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Microsoft ends unlocking of Windows Phone 7.x devices for developers Dec. 31

Microsoft is sending out emails to Windows Phone app developers informing them that they will no longer be able to unlock any Windows Phone 7.x devices, like the Lumia 900, for app testing after December 31.

Microsoft recommends that app developers who want to unlock those phones do so before the deadline so they can continued to be used for app testing for another 24 months. The email added:

"After December 31, 2014, no Windows Phone 7.x unlock capabilities will be available. This means, for those of you who have not unlocked your Windows Phone 7.x device, testing of apps directly from Visual Studio on that device will no longer be possible. However, app testing can still be done on other unlocked phones, or via the Windows Phone Emulator, or by submitting beta apps through the Windows Dev Center."

Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows Phone 7.8 a month ago. Is this another nail in the coffin for Windows Phone 7.x?

Thanks to Zack and Jay for the tips!

99 Comments
  • Too bad. Does it mean 7.9?
  • Lmao
  • No they skipped a generation and went straight to 7.10.
  • Lol
  • That's kinda true, actually. The OS version is 7.10.xxx
  • To be honest it means very little. As the devices aren't being sold any more, any that need to be unlocked for developer purposes should already have been by now. They'll still stay unlocked and can still be used for development.
  • Please windows 8.1 for windows 7.x phones with over 512mb ram!!!!
  • do those even exist
  • Nope. Lumia 900 was considered high end and it had 512.
  • Yeah I know, I mean at least 512mb, it should work.
  • You say that like it was only RAM that made them switch to Windows Phone 8.
  • Yeah, a 512mb first gen wp7.x should handle win8 without any problems. They should make them compatible
  • No, the scary thing is that because Windows Phone 8.x was a complete rewrite, you would have to write new drivers for it and you would have to do a complete flash of the OS and repatriation it, which is very confusing to users and has a possibility of breaking the device. It's just easier to not upgrade them.
  • Its only a cheap excuse, not to spend some little time on good customers. They should have updated at least high end phones, and they are still in time to do that, and clean a little bit their reputation. IMO wp8.1 should run perfectly even on low-end wp7!!
  • This isn't an "opinion" thing. It's a clean cut "wouldnt/couldn't" question. You see their lack of updating wp7.x phones to wp8 as a "wouldn't", we're telling you it's a couldn't. It's like asking an average windows 95 computer to update to windows 10. Just because they have the same logo doesn't mean one can turn into the other. This isn't cinderella!
  • not again.... Windows Phone 7 use CE, Windows Phone 8 use the same core of windows, they are totally different thing, even if they can flash everything to new windows phone, it will occur lag (as Windows Phone 7 require very, very low spec (256MB RAM, less than 1GHz dual core)
  • Rip Windows phone 7
  • Lumia 900 was really a beautiful phone... *_*
  • Ya
  • Are you kidding? After the L800 the L900 was really awful cause of its flat screen and its little black border around the screen.
  • And can you actually see that border? The blacks were deep so the black bezel was not very visible and the screen seemed to just mix with the glass.
  • yep that stuff was really impressive at that time. How I miss my lumia 800 where I can use it with only one hand. and the phone fits my palm perfectly.
  • Nice phone yes, but man was that camera disappointing...
  • Just got the email. You people are really fast with the reporting.
    The email reads:
    Starting December 31, 2014, it will no longer be possible to unlock Windows Phone 7.x devices for app testing. We recommend that you unlock your Windows Phone 7.x devices prior to December 31, 2014 to continue testing with those devices for another 24 month.
    After December 31, 2014, no Windows Phone 7.x unlock capabilities will be available. This means, for those of you who have not unlocked your Windows Phone 7.x device, testing of apps directly from Visual Studio on that device will no longer be possible. However, app testing can still be done on other unlocked phones, or via the Windows Phone Emulator, or by submitting beta apps through the Windows Dev Center. Please note that this change will not impact apps available in the Windows Phone Store, nor will it impact customers with Windows Phone 7.x devices. Additionally, if you have apps that only have a Windows Phone 7.x package, now is a good time to update these apps to Windows Phone 8 or 8.1. Windows Store Team
  • Same.
  • Well, it has been fun, but the world has to move forward, and 8.1, and later 10, is that way
  • I never forget my first Lumia 800
  • Sometimes when I feel lonely I get my Lumia 800 out of the closet and hug it in bed... Then I cry myself to sleep.
  • That's what I do with your L800 to ;)
  • That's a costly teddy bear
  • LMAO
  • LOL
  • I moved to the Lumia 800 away from Android, never looked back (although it's been tight competition for all smartphone OS's).
  • I do not ever change Windows to Android or iOS, I am always with Microsoft and Lumia
  • I, too, loved my 800
  • I'll Never forget my first Lumia 800 too..he was like stunner and rock hard smartphone.. But not sexy as My New Lumia 830 :p
  • For that time it was very sexy Lumia 800 was a design and perfectly, but time and technology going fast... Yes Lumia 830 it's amazing design
  • I'm still using it :D
  • +Samsung Focus
  • Rip Htc mozart
  • RIP Samsung Focus.
  • RIP LG Quantum
  • RIP HTC HD2
  • And what am I to do with my old HTC Trophy? It's around here somewhere. Dang I really loved that little guy. Until I got my 822. Sigh.
  • Use one of the custom roms? They have the interop unlock, dev unlock and the root unlock, so you can run some fancy apps, e.g. Custom battery and wifi icons, and some other mods.
  • I forgot all about windows phone 7 lol.
  • I don't think this good for developers, wouldn't this make some developers stop supporting WP, even if it's wp7?
  • I imagine most developers who are still keeping compatibility with WP7 already have an unlocked phone if they wanted one. Considering the percentage of WP7 devices out there not much new was likely to be created for those devices in any case.
  • How many app makers are targeting WP7 at this point compared to 8.1?
  • I like to use Windows 7 for my workstation OS and you can't develop and test widows phone 8 apps with Windows 7 so maybe. The thing is though, this isn't stopping wp7 development and hopefully I can switch over to 10 next year. Before anyone attacks yes I do have multiple computers that use 8.1 and even an old surface RT, no I'm not afraid of change or learning new things.
  • Yea, got the email about an hour ago....RIP WIndows Phone 7.... I'll never forget my very forgetfull first Windows phone device, then HTC Trophy.....Like others would say, it was a very forgetfull device..
  • What exactly is the /point/ of this? What is to be gained?
  • Capacity for whatever is next and less support topics.
  • Forcing devs to think about moving forward to the current 2 year old platform. Reducing the requirement for Microsoft to support an unsupported platform.
  • I'm sure any and all app developers still actively supporting WP7 are doing more than their fair share to support WP8/8.1.
  • Stopping support for old and outdated operating systems is a pretty standard thing to do in the world of computing. It essentially usually boils down to the OS creator, in this case Microsoft, being able to wash their hands of responsibility for that old outdated OS. They can dedicate the resources they were using for support of them to work on their newer softwares and directions. I'd imagine it's quite frustrating for a company like MS to get bug reports and the like from OSes which have already been bettered.
  • And while they're at it: Microsoft should send out an update that prevents .exe files from being opened on Windows XP, to encourage people to update. I full heartedly agree Microsoft should no longer support the WP7.X platform, allowing people to dev unlock their devices wasn't really actively using any sort of time or resources. Honestly, what is Microsoft saving by doing this? I agree nothing is really /lost/ (after all, there are probably only a few handfuls of developers who actually update WP7.X apps at this point, probably less). But unlike benefiting from no longer issuing updates to an old platform (which very actively requires time and development resources), this really isn't using any of Microsoft's resources. Just seems pointless.
  • I'm going to try my Lumia 900 after over a year in the draw! Wonder how fast it runs?
  • RIP Windows Phone 7 -.- I test all my apps on Windows Phone 7.x ' cause if it work there it will work on every Windows Phone 8/8.1 device..... But now where should I test it?
  • Just unlock your phone on the 31st of Dec, 2014 and test apps until 31st of Dec, 2016. No big deal.
  • It will work until December 2016 - more than 4 years after WP 8 came out.
  • You can just keep testing it on that device. If you're already able to test your apps there then it sounds like the device is already unlocked so this change will not affect you. All this changes is that no new devices can be unlocked after the end of the year. It does not lock phones which have already been unlocked.
  • But you can't develop more complex apps with that mindset. Maybe you don't have to but you probably will have to in the future. So better start moving on. My favourite Chronos Calendar already moved to WinRT universal app format.
  • I've received the email more than 1 hour ago, and posted in the forums, but my account needs approval before posting, that's why it's not there yet :|
  • Well, WP7 is old. It's pointless to not move forward.
  • Some people don't want/need to because their WP7.8 works fine. I am still trying to convince a friend to get a Lumia with WP8.1 but he sticks to his Samsung Focus... :/
  • As support for the older OSes falls away, his old WP7 phone will stop working fine.
  • My Win Phone 7.8 (Nokia Lumia 710) works fine and I may end jumping to Win Phone 10, skipping over Win Phone 8/8.1 entirely by the time I need to replace it.
  • As I said, they have been pulling support back from WP7 for a while now, so pretty soon it won't be fine, app updates will be even less frequent than they are now, etc. especially when Win10 comes along and, I believe, hammers the final nail in the coffin.
  • Posting this from my Lumia 800, was just thinking how fast and nice it is. Think I will keep using it. Love the Hub's.
  • Yeh, I got the email. I never dud develop fir WP7, but it was a great OS leading to where we devs are now.
  • So WP7 is essentially dead
  • It been dead
  • Oops. You posted this a couple of years late. Haha.
  • Lol not quite. Have you seen that WP7 market share? A few months ago it increased! Only now Microsoft may be insuring that there's no resurrection of WP7.
  • How can market share increase on an operating system that's no longer made...?
  • Somewhere in this article it sure states an increase market share. http://www.windowscentral.com/new-adduplex-stats-show-windows-phone-81-n...
  • Ah WP7..never did 8.0 and on match your responsiveness. Though not dramatically worse, every time I pick up my Omnia 7, I can right away feel its much more responsive. A lot less laggy, and its animations are a lot nicer.
  • Lumia 710 my first ever smartphone. Loved it except it couldn't share/save videos from WhatsApp. Still have one fully functioning
  • My fist Windows Phone was 7.5 (later 7.8), and I'll never forget the fluidity that OS had. Obviously not as feature packed as 8.1, but its reliable as hell.
  • I went to the dark side. I got an Android phone. Microsoft has been providing to other platforms first. I will switch back to Windows Phone when I see how Windows 10 combines.
  • I still have my 900 and did whatever updates recently. In the process of replacing a cracked screen after receiving a new digitizer not to long ago.
  • One thing i like about windows phone 7/7.8 is..Zune!! New Music app in Lumia denim (L830) does not have capabilities to show artists photo on lockscreen when playing music !! (I've selected "show artist details when playing music" under the lockscreen settings) :(
  • That's sad, I unlock my WP7 and after 4 months it lock for itself.
  • Thought that coffin was already buried under 8 feet of dirt :P?
  • I love my L800..most beautiful device eevr made
  • It's about time... Microsoft should have worked with carriers and offered buyback/upgrade/loyalty incentives to all users stranded on Windows Phone 7. Kill off the dead end product immediately and steer that market share to the new platform.
  • Note to Microsoft. Please make Xbox Music more Zune-like like it was on WP7. I really miss it. Please and thank you...
  • I'd better hurry up and order my Dell Venue Pro from Ebay.
  • Bye Windows Phone 7! I think no one will feel sad about it...
  • Never got around to doing that tomy dvp att spec.
  • Well looks like my aunt will be getting a moto g. She has a lumia 900 right now, she will be buying off contract and I don't see her spending $450 on a lumia 830 Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • your aunt is a developer? Because that's the only case in which this piece of news has any significance or impact on which phone she should use...
  • Well they got rid of Skype for windows phone 7,no more styling. Apps for windows phone 7 are next to none. Everyone develops for windows phone 8. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Dude a Lumia 520 is like $45 and runs far better than a Moto G and almost on par with an 830.
  • Yah....the moment is here.... RiP Windows Phone 7.x
    Anyway...about wp8...i wondering why MS didnt make only 1 type of phone..... I mean, not L520/820/920 etc...just phone .. "Lumia" so all WP users will have the same device, and when its time for update- all of us to get it in the same time.
    Ofc this device must be something MEGA smart... Like: 8GB Ram/512 GB Rom/80 MP camera, 40MP front camera/ size: The same like Lumia 1520/ Battery : 20,000 mAh / displey: MONKEY glass 100..... So that device will be able to use for years.....AND ofc. To be something like: 100 US $
    This device will be the best WP ever!
    But.....human kind have very nice imagination :D
  • Oh yes. I can still use my L900
  • You know when they releas Windows Phone 10 Windows Phone 8.1 will die
  • Why?:(