. I have never owned a Windows device and found myself drooling over the Nokia 620 and 820 recently, two phones that are no more than three or four months old (max). Since website prices for these two phones are appealing, I thought I’d purchase a Nokia smartphone this year, running Windows 8.

Much to my dismay, there is no need to purchase Windows phone 8 devices — and you shouldn’t purchase them either.

The reason? Microsoft will deny web support to both Windows 7.8 and Windows 8 devices in 2014. For Windows 7.8, web support will end on September 9, 2014; for Windows 8, web support will end on July 8, 2014.   The Redmond company has decided to end web support for these devices because it plans to support devices running its latest operating system for 18 months only. Some tech analysts have said that this is not surprising, but I think it appalling. Even alarming for those interested in the Windows platform.

Let’s face the facts: with the exception of a consumer minority in the US, Microsoft and Windows have a small percentage of interested customers. There are Android and iOS customers who leave their former OS loyalties and drift towards Windows, but they come to Microsoft and Windows with similar expectations as the ones they had with Apple and Samsung, Google, Sony, or some other Android OEM. They want their devices to have web support for at least two years, the length of their carrier contract. Although T-Mobile is lighting the way with its new unlocked phones and prepaid agreements, most carriers are still heavily interested (and heavily locked into) the two-year contractual agreement. Many customers choose the two-year agreement because they cannot afford the full price of their handset right away.

With Microsoft’s decision to deny these devices web support in 2014, many individuals will find themselves with about six months of no web support for their current devices. Here is where Redmond could take some cues from Cupertino — even Apple provides three full years of web support for its devices. Currently, the iPhone 4 is running iOS6 but will not receive iOS7. The iPhone 4S will run iOS7 but will not receive iOS8 (since the iPhone 4S will leave the market as of Spring 2014). The iPhone 5, in stark contrast, will have another 2.5 years of web support before Apple “pulls the plug” on its latest flagship device. Even Samsung provides two full years or so of support. Notice that the Galaxy S2 will receive Android 4.2.2, the latest version of the Android OS prior to this May when Android 5.0 will be revealed.

One of the most disconcerting things about Microsoft’s announcement is that Windows 7.8 will receive support longer than Windows 8. The other disconcerting fact about Microsoft’s announcement is that interested customers (who are new to Windows) will no longer have an interest to purchase a Windows phone. I know that this new announcement has pushed me away from purchasing a Windows device, and I’m not alone. The next time you think about venturing out and trying a new OS, just remember these words — and do not give a Windows 7.8 or 8 phone a second glance. Just keep walking.

11 Comments

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  1. Your clearly Diedre pretending to be another user supporting a weak argument against Windows mobile devices, perhaps because they don’t come in candy pink with rhinestone detailing! The operating system is without doubt much more user friendly than iOS or Android, less fussy and easier to maintain. W7.8 is still well supported and there is nothing at all to suggest W8 devices won’t get the W9 upgrade! What an ignorant article, lacking in real and useful content. Perhaps basing your understanding/information on whether the guys are the Apple Store are cute doesn’t really constitute you blasting Windows Phones future! Perhaps needlework might be a better hobby for you!

  2. The only idiot I see here is you, Gnexus. Anyone who has to respond with name-calling shouldn’t be allowed to comment.

  3. You’re an idiot. Windows Phone 8 models are getting upgraded, so they’ll have support for Windows Phone Blue/9 and won’t need WP8 support.

  4. Sure, there is always a chance it won’t be upgradable, yes. But then that would kind of go against the whole reason for updating the hardware for W8. So I’d be willing to bet that the update of my Lumia 920 to whatever the next version is won’t be a problem. When the phone no longer accepts updates, I think I’ll still be able to handle it. You’re welcome to dislike MS, but they and Nokia have produced a lovely phone, the apps are snappy, the interface is a natural, it’s great to just lay it on a pad to re-charge, the Nokia apps are sweet, and overall it works beautifully for me. I’m going to bet it’ll be quite usable for quite some time, and that ultimately MS will do fine with it. But if another phone works better for you, by all means that’s absolutely what you should get.

  5. @Dan — I can’t believe that you are even mentioning Windows 9. After all, there is always a chance that most Microsoft devices will not get the upgrade. Look at what happen with Windows 7. Everyone can blame the software kernel as being responsible for the division there, but the matter of fact is that many Windows 8 users will not get to upgrade their Windows phones to the latest OS (Windows 9), due to company choice.

    Let’s also consider the fact that a majority of phones and Windows OS are not selling well at the moment. It is easy to do the math and see that it has been accepted by 2-3% of American users recently. These numbers have grown, but they still fail to do justice to the fact that the other OSes (Android and iOS) are growing by leaps and bounds compared to Windows. Why would they want to maintain support for these devices if their numbers are so low and they need customers to purchase new devices?

    There are a number of individuals who wanted to upgrade to Windows 8 who did not get the chance; there were a large number of Windows 7 users who did not want to upgrade. The fact that Microsoft has made choices to divide its user base in the past is a bad sign for the future. Deidre, I agree with what you said…and I will be getting either an Android or iOS device this year. Keep up the good work!

  6. Deidre Richardson – what on earth are you talking about? You’re talking absolute complete and utter nonsense!!!!!
    The dates given my Microsoft are for the end of support of that OS version – just the same as Android and iOS have for their older versions.
    Microsoft has made clear that WP8 devices will continue to receive OS upgrades. It DOES NOT have the same issue as WP7 to WP8, which involved changing the OS to a different kernal. WP8.5 and upwards will be compatable with WP8 devices, so all you’ll be doing is having an OTA update. There is no hardware/software break. WP8 devices will NOT become obsolete, they will be upgraded to the newer versions of WP.

    Again, I repeat – you are talking LIES. I’m afraid you’re jumping on the anti-Windows Phone bandwagon but you’ve got your ‘facts’ completely and utterly wrong. For your own benefit you should rewrite or redact this article as it’s an embarassment to you that you’ve been unable to get the proper facts relating to this from the web.

  7. Bonehead article. How is this a story? What phone doesn’t go out of date in 2-3 years? In fact the story is that most W8 phones (Lumia, HTC) will be updatable almost certainly into Windows 9 because of the changes they made to the hardware. Most articles have a clear preference but your editorializing is so transparent in your flagrant propaganda piece, so it’s understandable that you wouldn’t cover that fact. Lame.

  8. I like my Nokia 710 but! It looks like an update is always on the horizon but that it were it stays, I can’t tell who I get an update from, Microsoft? Talkmobile?, nokia? Zune? I don’t know if my network provider will release it, I would like to just get it like people on Apple phone(me included). Some will get it and others not, but you can’t pin down any info at all.

  9. well, said. My Nokia windows phone has beaten the crap out of my iphone and with office 365 at a very good price, it’s the best Os out there. Fun but serious. Hey, serious fun!…:)

  10. Dude, do you really keep a phone that long… you started off sounding like a phone techie but at the end of the day, you probably mad they stopped making vhs tapes.. and if you know anything about Microsoft you know that those dates are not made in stone… stop spreading false crap.. you keep your android or apple phone that comes out every 6 months

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