It's time for Microsoft to push Windows 10 Mobile to 8.1 devices
Windows 10 Mobile is still an opt-in upgrade for eligible Windows Phone 8.1 devices. But it's time for Microsoft to change that.
In March of 2016, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 Mobile would finally be coming to select Windows Phone 8.1 devices. That was great news, because it meant developers could finally start building their Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps for phones and there would be less need to cater to the older Windows Phone 8.1 app module. Unfortunately, Microsoft decided to make the Windows 10 Mobile update "opt-in" via an app that you have to download in the Store, meaning the vast majority of people still using Windows Phone 8.1 didn't actually get the update.
Most Windows Phone 8.1 users didn't go out and get that update because most people using Windows Phone don't really care, and they likely didn't even know Windows 10 Mobile was available in the first place. Microsoft did no advertising to inform users that they could opt-in to download Windows 10 Mobile, and the Windows Phone 8.1 Store itself didn't even promote the app to the front page. The only way you would have even known about the availability of the update was is if you were a fan who was paying attention.
What this means is that few Windows Phone 8.1 users actually upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile, which as a result meant developers felt no reason to switch to UWP. That's why we still see several Windows Phone 8.1 apps continue to be updated on Windows 10 Mobile even to this day. What's worse, an entire year has passed since Windows 10 Mobile became available, and that's an entire year that many users have still been using Windows Phone 8.1, because they don't know that a Windows 10 Mobile upgrade is waiting for them.
Onus is on Microsoft to push Windows 10 Mobile update
At first, I assumed Microsoft made Windows 10 Mobile an opt-in upgrade because there were still several issues and bugs that needed to be ironed out. In that case, making the upgrade opt-in was a smart idea as a temporary measure. But I wasn't expecting the update to still be an opt-in experience an entire year later. Microsoft is about to release the second big-ish update to Windows 10 Mobile, that as I wrote about recently makes the platform feel the best it ever has. Now is the perfect time to open the floodgates and begin pushing Windows 10 Mobile as normal via Windows Update.
The Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update runs surprisingly well on older devices
Microsoft can't rely on users to install the update themselves, so it should just roll it out like any other normal Windows Phone 8.1 update. That's what Microsoft's own Upgrade Advisor app does anyway. You just have to manually press a button for it to do so. It's time for Microsoft to remove that step, and have the phone automatically pick up Windows 10 Mobile, to get the remaining Windows Phone 8.1 users away from the three-year-old platform.
Another good reason to start pushing Windows 10 Mobile now is that Windows Phone 8.1's support timeframe expires this summer, meaning the majority of Windows Phone users left will soon be running an OS that's no longer supported by Microsoft. The time is now to start pushing Windows 10 Mobile, with the Creators Update.
Here in London, I often see Windows Phones all over the place. I see Lumia 640s, 930s, even the 735, and on the rare occasion a 950 and 550. However, you know what's wrong with the Lumia 640s and 930s that I see on the street? They're still running Windows Phone 8.1, not Windows 10 Mobile, an update that has been ready for them for more than a year. I know Microsoft isn't really focused on the Mobile OS right now, but it should at least help developers by getting the last few people off of Windows Phone 8.1 and onto Windows 10 Mobile.
What do you think? Is the Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update a good place for Microsoft to begin pushing Windows 10 Mobile as an OTA update to the remaining and eligible Windows Phone 8.1 users?
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Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.
How do the 8.1 vs 10 keyboards differ. I have both and haven't noticed.
Arguably the most gimmicky, useless thing ever put on a virtual keyboard.
WM10 keyboard sucks hairy balls
The keyboard on W10M in my opinion is the best in the industry, it is moveable, it can be resized for right or left hand use, it has joystick for moving cursor, it still has swipe to spell, in excel it has more function keys for the spread sheet, and plenty other stuffs.
Ahhhh. The "we're getting there" argument. The year was 2012 when they started telling us "we're getting there" :)
Yes it's a bit too late but it's okay since developers will finally be encouraged to only make W10 apps instead of current situation of making W10 app and W8 + WP8 app
"... from (HMD Global, the company that makes phones branded) Nokia."
6tag, HERE suite, gif viewer, and many third party apps fill the gap of Windows 10 Mobile apps. And even if MSFT forces us to upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile then I will change registry in DeviceTargetingInfo
And Microsoft........they are waiting for cool apps that are much better than Windows 10 Mobile apps.
You will also need a rear camera and 480p screen
I don't often pickup the 640, but when I do I really miss Win 8.1. It is just... Better... In every way that I use it. I can't put my finger on it, because both phones work, both do what I need them to do, but Win 8.1 just does a much better job. I think people running win10 have been away from Win8.1 for to long and have forgotten just how awesome it is.
Win 8.1 is still awesome. Win 10 still has a long way to go. A long way.
Even on basic stuff like Bluetooth drivers, WiFi drivers, power management and consistency with look and feel / menu function across apps.
I actually cannot think of a single app I had that didn't work on Windows 10 Mobile.
Even better, many apps that I got back in the Windows Phone 7.x days which didn't work on Windows Phone 8.x, were compatible again on Windows 10 Mobile, and could simply be installed from "My Library" in the new Store.
For people who had a Windows Phone 7.x before, upgrading from Windows Phone 8.x to Windows 10 Mobile is an improvement compatibility-wise.
Zack, it's a nice thought. But somehow I don't think Microsoft wants old Lumias to be the foundation for whatever Windows Phone/on Phone/Windows 10 Mobile/W10M turns out to be. "Consumer" devices will just be along to compliment the Enterprise devices.
Even for users not interested in apps, continued access to security updates for the OS should be enough to justify the upgrade. I have a small diagnostics app for Windows Phone 7 and later (https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9nblggh087r5), and I find it quite shocking that during the last 12 months, accoding to my Windows Store analytics, two third of new users are running Windows Phone 8.1, against only one third running Windows 10 Mobile (WP 7.5 and 8.0 aren't significant). And that isn't just an average, the exact same ratio still shows in the last 30 days.
This isn't existing users reinstalling the app after a phone refresh or anything, I'm only talking about new aquisitions (app is free, but count as $0 aquisitions and then owned by user regarless of reinstalls).
I think Satya cares his benefits only, he must be blind, or simplyshort minded. He completely ruined a big, amazing and affectionated developer community with all his bullshits and false promises (Gallo and Myerson too).
All the app conpanies I know abandoned uwp, and
I see no young devs loving Microsoft any more. No Store, no Mobile, no future (good luck wit azure only).
These phones are 2-3 years old, at least, and of the few that remain in service, most will probably be dead by the end of the year. The real problem is that there aren't any handsets available to replace them, apart from the HP X3, which most people have never even heard about, or know where to buy. Yes, I know the US has some limited availability for the Idol 4S, but the rest of the world doesn't.
What really amazes me is that they've made so much effort to get police forces, hospitals and other companies to invest in systems based on windows phones and now they are forced to abandon the platform because MS doesn't have a single phone for a replacement device.
These companies will never ever invest in a Microsoft platform again after being burned so badly.
...lets see what happens..."
What's wrong with you people?
Seriously, cannot anyone do anything else than complaining about these things?
Windows Phone 8.10 - 13.1%
Windows Phone 10.0.14393.0 - 11.7%
Windows Phone 8.10.14219.0 - 8.5%
Windows Phone 8.0.10532.0 - 6.8%
Windows Phone 8.10.15148.0 - 6.5%
Other (could be 7, 8 or 10) - 34.9% That is 53.3% running some version of Windows Phone 8, plus part of the 34.9% that Google couldn't specify. If the analytics only show 11.7% of the people using my app are running Windows Phone 10, there is very little incentive for me to do a UWP rewrite.
So by "move on" you mean WP users should move to crapdroid? Not in million years for me. W10M running great on my 1520.
IMO W10M is very stable and equally very useable, like your devices that were upgraded and reset.
Don't be carried away by reviews. Most reviewers are either on the fast or slow ring, which is not the official. Those fast or slow rings are susceptible to bugs.
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Navigation App "HERE Drive+" does not exist in Windows 10.
Windows 10 replacement App "Maps" doesn't reach the perfect functionality of HERE Drive+.
MS is a software company, they makes apps for all platforms. There is no untold agreement, pure and simple.
I have a Lumia 950 and have the odd problem with Windows 10 on it, but nothing that would want me to change to either iOS or Android. I started with an iPaq pocket computer with phone built-in, then the Lumia 800, the Lumia 925 and as mentioned the Lumia 950. Microsoft just dumped me after purchasing each phone, by creating new opetating systems and just ignoring people who spend good money on phones Microsoft could not be bothered to support. From getting the Lumia 925 which Microsoft classed as a flagship model, they told us we could have Windows 10 for free. They then listed a number of phones, which the 925 was not included in, so they also dumped flagship users again. To me people who purchase the top of the range models should not be left in limbo and Microsoft need to look very carefully at the people they are treating like rubbish. I still use my 925 and would like Windows 10 on it, but I cannot see this happening, because of the bad managment of the Microsoft Phone section. If they cannot support the phones, then they should provided us a minimum of 50% of the purchase cost back towards another windows phone. I want Windows 10 on my older phone and would install it either way, but think auto updating would be best for most, as they do not read some of these posts. Thanks,
Force the W10M crap on my phone and you'd be looking at the business end of a hissy fit!
I still think 8.1 is a far better OS than 10, far smoother, Cortana works and the OS is beautiful on the eye.
10 by comparison is agricultural, clunky and boring.
A Windows 10 lassú.
Windows 10 is slow.
Will this update be available for the Lumia 925??? Another thing. What should I say to my mom and friends that I convinced to buy Lumia phones but now they won't get any support" (as if there is any now)??? Just sorry?!?!