It’s not really the end of an era, but it surely feels as nostalgic. Microsoft is killing Windows 10 Mobile for good, and even though it was launched in 2015, its end of life also brings an end of life to Redmond’s over decade long tryst with Windows Phone/Mobile OS.
Windows 10 Mobile version 1709 users will be no longer eligible to “receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft for free,” come December 10,2019. Support will end earlier for Lumia 640 and 640 XL phone models running Window 10 Mobile version 1703 on June 11, 2019.
Users will be eligible for automatic or manual device backups until March 10, 2020 and “some services including photo uploads and restoring a device from an existing device backup may continue to work for up to another 12 months from end of support.”
If you’re still using a Windows 10 Mobile device, Microsoft now wants you to switch to Android or an iPhone.
“With the Windows 10 Mobile OS end of support, we recommend that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device. Microsoft’s mission statement to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, compels us to support our Mobile apps on those platforms and devices,” Microsoft notes on its support page detailing Windows 10 Mobile’s end of support.
That Microsoft would kill off Windows 10 Mobile in 2019 has been known since 2017. It was around the same time that it was revealed that Microsoft had stopped active development of Windows 10 Mobile due to lackluster market share largely owing to lackluster third-party app support.
Windows 10 Mobile had marked the dawn of a new era for Microsoft. It was supposed to unify devices – phones, tablets and PCs – with a vision to offer desktop Windows 10 experience on a smartphone through Continuum. Devices like the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL – the first breed of devices running Windows 10 Mobile -- did show a lot of promise but were marred by half-baked software. But the real culprit has always been the lack of apps – Universal apps, as Microsoft called them, for the platform.