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Microsoft will stop Windows Phone 7.8 and 8 support in 2014. What’s all the fuss about?

Mar18

Written by:
2013/03/18 03:08 PM RssIcon

Microsoft is stopping Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8 support in second half of 2014. This according to a support document on Microsoft's website. Twitter is abuzz with the doom and gloom phrases spelling out the end of the world for Microsoft and Windows Phone.

But is that really the case or is it just common practice? Is it not just Microsoft keeping us informed as to what they are doing without revealing too much detail?

Remember that the end of support dates is 18 months away (from release date). Even as of today, 18 March 2013, that is still a way to go. The timelines reveal that Microsoft seems pretty committed to an 18-month support cycle for mobile software releases, but it is interesting to see this information made official before Microsoft has done much at all to indicate what comes next.

Anyway if you real Microsoft's MSL (Microsoft Support Lifecycle) document, you soon realise that this is not new.  "Mainstream Support for Business and Developer products will be provided for 5 years or for 2 years after the successor product (N+1) is released, whichever is longer. Microsoft will also provide Extended Support for the 5 years following Mainstream support or for 2 years after the second successor product (N+2) is released, whichever is longer. Finally, most Business and Developer products will receive at least 10 years of online self-help support."

This does not mean that your phone is about to stop working, nor will it stop working in 18 months' time. It also does not mean that no updates will happen between now and then, It just means that Microsoft have a plan for the mobile phone operating system, namely Windows Phone.

Microsoft did make a mess of their previous upgrade path from Windows Phone 7.8 to Windows Phone 8. But it seems that they have learned their lesson because Microsoft have said that there will be an upgrade path for Windows Phone 8.

The fact that they have not announced a Windows Phone successor is neither here nor there. With Windows Phone 8 released just a few months ago, Microsoft is still early in the products life cycle. Greg Sullivan, a senior marketing manager at Microsoft said; "We're not going to do this thing where we announce the next version [of Windows Phone] months and months before it's available." He went on to say; "Over the course of the next several months, I wouldn't be surprised to see some exciting new devices and more interoperability before we start talking about what [opeating system] is next." Sullivan also said that Windows Phone 8 was flexible enough to adopt new hardware components, which was a huge problem for Windows Phone 7. "We're going to have an upgrade path going forward," he said.

The next operating system update is rumoured to be codenamed "Windows Phone Blue." So don't get your nickers in a knot. Don't jump on the Twitter doom-'n-gloom band wagon. Wait for an official word. But for all intense and purposes Microsoft seem committed to the Windows Phone Market. It just seems that they are holding their cards close to their chest.

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