Windows Phone 8 support and the deafening FUD
Some websites appear to be using the Excel Web App to help them write their stories on the revelation that Microsoft plans to stop supporting Windows Phone 8 in less than two years’ time, putting two and two together and coming up with five.
The incriminating evidence, dredged up from a nether region of the Microsoft Support site, shows that support for Windows Phone 8 is due to expire on 8 July 2014 – less than 18 months from now and (oddly, at first appearance) before support for Windows Phone 7.8 expires in September 2014.
Some of our more excitable colleagues at rival publications (I shan’t name them, they don’t deserve the Google juice) have suggested that this means Microsoft is yanking the carpet from underneath Windows Phone buyers again, and that customers who buy a Windows Phone today will be using an unsupported OS by the time their two-year contract expires.
Of course, this is utter gubbins. While Microsoft hasn’t yet confirmed details of the next version of Windows Phone, it will definitely be based on the same kernel as Windows Phone 8 – and users of the current OS will almost certainly be given the option to upgrade, in a similar vein to the regular updates to iOS and Android. Whilst Microsoft (like Android) definitely has difficulties in getting updates onto users’ phones, to suggest all Windows Phone 8 owners are going to be left stranded by next summer is first-degree FUD.
The doomsayers might have been fooled by the lack of upgrade path from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8, but that was shifting the operating system to an entirely new kernel – and while I lambasted Microsoft for the decision at the time, company executives subsequently stressed that they wouldn’t need to leave existing customers beached again for the “foreseeable future”.
I think we can safely assume 2014 falls within a “foreseeable” timescale.
Which is the best Windows Phone handset? Read our roundup here