Microsoft has been gradually winding things down for Windows 8 and 8.1, along with Windows Phone 8, for some time. But today, the company announced a set of important cutoff dates for developers who distribute their apps through the Microsoft Store.
Most importantly, developers will no longer be able to submit new apps targeting Windows Phone 8.x or earlier or Windows 8/8.1 as of October 31. Existing apps will still be able to roll out updates as necessary, but the distribution of app updates will be slowly winding down over the next several years, starting with Windows Phone 8.x apps next year.
Here's the breakdown from Microsoft:
- October 31st, 2018 – Microsoft will stop accepting new app submissions with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier or Windows 8/8.1 packages (XAP or APPX)
- July 1st, 2019 – Microsoft will stop distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier devices.
- July 1st, 2023 – Microsoft will stop distributing app updates to Windows 8/8.1 devices.
Crucially, while updates will no longer be distributed to older devices after the above dates, developers for these apps can still publish updates. The only difference is that they'll only be distributed to Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile devices after the cutoff.
For more, including tips on porting your app over to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), you can check out Microsoft's full blog post.