As we’re hearing more about Windows Phone Blue, which is reportedly due out by the end of the year, Microsoft is making plans to end support for its current Windows Phone 8 platform. Though a formal announcement hasn’t come from the Windows Phone software-maker, our own Adam Mills had discovered a Microsoft support page detailing that the company intends to lay Windows Phone 8 to rest by July 8, 2014. Similarly, Windows Phone 7.8, which was intended to be a stop gap as hardware running Windows 7 wasn’t up-gradable to Windows Phone 8, will be put down on September 9, 2014.
The End is Near
What’s interesting is that Windows Phone 8 will be laid to rest ahead of Windows Phone 7.8, but there may be several reasons for that.
First, Windows Phone 8 was launched earlier, at the end of 2012, so it will live out its lifespan sooner than Windows Phone 7.8, which debuted later in early 2013.
Second, devices running Windows Phone 7 will probably not get any major revisions beyond Windows Phone 7.8. Microsoft had announced that hardware built for Windows Phone 7 won’t be up-gradable to Windows Phone 8, and when Windows Phone Blue arrives at the end of this year, the case will continue as the hardware may not be powerful enough. That said, Microsoft executives had gone on record to announce that Windows Phone 8 hardware will get an upgrade to a future version of the platform, likely referencing Windows Phone Blue.
More Life Left
This means that for existing Windows Phone 8 users, like owners of the Nokia Lumia 920 and the HTC 8X flagships, there is still a lot of life left in that hardware. Though support for Windows Phone 8–as we know it–would end on the stated date, devices launched with Windows Phone 8 would likely get an upgrade to the next generation version of the Windows Phone OS. This means that life will continue with new expiration dates for the new mobile OS version. It’s like getting an organ transplant and a new lease on life.
So while users of the existing Windows Phone 8 may look at Microsoft’s support page and balk at that end of life date, there will be a new date at a later point and you don’t have to worry about your device getting shunned at the end of an 18-month cycle.