It has been obvious for a couple of years, but Microsoft has finally admitted defeat with its phone version of Windows. For a long while, Windows-powered phones have accounted for just a percent or two of all phones sold and developers simply didn’t want to write apps for a tiny minority of users.
The battle for the third-best phone OS has been lost by all comers, including Amazon's Fire OS, Samsung's Tizen, Firefox OS, BlackBerry 10 and others. Even Microsoft couldn't carve out space for Windows.
Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore tweeted to say that development of Windows 10 Mobile would cease and that it was definitely the end of the road for Windows mobile.
We have tried VERY HARD to incent app devs. Paid money.. wrote apps 4 them.. but volume of users is too low for most companies to invest. ☹️ https://t.co/ePsySxR3LB— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) 8 October 2017
Of course we'll continue to support the platform.. bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/hw aren't the focus. � https://t.co/0CH9TZdIFu— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) 8 October 2017
I have a Windows phone. What should I do?
First, work out what type of Windows phone you have. If it’s running Windows Phone 8.1, then support ended back in July 2017. This means that no more security patches will be issued, and your phone won’t receive any updates.
If you own a phone running Windows 10 mobile, ignore the headlines that tell you to upgrade your phone immediately. Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 mobile for a while yet. There won’t be any new features, but your phone will receive security patches.
Obviously, it’s not a bad idea to consider switching to Android or iOS as there’s a good chance that app developers will stop issuing updates for their apps straight away.
Check out our roundup of the best phones to buy.