Microsoft phone developers have put an end date for the support of their operating systems. They published a support document on their website saying that Windows Phone 8 and 7.8 will not be supported later then 2014. The first one will be stopped in July, and Windows Phone 7.8 will stop getting support in September.
As you can see, there is a time period of 18 months for cycling mobile software updates. This information came as an official report before Microsoft did anything to indicate what will come next. On the other hand, this is a great way for the company to be transparent about their plans for these products. If you take Apple for example, they never say anything and you never know when they are releasing an update for their iOS. But the Windows Phone 8 update was a surprise for all of us when Microsoft announced that every phone that runs Windows Phone 7 will not be upgradable to the latest major revision.
People from Microsoft assured us that there will be an upgrade path for the Windows Phone devices in near future, so the announced end period is just irrelevant. But this will confuse users of these mobile phone devices, especially because Microsoft hasn’t made it clear what will be the next generation mobile platform.
Now it’s time for the rumors. There is one that came out right after this report from Microsoft, suggesting we can expect the next big update just in time for the holiday season of 2013. Just for safety reasons and to build the confidence of the consumers would be better if Microsoft shows some additional details on these plans before releasing any kind of update for the OS that is powering the devices. This would affect the developers in particular. They certainly don’t want to deal with producing different version of applications for this kind of market.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. The mobile industry is quickly shifting updates for operating systems. We will take Apple again as an example. They are launching a new iOS version every year. And to keep updating the same system for several years, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s good to know that Microsoft is here and they are working on some new updates. But if you are a user of these phones, you can now officially expect something great to follow, just because of the big timeline period of 18 months and because it is Microsoft we’re talking about, after all.