Microsoft may have successfully launched its free Windows 10 upgrade offer successfully this summer, but the company is having issues rolling out updates to smartphones. The company now says that it has no plans to bring the Windows 10 upgrade to users this year. Instead, it’ll wait until early next year.
Company representatives revealed changes to the original Windows 10 upgrade rollout this week in a statement provided to media outlet ZDNet. Windows 10 includes upgrades to the Cortana personal assistant, refreshed apps with new features and a major redesign of every part of the operating system. To be clear, the version of Windows 10 not yet available is specifically for smartphones, not notebooks, desktops, tablets and 2-in-1 devices. Microsoft made that upgrade available to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users with the free Windows 10 upgrade that launched in late July.
“The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will begin rolling out early next year to select existing Windows 8 and 8.1 phones,” the statement begins. It goes on to cite the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL as phones that users can purchase now to get the Windows 10 update and the main reasons that users might want it.
“This November we introduced Windows 10 to phones including brand new features such as Continuum and Universal Windows apps with the introduction of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL.”
A delay in the Windows 10 upgrade for Windows Phone users is pretty bad news for Microsoft. The company has picked up some momentum and a large number of enthusiastic users with this summer’s Windows 10 upgrade for other device types. Now was the perfect time to build momentum on the phone side of things if it ever hope to gain some ground on the iPhone and devices running Google’s Android.
Apps and games purchased in the Windows Store unlock compatible versions on Windows Phones. Cortana, Groove Music, Microsoft Movies & TV all have companion apps on Windows Phones too. Wi-Fi Passcodes and settings sync between the two, finally creating an ecosystem in where it’s reasonable to consider purchasing a Windows Phone.
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has offered more details regarding its plans to bring Windows 10 to older phones. Early on, many believed that the company would make the Windows 10 upgrade available to any smartphone running its Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 operating systems. The company clarified its plans later on, saying that some devices wouldn’t get the update because they lacked internal hardware necessary to run it properly. Only devices with 8GB of storage or more will get the free Windows 10 upgrade whenever it’s released in 2016.
Microsoft is in the process of merging many of its consumer offerings together to provide one cohesive experience across devices. For example, Windows 10 now powers the Xbox One too. Getting the operating system out to smartphone users seems to be giving the company a bit of trouble. The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL only launched in November. The software that came pre-loaded on them had lots of issues.
Gotta Be Mobile reviewed the Lumia 950 recently.
For users still waiting to get the Windows 10 upgrade on their device there is good news. While the official release may take additional time, the operating system can be installed now through the Windows Insider Program. Users who go this route should note that installing prerelease software on their Samsung, HTC or Lumia might void their carrier warranty.