Sources from within Microsoft itself may have just leaked the Windows 10 Mobile release date owners of Lumia phones have waited for since last year. It seems that the Windows 10 Mobile release date is later this month.
Microsoft Mexico seems to have leaked the official Windows 10 Mobile release date in a social network comment to fans of the operating system and the iPhone and Android rivals that it powers. Windows 10 Mobile is a version of the Windows 10 operating system that Microsoft launched last year to general praise. Unlike the Free Windows 10 Upgrade Offer that users are taking advantage of on their notebooks, 2-in-1s and desktop PCs, Windows 10 Mobile is built specifically for smartphones and tablets.
“Hello, the update to Windows 10 will be available as from 29 February,” the translated comment posted to Microsoft Mexico’s Facebook fan page begins. The comment is the first time that any part of Microsoft has formally confirmed a Windows 10 Mobile release date in 2016. Originally, Microsoft said that the Windows 10 Mobile release would happen sometime within the 2015 calendar year. That release never happened.
The Microsoft Mexico comment revealing the Windows 10 Mobile release date doesn’t go into more detail beyond revealing the February 29th time frame. It was a response to fans on the page posting pictures of Windows 10 Mobile running on their devices that came equipped with Windows Phone 8.1. To that end, the comment ends with a reminder that not all devices that are able to run Windows Phone 8.1 will get an upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile this year.
An official Windows 10 Mobile release date is great news for owners of Nokia & Microsoft’s Lumia devices. Windows Phone 8.1, the software running on the overwhelming majority of Windows phones, was released in July of 2014. Simply put, their devices are at the tail end of a very long new feature drought. With that release, Microsoft formally declared the operating system done, then handed it over to major wireless carriers and smartphone makers for testing and enhancements. Wireless carriers, like AT&T and Verizon, then rolled out the updates to testers along with new firmware specific to each device.
How the Windows 10 Mobile release will work is anyone’s guess. Microsoft said last year that it would be managing updates for devices with Windows 10 Mobile pre-installed. Theoretically, the same process that governed Windows Phone 8.1 updates will govern the update to Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft will hand over the update to carriers. Carriers will test it on their networks, then clear it for rollout to their users.
In February of 2015 Microsoft made it possible for Windows Phone 8.1 users to install the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade on their devices and skip the wait through the Windows Insiders Program. Windows Insiders are still getting new releases of the operating system today, even though Microsoft missed its original release window late last year.
The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade is all about bringing Windows phones closer to Windows. The two operating systems sync settings, browsing history and information from within some apps seamlessly. Personalization options finally let users set a background photo to put behind their Lumia phone’s Live Tiles. Xbox Music, Mail, Calendar and People from Windows 8.1 have been scrapped in favor of updated versions that match the feature set and design of Xbox, Groove Music, Outlook Mail, Outlook Calendar and People from the regular version of Windows 10. Windows 10 Mobile and regular Windows 10 actually use the same store to download apps, games, movies, music and television shows.
Microsoft may have missed its 2015 deadline for the Windows 10 Mobile release, but it didn’t fail to deliver the new high-end smartphones that it promised. Windows 10 Mobile is available on the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL, the former of which is sold in the United States on AT&T. T-Mobile recently launched a new phone with the with the operating system too, the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL.