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Windows Phone 8 Lifecycle Support Extended to 2016

The Windows Phone 8 product product lifecycle will get extended by another 18 months, Microsoft indicated on Wednesday.

The new "extended support" end date will be Jan. 12, 2016 for Windows Phone 8. This expanded lifecycle pushes out Windows Phone 8 support to 36 months total. The 36-month support lifecycle is new to Windows Phone 8, according to a blog post by Tony Mestres, vice president of Windows Phone partner and channel marketing.

"Beginning with Windows Phone 8 we'll make updates, including security updates, available for 36 months," Mestres wrote. "These updates will be incremental, with each update built on the update that preceded it. The mobile operator or phone manufacturer may control the distribution of these incremental updates and update availability may also vary by country, region, and device hardware capabilities."

The support lifecycle for devices running Windows Phone 7.8, the incremental update for older phones that do not meet Windows Phone 8's hardware requirements, remains at 12 months. Windows Phone 7.8 is scheduled to lose mainstream support on Sept. 9, 2014, according to this Microsoft document.

In addition, Mestres announced an upcoming update to Windows Phone 8 that will bring enterprise productivity improvements. The update, which he described as an "enterprise feature pack," will arrive sometime during the first half of 2014.

"This feature pack will provide IT departments with more control over Windows Phones and give their employees a fuller productivity experience," Mestres wrote.

The blog post listed a few features coming in the update:

  • "S/MIME to sign and encrypt email
  • "Access to corporate resources behind the firewall with app aware, auto-triggered VPN
  • "Enterprise Wi-Fi support with EAP-TLS
  • "Enhanced MDM policies to lock down functionality on the phone for more enterprise control, in addition to richer application management such as allowing or denying installation of certain apps
  • "Certificate management to enroll, update, and revoke certificates for user authentication"

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the site editor of RCPmag.com.

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