Microsoft hasn’t shown much of, to say nothing of launched Windows 10. That isn’t stopping the company from delivering some seriously good news for buyers of devices running its Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 operating systems. According to the company, both groups will be able to update to Windows 10 when it becomes available.
The new Microsoft Lumia Twitter account shared the news about all Windows Phones being upgradable to Windows 10 yesterday. This wasn’t just a random update on the progress and plans it has for transitioning Windows Phone 8.1 uses to Windows Phone 10. Instead, it was in response to a question from Twitter user @Y_606.
@_Y06_ There will be Windows 10 upgrades for all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices :) And we will release new Windows 10 models in the future!
— Lumia (@Lumia) November 11, 2014
“There will be Windows 10 upgrades for all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices,” the tweet begins. It also goes on to confirm that Microsoft definitely has plans to produce smartphones running the Windows 10 operating system, though that was pretty much a given considering Microsoft acquired Nokia’s Devices and Services business early this year and has said over and over again that it sees no problem with producing phones that run its software.
Clearly, that’s great news for Lumia Windows Phone owners. At least from the outside, it appears that Microsoft’s own Microsoft Mobile handset division – the guys who make Lumia – are the most viable Windows Phone handset maker. New Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8.1 are still making their way out. Just last week AT&T released the Lumia 830, for example.
The tweet that sparked the entire conversation came from Twitter user Kalars 07. He was worried about purchasing a Lumia 930 this year when Windows 10 is clearly just around the corner.
@Kalars07 We plan to upgrade all Windows Phone 8 devices to Windows 10 in the future :)
— Lumia (@Lumia) November 13, 2014
In that tweet Microsoft confirms that it has plans to update more than just Lumia Windows Phones. “We plan to upgrade all Windows Phone 8 devices” No timing for the update is given and no further details about the Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 upgrade are provided. Still, it’s great news for anyone who purchased an HTC One M8 for Windows or any of the lower cost handsets from smartphone makes like Blu.
Microsoft first showed off the Windows 10 update at a private event earlier this year. It might seem strange that Windows Phone users are excited about an upgrade to Windows 10, but there’s some needed context. Whereas its Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 updates brought Windows Phones and PCs closer together with syncing, Windows 10 is all about a merged operating system across devices.
If Microsoft delivers on its plans there will only be two versions of Windows 10 in the traditional sense. One will run on traditional notebooks, desktops and convertibles with Intel and similar processors. Another will run on Snapdragon and other ARM processors. Today, the Surface 2 and Windows Phones use ARM processors. Microsoft plans to bridge the gap with an ever evolving interface that adapts to the input methods and profile that a device has. We haven’t gotten a decent look at the new Windows Phone interface for Windows 10.
Having one version of Windows across different platforms should help Microsoft deliver the user experience it’s been trying to for ages. The company plans to use Windows 10 on notebooks, desktops, tablets, convertibles, phones and even the Xbox One. Of course, each will have their own interface tailored for their unique requirements, but the idea is that when developers create an app it’ll work across each platform. For users that means one store for app purchases. There could be other big features coming because of the switch, but Microsoft hasn’t talked a lot about what it has planned for consumer features at all. In fact, the Windows 10 Technical Preview that’s currently available for anyone to download is only for devices with a traditional processor. It includes a unified notification area and a new Start Menu for those with a mouse and keyboard.
Microsoft says it has plans to launch Windows 10 sometime in 2015. Presumably, we wouldn’t see Windows 10 phones until sometime next fall or winter.