It appears mainstream support for Windows Phone 8 is slated to end on July 8, 2014. Prior to recently updating its support website, lifecycle information for WP8 hadn't been officially published by Microsoft. However, this date confirms previous suggestions of a 18-month WP8 lifecycle.
When "mainstream support" ends for WP8, Microsoft will no longer be obligated to issue updates of any kind. However, the Redmond software maker may still issue a service pack-style upgrade before that deadline arrives, extending its mainstream support by another 12-24 months. Windows Phone 7.8, for example, will be supported until September 9, 2014.
At first glance, there may be some irony in mainstream support ending earlier for WP8 than WP7.8. However, the latter arrived after the launch of WP8, ultimately extending the older WP7x platform's lifecycle by roughly 18 months. 7.8 is actually a service pack issued for 7.5 to add WP8-like features to older Windows-based handsets. Microsoft claimed it could not roll out WP8 on previous generation devices, so 7.8 was intended to assuage early Windows Phone adopters.
Although Microsoft has yet to publicly commit itself to the release of a WP8 service pack, there has been talk of two more updates penciled in before 2013's end. There's also the matter of Windows Blue, although whether it'll have anything to do with a service pack remains to be seen.
Even more interestingly though, a recent job posting indicated that WP8's successor is scheduled to arrive before 2014. In the past, Microsoft indicated handsets running WP8 -- unlike WP7.5 -- will be upgradeable to the next version of its mobile OS. With the advent of WP9 (or whatever it may be called), any concerns over WP8's limited lifecycle support may actually be moot for most people.
Even so, it's worth noting that many Windows Phone owners will be at the mercy of their carrier and handset manufacturer (namely HTC and Nokia) when it comes to updates. As a result, I wouldn't be surprised if a major upgrade like WP9 doesn't make it to all WP8 handsets. Let's hope that's not the case, though.
The Microsoft Surface RT offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface RT is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra processor, 2GB of memory, a 1,366x768 wide-screen display, and Windows RT. Other features include a USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out, and a vapor-deposited magnesium chassis.
The Microsoft Surface Pro offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface Pro is powered by a Core i5 with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and a miniDisplayPort. It also comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus with palm-rejection technology that magnetically clips to the charging port, and a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display instead of the 1366 x 768 variety on the ARM-based model.
The Nokia Lumia 900 is 11.4mm thickness and weight 159g, in the front you can find the 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display and in the back the 8 megapixel camera and its LED flash. Since there are no seams or doors there is no way to access the 1830mAh battery or increase the phone's 16GB internal storage with a microSD card.
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