Microsoft plans to offer Windows 10 Mobile over-the-air upgrades first to a smaller list of 10 Lumia smartphones. However, the company has clarified that the upcoming mobile OS will be released for all Lumia devices that are currently using the Denim software version of Windows Phone 8.1.
A page on Microsoft's site this week posted word that the following list of Lumia device would be able to be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile "when available":
- Lumia 430
- Lumia 435
- Lumia 532
- Lumia 535
- Lumia 540
- Lumia 640
- Lumia 640 XL
- Lumia 735
- Lumia 830
- Lumia 930
Microsoft's use of the phrase "when available" was rather vague, and suggested that just these ten phones would receive the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade. Neowin contacted the company and got the following statement:
"This is an initial list of in-market devices to receive the Windows 10 update. It is our ambition to bring Windows 10 to all Lumia devices running Lumia Denim software, noting that some features will vary, based on the hardware specifications."
So if you own, say, the budget-priced Lumia 520 or Lumia 630, your smartphone will still get the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade eventually. Existing Lumias are not expected to be able to handle features such as Continuum due to their hardware limitations.
From this perspective, nothing has changed. Microsoft, like Nokia, will push out Windows 10 Mobile for carrier and non-carrier phones in waves. Considering the army of Lumia models available, there is some considerable complexity to consider. Luckily, going forward, Microsoft is reducing the amount of Lumia models they make, resulting in fewer devices needing updates.
Windows Insider Program to the rescue
Of course, users of the Windows Insider program can get Windows 10 Mobile right now. It is also our understanding that much like the PC program those on mobile will also get the 'RTM' bits before any official updates take place. In that sense, even the Lumia 520 can have Windows 10 Mobile on day one making the above list a bit moot for those who really care about upgrades.
The question if firmware is needed for Windows 10 Mobile is not clear. The previous OS and software update - Lumia Denim - only saw firmware updates for a handful of PureView devices to enable specific camera changes, the rest did not need it. Of course, phones can still run Windows 10 even without firmware as it is doubtful Windows 10 Mobile will introduce any new hardware benefits to older phones.