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Microsoft to support Windows Phone 7 and 8 until 2014

Microsoft is set to support both Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 until 2014, according to the company's website. The website has detailed dates for when the company is planning to halt support and cease security update rollouts (much like the Windows desktop operating system). It's a positive sign for all Windows Phone owners as their smartphones will continue to receive updates for many months to come.

Should you own a Windows hone 7.x device, you'll be eligible for security updates until September 9th, 2014. If you're running the latest version of Windows Phone, Microsoft will be wrapping up update support on July 8th, 2014. The Microsoft page detailing the support lifecycle also states the following:

"Microsoft will make updates available for the Operating System on your phone, including security updates, for a period of 18 months after the lifecycle start date. Distribution of the updates may be controlled by the mobile operator or the phone manufacturer from which you purchased your phone. Update availability will also vary by country, region, and hardware capabilities."

So what does all this mean for consumers?

You're set to receive update notifications on your Windows Phone (regardless whether it's 7.8 or 8) until 2014. Those on older hardware will have upgrade to then take advantage of future major releases, while Windows Phone 8 devices should see the next major version of Windows Phone, which will then kick off another support cycle.

Nokia Lumia Document

As well as updates for Windows Phone 8, it's speculated that Windows Phone 7.8 isn't the end for legacy hardware. A leaked slide from a Nokia presentation (see above) shows another potential update that's set to roll out after Windows Phone 7.8. Microsoft hasn't revealed anything as-of-yet, so we'll remain hopeful that it's not the end of the road for Windows Phone 7.

Said updates are stated to be possibly under the control of mobile operators and / or hardware manufacturers. Availability may vary by country, region and hardware capabilities. With Windows Phone 8, Microsoft will be able to further take advantage of OTA (over-the-air) updates, enabling consumers to update their Windows Phones without plugging devices into computers.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab), via: Plaffo

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

226 Comments
  • Does this mean my Lumia 920 will only be good till the end of 2014???
  • 18months from when wp8 was realeased. The article even gave a date,July 8th 2014.
  • Please read the article carefully, Windows Phone 8.0 will be supported until July '14 - before then there's a good chance 8.1 or 8.5 or 8.x will roll out.
     
    Then 8.? will be supported for longer until a further date.
  • More likely, they mean that 8.x is until that date, at which point 9.x will be current. I think that they are meaning an OS line, not a single update.
  • Even then, if WP9.x is realeased by July 2014, that means another 18 months of support for WP9.x which isn't bad. 
    Also, this means the updates are based on OS versions and NOT hardwares. So if they leave us with WP9.8 in 18 months after July 2014, it probably means, we aren't getting any more support. I will be happy with even July 2014 as such with Lumia as I will be going for WP9.x devices!
  • This all assumes that carriers will play ball and push out updates expeditiously.
    An update from WP8.x to WP9 is likely to be pretty major.   I can see a major carrier like AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon not providing this update, and instead require a new phone purchase to get the new OS.
  • Hush your mouth! That would never happen. So, says the owner of a manufacturer- and carrier-abandoned HD7.
  • No, read the article carefully. 2014 is the end of support for the WP8 OS, but current devices will then be able to upgrade to WP9.
  • "...while Windows Phone 8 devices should see the next major version of Windows Phone, which will then kick off another support cycle."
  • "should"
  • WP8 devices will get WP8.5 (if carrier/oem/hardware/region will allow that (worse situation than with WP7 line) ) There is no official confirmation that WP8 devices will be upgradable to WP9 and you should remember what that means (entire smartphone line becomes obsolete and incompatible with applications written to new version of OS).
  • Microsoft has stated that the WP9 will become available for WP8 devices. WP8 could not be backported to WP7 for one simple reason: the security chip (TPM). Shy of them adding a second security chip, which won't happen anytime soon, then they have no hardware restriction that cannot "gracefully degrade" similar to how the camera system can work with, or without a flash (although that's not as low level, it is the same idea). Search for "wp8 will get wp9" and select the IntoMobile. I wanted to put it here, but it won't let me.
  • It seems, that I was wrong. It's just hard to believe Microsoft after what they did in the past. Really hope that "upgrade path" means that WP8 devices will get WP9.
     
    I am sorry for spreading false information.
     
    P.s. thank you for the link.
  • No guarantee that the filthy carriers will allow the new OS updates.
  • And that has been the problem...
  • Yeah like T Mobile didn't support the Radar 
  • And the HD7. Not only T-Mobiles fault, but HTC abandoned it as well.
  • What windows phone has Tmobile supported???
  • Come on... At least we had a hero phone. For like, two weeks.
  • Ditto this is why I will never buy a carrier locked device, they cannot be trusted to give full support to every device and the updates they should recieve.
  • This is why I bypass my carrier and get my updates from windowsphonehacker :-)
  • It reads to me like Windows Phone 8.1 (if that's what Portico is) will be supported 'till July 2014, but before then there'll be another major release - probably 8.5 that'll be distributed to all current WP8 devices, and at that point the 18 month timer starts again.
     
    Therefore in theory, if you bought a Lumia 920 on release day, it should be supported for up to 36 months (by Microsoft, anyway).
     
    Does everyone else read it the same way?
  • That's what am reading also..the next major update is wp9 ( i think )which will then get support for another cycle
  • Iunno how you and other people are seeing it this way. Rich didn't say those exact words and said it would only be supported for 18 months after release... So how is this the case? I hope you're right and I'm wrong. But yeah I didn't see any mention of 8.5 or 9 anywhere so I don't get the logic too much.
  • "Windows Phone 8 devices should see the next major version of Windows Phone, which will then kick off another support cycle." OK, so he said should, but the chances are pretty high...
  • Oh my goodness. I didnt see that last part there. Wow. Thanks :) Sorry about that. I was so sure I read it carefully lol. 
  • What are you, a lawyer? =P
  • Hahahaha no sir, I am an Engineer ;) loool
  • Haha, nope but where I work its important to make sure you read every last word ;)
  • Yes that should be right. 18 month support for wp8 and the clock starts over another 18 months for wp9. All current WP 8 devices are upgradeable to WP 9 so we should see 18 months of security support from when that's released. We just shouldn't expect them to to release new features for current WP 8 devices almost three years from now.
  • Where did you see any reference to WP9? "Major" could well mean "Blue" or WP 8.X.
    Besides the note about carriers, OEMs and geographical location of course.
  • Nope.  Your Lumia 920 will get the next version of Windows Phone, which will have its own support structure.  Microsoft is doing the right thing here... you get a measly 18 months of "promised" updates with Android, which is really a shame as they don't even keep their promises there all the time.  Windows Phone isn't perfect, but the level of support for these releases is a welcome development and is appreciated.
  • True. I shelled out for the top of the line Samsung Galaxy Tab when it was brand new fromAT&T. How many updates has it received since then? None!
    The results: I will never buy another Android device, nor a Samsung device, nor would I consider shelling out for a Tablet from AT&T. Lack of ongoing support for a reasonable period is the best way to lose Customers, permanently.
    Hello Nokia Windows Phone!
  • WP 32-bit is good till WP 64-bit! Windows Phone ARMv7 hardware is 32-bit, 18 months from now new ARMv8 hardware is 64-bit! 64-bit Smartphone is coming! Then the death of all 32-bit Smartphone's will happen.
  • Right, it sounds cool but even if that happens to be the case in 2014, probably most apps will still run on 32-bit like it curently happens with Windows Vista/7/8 ;)
  • I don't think so. The last paragraph states over the air updates. No need to plug your phone into a computer.
  • According to this post only until July 2014. Something's wrong with the dates. 7.x support is longer than 8?
  • 7.8 was released after 8.
     
    There'll be an update for 8 at some point in the future (probably 8.5), which will restart the 18 month support timer.
  • No, I don't think the timer will restart once they release 8.5. 18 month timer will restart for wp8 devices when they are upgraded to 9.0 only. WP 9 will have its own 18 month cycle but 8.5 won't.
  • Since 7.8 resetted the cycle, an 8.5 will reset it too.
  • will get reset with Wp9/blue, which should be coming out this fall, and ALL WP8 devices, will allegedly be upgradable to WP9/blue...
  • Never had one yet.. Didn't even get 7.5/7.8 notifications
  • Ya they want to focus on new WP9. So this is actually good news. Just like some android phones eventually stop getting updates and tour forced to live with what you got or buy a newer phone.
  • ....or just root it (u usually can) and update it yourself, at least you usually have that option for android...
  • I used to do that on Android, but those none official ROMs are very buggy. That's why I switched away from Android.
  • These phones will still be supported straight through in a way. Just the OS version. WP8 will go on to WP9 and so forth.
  • Ok so WP7 gets support for longer than WP8... How does that work then!?!?!?!?
  • See my post above - WP7.8 was released after WP8...
  • Are you sure every 7.x and 8.x update restarts the 18 month support cycle? I don't think so. WP 8 devices will be upgraded to WP 9 so that restarts the timer, not 8.x.
  • Ok so since my Ativ S shipped with Portico does that mean I get 18 months from the release of Portico?
  • Yes!
  • As WP7 phones are not upgradable to WP8, but all WP8 phones are upgradable to WP9, this makes sense as by the middle of 2014, presumable most WP8 phones will carry WP9 and so all windows phones will either be WP9 or WP7. No need to support WP8 for longer.
  • Interesting. Given that my AT&T HTC Titan is still on 7720, I just assumed that support ended sometime early last year...
  • Nicely put.
  • Unbranded is the way forward my titan has received both recent 7.8 updates, it may be a bigger cash outlay at the beginning but its worth it just to get the updates without the hassle.
  • Upgrade to 7.8 yourself. That's what I did.
  • nice to hear of a long support term for 7.x. but we won't really get any cool features. just minor "bug fixes and performance improvements". so it's not all that great a news.
    heck, they didn't even give sms drafts and multiple select in 7.8! and reject call with sms.
    these things require dual cores? o.O
  • No. I doubt it. But MS doesn't wanna waste resource to develop 7.8 as much now. But I would really like some minor improvements for 7.8 as I can't upgrade as I had bought my Radar some months back.
  • ya..i can understand..
  • They have to differentiate it from 8. That's why its 7.8.
  • Am I reading this correctly? Windows Phone 8 hardware will be obsolete in a year whereas iPhones won't be?
  • No.
  • No, you are reading it wrong, WP8 will be updateable to WP8.5/9, then you get new support cycle, whereas its End of line for WP7.8.
  • You're wrong dude. You'll be upgraded to WP 9. Then you get and additional 18 months from whenever that update is released.
  • *phew* I get it now. I was ready to throw my phone out the window
  • where do you get the impression apple supports iphone? they move on with new hardware faster then anyone else dropping support for earlier versions. how many new iphone apps dnt work on 3's and 4's already.
  • WP8 based upon Dual-Core Snapdragon 4 MSM8960 Plus/Pro 32-bit ARMv7 technology, the next Windows Phone hardware will use the new Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 ARMv7 technology.
  • We are not even talking about hardware here folk, this is for OS level support, got nothing to do with hardware.
  • Nope support stops, which is a polite way to say buy a new phone. As for iPhone, same old Os interface nothing new.
  • So WP7 devices have a longer cycle than WP8 devices?
  • Why not?? WP8 will be updateable to WP8.5/9, then you get new support cycle, whereas its End of line for WP7.8.
  • Says who? There is no such announcement and it coudl well be, in fact there are several clues (including the slide in the article) that indicate 7.8 is not the final update the first and 2nd gen WP devices will see.
     
    It has also been announced that current WP8 hardware will update to the next major version which, in turn, will also have an 18 month support cycle. That means WP8 devices will have a life cycle of at least three years from the release of WP8 before they can't be updated to a next major version.
  • Let them first solve the LAG in WP7.8, then we can dream about WP7.9
  • iOS 3.1.3 and above introduced lag to the iPhone 3g. Same thing with iOS5 on the iPhone 4. These things are well known. Older processors are not going to keep up. Upgrade your phone and be done with WP 7.x as soon as you're able to.
  • Compare side by side with an iphone 4 on ios6 vs WP7.8 , 7.8 lags like an android phone. I pay full unlocked price that is $700-$800, cant upgrade every 12 months.
  • What WP7 was costlier than my Lumia 920? God, you must live in a country that has really high taxes on phones!
  • Thank goodness.  We all know how important those Windows Phone "security" updates are.
  • LOL, has there been malware on the WP platform??
  • You mean bug fixes or a method of bring new bugs to the os
  • WP8 will be updateable to WP8.5/9, then you get new support cycle, whereas its End of line for WP7.8.
  • Hone... I had to say it...
  • Copied directly from the above story: "Windows Phone 8 devices should see the next major version of Windows Phone, which will then kick off another support cycle." So if the Lumia 920 gets upgraded to 9 ,or whatever the next OS will be, then it's EOL for support gets bumped up past 2014.
  • Yes!
  • i think this article means that all those who have wp 8 and don't choose to update to wp9 will stop getting minor updates like 8.x from that date and those who update to wp9 will get a different and much later termination date
    now the question arises why wouldn't one update to wp 9 .......i think for a wp 9 update we have to buy it like in the windows desktop environment IMO
    what do u guys think?
  • Because WP 9 will most likely introduced lag like 7.8 did. iOS is known to introduce lag to older hardware everytime a new version is released. We better get ready for this.
  • WP doesn't lag no matter how old the hardware is. That's why Windows Phone is that awesome.
  • L900 with 7.8 lags like a Nexus. And you can't downgrade back to 7.5. I'm sure the same will happen in WP 8 -> 8.X upgrade as well for L920 et al.
  • Sorry, no. 7.8 introduced some start screen launch delay, it's not pervasive lag throughout the OS.
  • 7.8 introduced lag due to coding issues, not hardware. Many WP7 devices are still on par with mid to low-end WP8 devices.
  • We can at see from this, that a new version of the operating system must be ready early 2014.
  • Nothing to do with that. The timing is based on an 18 month support window, not when the next version is due.
  • Where is my hone?
  • I feel sp happy for my Lumia 800
    wooooohooooooo !!!!!
  • Update after the current 7.8 is promised by Nokia. HTC will be like whatever. I just want HTC to give us a bloody Bluetooth Share. Damn.. HTC sucks for support *-*
  • This is such wonderful news. Go team Microsoft Windows Phone platform!
  • Hold on... WP9?  Whatever happened to Blue? 
  • To my understanding that is not actually the name for the software, just the name of the update cycle dealio that's coming...or something...
  • I will get iphone next time. At least apple covers users for several years with software upgrade etc. Even iphone 3GS which came out 3 years ago got ios 6. Microsoft didnt do the same for users. As for me i got lumia900 and its already looks ancient after just 1 year.
  • What's "etc" ?
  • Weird.. to me a Lumia 900 looks very much like the 920 as far as the UI goes.. And even 7.x looks alot fresher and modern then the ancient decade old interface of the iPhone5. Also, your 3GS does not run the same iOS6 the iPhone 4(s) and 5 run, but you knew that right? Your 3GS runs iOS6 minus; Maps flyover Turn-by-turn navigation FaceTime on 3G Hearing aid support VIP list Offline Reading List Siri So effectively it just runs what it did before only the version string changed..
     
     
  • Paul: it's obviously a psychological matter.
  • ohmygod, I laughed so hard
     
  • No reason to expect WP8 users won't be able to upgrade their current devices to WP9 /Blue /whatever next OS release is called. Think you're misinterpreting the article. :)
  • WTF dude!
    WP7 released in October 2010 will be supported till September 2014 - 4 freaking years! How does your maths fail you so bad that you think it is not longer than iPhone 3? Be real or a troll - you choose.
  • When the OS (according to some random version number) was released is irrelevant. What matters is that people are buying WP 7.8 phones today. Those phones will run out of support half way through the 2 year contract. These people do not expect that. Fail.
  • Of course it is not irrelevant. Microsoft makes OS and it supports OS. Hardware partners make hardware and they support hardware. You still get phones with Android Froyo and Gingerbread being sold. Low end handsets have their own market and users. So people buying WP7.8 will still get support till September 2014. They are in low end market. Those buying cheap WP7.x hardware are the people who don't care for the latest and the greatest to start with. So they won't care if they get an OS update or not because they don't care if they are using the latest and the greatest. They just want to spend less on their mobile experience. So these people do expect that. If I buy a Froyo or Gingerbread handset right now, I cannot expect it to upgrade to next version of OS. Simlarly if I buy an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, I cannot expect to get the next OS iteration. 
  • Like they did with WM6.5 ?
  • We are still getting another major update, bro. 7.8 end of the line. Support for "7.8" will finish for 2014, but not for 7.9. 7.9 will be much later. Etc. Microsoft keeps all phones usable.
  • do whatever you feel you need to do, I will want to see what happens to all iphones below 5 when ios 7 is released, I think you will find that it will only really support the 5 and nothing below.
  •  
    I just love the fact people still seem to feel/think their phone stops working suddenly when the OS is no longer updated..
     
     
  • EOLed N9 user here, and yet still rocking it! :) sent via N9
  • WP8 devices with 512 RAM might not get WP9 but WP8.5 and other WP8.X updates. WP8 devices with 1GB RAM would get WP9 and WP9.X updates. Just my thought.
  • If I was a betting man I would say WP9 will not be made available to WP8 hardware rather those will stick with 8.x just like older ones are 7.x. I doubt we will see WP9 this year, 8.5 sure but 9 will be 2014. I ain't a betting man mind:)
  • MS has already stated that WP8 devices will be upgraded to the next version.
  • 8.5 will be the next version just as 7.5 was
  • If you are implying that WP8 users will only get 8.5 and not whatever comes after, I think there is a certain amount of FUD spreading with that.  While there are no "for sures" in this game, the situation is quite different than 7.5 to 8 was.  That was a complete architecture replacement.  MS will not be looking to do that again any time soon.  And if it is a simple set of upgrades that leads to WP9 (or whatever), I fully expect them to update existing phones (though possibly without carrier and some manufacturer support, of course, similar to 7.8)
     
    And of course, if you want to have the best chance buy Nokia.  They are the only ones that seem to be interested in the long haul.
  • We are okay till WP moves to 64-bit ARMv8 or Intel 64 hardware then our old 32-bit ARMv7 hardware WP8 smartphone can't run 64-bit software!
  • the wpcentral guys should surely write another article explaining this article in a more consumer related way so that they don't scare off potential wp8 buyers
  • "So what does all this mean for consumers?
    You're set to receive update notifications on your Windows Phone (regardless whether it's 7.8 or 8) until 2014. Those on older hardware will have upgrade to then take advantage of future major releases, while Windows Phone 8 devices should see the next major version of Windows Phone, which will then kick off another support cycle."
     
    Like that?
  • i had read that a several times in the article as well as the comments but there are many who just see the headline and skim through the content quickly.....thats why many are are askin about this in comments they should make another article around this content to explain and clear confusions
  • Yeah, like put the entire article in the title because people are too lazy and dig to whine. Fast.
  • have you even read the comments that are coming right now.....tell this to those guys also......they seem to agree with my point
  • I'm not attacking you, nor anyone for that matter, just thought people here, who pass knowledge about the platform, would be a little more interested in understanding.
  • "Yeah, like put the entire article in the title because people are too lazy and dig to whine. Fast."
     
    funny!!!
  • That's good for all the people that we have our devices with a contract of 2 years , but this is great support if you ask me better than android they don't even get a update and we will get support for 18 months so this is great.
  • This message is still quite vague. It's the first time I here about "security updates" on windows phone. So what does it all really mean? What happens after september 2014? What are the consequences of not updating? What will this mean for the apps? What will this mean for apps streaming content. What will this mean for clients. What will this mean fro the marketplace and windows phone store? What will this mean for app submission and bugsupport for apps?
  • What will this mean for the mouth that just can't shut up?
  • "What are the consequences of not updating?" None, no new features are added, the features it has keep working.
     
    "What will this mean for the apps?" They keep working, the app store keeps working, but the rate of new apps on the store slow down as the number of people with 7.8 devices drops.
     
     
    "What will this mean for apps streaming content". Nothing, absolutely nothing. Updates do not affect the connection between the phone and the internet, apps will still stream content as they have before.
     
    "What will this mean fro the marketplace and windows phone store? What will this mean for app submission and bugsupport for apps?" The support is only for updates, the store will continue to operate. As mentioned above the rate of apps published for 7.8 will decrease as the user base does. Microsoft, like apple and google, takes a 30% cut from app purchases in the store to pay for maintenance of the store and the app submission process.
     
    Keep in mind most sub $350 android handsets will never see an update, yet they continue to work just fine, the store is still accessible, apps still work (well, sometimes, but that is more a cheap android thing than a support thing).
  • The Lumia 900 runs and performs way better than an iPhone though...
  • Oh boy. I read this article and just knew it would unleash a torrent of misinformed, misguided outrage over the "pathetic" support from "M$"...
  • To be fair, I think the article is quite clear, MS will be rolling major OS updates every 18 month, with the corresponding lifecycle support. What's the problem ?
  • No, I agree. I got it and understood clearly, but I knew many would see "WP8 support will end in 2014" and immediately begin to fling feces in outrage.
  • "WP8 support will end in 2014, time to buy a new phone"
  • RELAX AND PAY ATTENTION! I think it just goes to show people in general don't know what's going on. They just want things to work and continue working. Many people would have been better off skipping this article, as they clearly don't understand what certain things mean. Its not their fault, as many of us are more tuned into tech matters and just have a better understanding of what this means. It may have been better for many to ask questions, get a nice response, and spread the knowledge kindly. However, there are people who clearly jump off the ledge without reading the entire article or reading all previous posts, just as there are people who like to respond to questions any a condescending tone, and berate people who asks them. Its a vicious cycle. We all need to relax, take a breath, and quit ruining things for everyone else(this goes for both sides)
  • What about OEMs and carriers? They are the ones which will determine who will get updates and which ones....
  • Could also mean they will release it every 2 years.
     
    Number out of nowhere for example:
    - Windows Phone x.0 released.
    - Enjoy it for 6 months, smaller updates if they feel like it.
    - Windows Phone x.0.1 released.
    - Enjoy it for 6 months, smaller updates if they feel like it.
    - Windows Phone x.1 released.
    - Enjoy it for 6 months, smaller updates if they feel like it.
    - Windows Phone x.1.1 released, hopefully.
    - Enjoy it for 6 months, but no more update promised for this device.
    - Windows phone xi released, buy new device.
     
    Problem is, the 18 months promise is from when the device is released. If you buy the device... say, 6 months after release, you only get 12 months of said promised update. It's like buying second hand gadget with transferrable warranty that's 1/3 expired.
  • I saw Die Windows Phone in the screen capture title...
  • it's the language other than English, so the 'Die Windows Phone' means different too.
  • WPCentral, please pull this article and rewrite it in much simpler terms. Those who don't read it carefully and don't use logic are greatly confused by it and spreading all sorts of misinformation. Thanks
  • An edit might not be a bad idea. Anyone who actually read it through with some degree of attention probably got it - by the end.. But the