Windows 10 Mobile To Fall Out of Support in December
Microsoft will end support for the Windows 10 Mobile operating system on Dec. 10, 2019, according to an announcement.
It really will be the end for Microsoft's flagship mobile OS, which first got released back in November of 2015 but never gained a strong market foothold. Individuals and organizations still using Windows Phone devices running Windows 10 Mobile are being advised by Microsoft to switch to devices running Apple's iOS or Google's Android mobile OSes instead.
Microsoft is planning to put its future mobile app development efforts behind the iOS and Android platforms, going forward. That notion is described in Microsoft's end-of-support FAQ document:
With the Windows 10 Mobile OS end of support, we recommend that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device. Microsoft's mission statement to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, compels us to support our Mobile apps on those platforms and devices.
Microsoft's end-of-support announcement is actually dated Dec. 21, 2018, but it's just now getting publicized, it seems.
Devices running Windows 10 Mobile will continue to work after the Dec. 10, 2019 date. However, end of support means that no more free security patches will be arriving from Microsoft. Unpatched systems are potentially subject to exploits by attackers.
Some functionality for Window 10 Mobile devices will begin to fade, too. The FAQ indicated that it'll be possible to create "new device backups for settings and some applications" after Windows 10 Mobile's end-of-support date, but there will be a hard stop happening on March 10, 2020. The use of services, such a photo uploads and restoring devices from backup, may work for 12 months after the end of support, it added.
Support for mobile applications will be iffy. Last year, for instance, Microsoft announced the end of its Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business and Yammer apps for Windows Phones running Windows 10 Mobile.
Microsoft's FAQ floated the possibility that other software vendors could offer Windows 10 Mobile patch support. However, no venders taking up the effort were described.
Version 1709, released back in October 2017, will be the last version of Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft isn't just ending its mobile OS for consumers as the Enterprise edition of Windows 10 Mobile will be going away, too.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.