Windows Phone 8 mainstream support to end July 8, 2014

By on March 18, 2013, 5:30 PM

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.




User Comments: 7

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JC713 JC713 said:

This short term support is what kills Windows Phone.

Edit: Couldn't this elude to Windows Blue's short release cycle.

Chazz said:

This short term support is what kills Windows Phone.

Edit: Couldn't this elude to Windows Blue's short release cycle.

This is for Windows Phone 8. Microsoft already stated all windows phone 8's will go up to the next version. Which those users will then fall under Windows Phone 9* support cycle.

JC713 JC713 said:

This is for Windows Phone 8. Microsoft already stated all windows phone 8's will go up to the next version. Which those users will then fall under Windows Phone 9* support cycle.

Ahh very interesting, I didnt know this.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@JC

Short term support for any mobile OS norm, just check how many phones are still running on GB 2.3, either because a) there carrier/manufacturer didn't want to upgrade them, or b) some hardware limits stop them from doing it. So, 18 months for one cycle of OS seems reasonable to me.

However, more important thing is, MS need to be clear about its up-gradation path, e.g. big part of Samsung's success has been its willingness to upgrade the older high-end models for 3/4 OS releases. Such clarity will help WP grow its market share in a consistent manner.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Oh no, I was seriously considering a switch from Android to Windows later this year but it looks like that's gone out the 'window' now. Ah well no big deal.

Teko03 said:

Oh no, I was seriously considering a switch from Android to Windows later this year but it looks like that's gone out the 'window' now. Ah well no big deal.

This is a non-issue. This is only for the initial version of Windows Phone 8, As the article mentions there is already plans for two Windows Phone 8.x updates, which will extend support (similar to the WIndows Phone 7.8 extended support). Not to mention these handsets will be gonig to Windoiws Phone 9 as well.

JC713 JC713 said:

@JC

Short term support for any mobile OS norm, just check how many phones are still running on GB 2.3, either because a) there carrier/manufacturer didn't want to upgrade them, or b) some hardware limits stop them from doing it. So, 18 months for one cycle of OS seems reasonable to me.

However, more important thing is, MS need to be clear about its up-gradation path, e.g. big part of Samsung's success has been its willingness to upgrade the older high-end models for 3/4 OS releases. Such clarity will help WP grow its market share in a consistent manner.

Yeah exactly! I just wish Android's update cycle was like iOS, which doesnt need to rely on the carrier.

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