Windows Phone Is Now Officially Dead: A Sad Tale Of What Might Have Been
by Peter Bright
Review by Charles Mohapel
Ars Technica, Twitter News ISBN/ITEM#: CM171015WINDOWS
Date: 15 October 2017
In case you were one of the few smartphone owners still using a handset running Windows Phone 7, 8, or 8.1, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore confirmed Microsoft is no longer developing new hardware or new features for Windows Mobile 8.1. While existing supported phones will receive bug fixes and security updates, Windows Mobile 8.1 is now in maintenance mode, with no mention of when even that support will cease.
Tweets over the weekend confirm what we long suspected.
Photo: Nokia Lumia 920 (Casey Johnston)
During the weekend, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore tweeted confirmation of something that has been suspected for many months: Microsoft is no longer developing new features or new hardware for Windows Mobile. Existing supported phones will receive bug fixes and security updates, but the platform is essentially now in maintenance mode.
Microsoft's difficulties in the mobile market are no secret, but for a time the company looked as if it was keeping Windows Mobile as a going concern regardless. Through 2016, Microsoft produced new builds for the Windows Insider program and added new features to Windows Mobile. At around the time of release of the Windows 10 Creators Update in April this year, that development largely ground to a halt. Windows Mobile, which already lacked certain features that were delivered to Windows on the PC, had its development forked. PC Windows development continued on the "Redstone 3" branch (which will culminate in the release of the Fall Creators Update later this month); Windows Mobile languished on a branch named "feature2".
But in spite of this, until Belfiore's tweets at the weekend, Microsoft never actually said what its plans for Windows Mobile were or how it would be developed going forward.
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