Microsoft has announced that from the 31st October owners of a Windows Phone 8.x will not be able to add any new apps from their Microsoft Store and from July 2019 you will no longer be able to update apps.
Last year Microsoft decided to pull the plug on support for its Windows 8 Phone platform. This followed poor sales with Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 devices accounting for just 0.02% of the mobile market. Particularly poor when compared with the 0.2% share commanded by Windows 10 mobile.
As a part of our Windows device life cycle, Microsoft Store will soon stop accepting new apps with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier or Windows 8/8.1 packages (XAP and APPX).
Soon after that date, we will stop distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier and Windows 8/8.1 devices at that time, updates will only be made available to customers using Windows 10 devices.- Company statement: Microsoft Store Team
But do not despair if you are determined to cling on to your phone. Microsoft said that those with a supported device such as the Lumia range of phones can upgrade from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows Mobile 10, which Microsoft said is most definitely here to stay.
In fact, the latest death knell can be seen as Microsoft’s determination to push us towards their Windows Mobile 10.
The October deadline will also bring to an end new apps for the desktop version of Windows 8 and 8.1, although the tech giant said they will continue allowing updates for the platform until 2023.
The last major version of the Windows Phone 8.1 hit the market as far back as 2014 and was headlined with the introduction of Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant.
Initially it received positive reviews but never got the full attention of app developers to exploit third-party software and was unable to keep up with the likes of Android and iOS in the smartphone market.
Microsoft support for mobile phones will continue as it is committed to selling its different models of Lumia phones as branded devices. And the company confirmed that Windows 10 Mobile will be an essential part of the planned ‘OneCore’ platform strategy.
If you didn’t already know, ‘OneCore’ refers to Microsoft’s strategy to merge its Windows operating systems into one, including Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox. It aims to develop support for universal apps that can be used on the Xbox and large screen devices, as well as the Windows Phone.