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Windows 10 desktop will come out before Phone in a staggered release cycle

Earlier today at Build, Microsoft held a special gathering of media and journalists to meet with some of the Windows leadership team. The purpose of the event was less formal, and more of a chance to interact with and ask questions. As such, video and photos were discouraged.

To kick off the nearly two-hour event, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore gave an introductory talk about some aspects of Windows 10 not yet widely known. One of those was in regards to the planned release cycle of Windows 10 updates and new hardware, including the phone.

For a few months now, Microsoft has been claiming that Windows 10 would be released "this summer". However, the status of Windows Phone in that release was not made too clear. Today we learned that, as many have guessed, Windows Phone will come out a bit later. Belfiore would not commit to a more definitive time frame, although it did not sound like it was that much later.

Indeed, we could be talking only a few weeks here, as this was intimated by Belfiore in his comments. What Microsoft is not promising at this time is a same-day release for everything. Fair enough.

Reasons for a staggered release

For those in the Windows Insider program, it should be obvious that Windows 10 for desktop is released earlier than the Windows Phone version by a few weeks and ahead by numerous builds. This discrepancy translates into the resultant staggered release plan for Windows 10 after the desktop version goes out.

Microsoft is targeting desktop first because it is their largest number of users when compared to phone customers. From that perspective, hitting your biggest group first makes total sense when devoting resources. This delay is not to say they find phone less important, certainly not. These are just the realities of making a unified operating system.

HoloLens, Surface Hub, and Xbox One were also on that list of coming later on, presumably this year. The good news here is Microsoft can use these staggered updates and releases to keep their achievements in the tech news cycle for the rest of the year. It also takes some pressure off of trying to line up such massive releases for all systems on the same day.

Windows Insider program will continue

Some good news though is that the Microsoft preview program dubbed Windows Insider will continue beyond the RTM release of Windows 10.

Fast ring and slow ring will be the options, at least for now. Those on the fast ring are likely looking at two updates a month to try out new features before they go to slow ring, and then pushed in the main build.

In speaking with Microsoft's Gabriel Aul, also in attendance, he said they are still considering adding more 'rings' to the Windows Insider program. One ring may be 'finalized by not yet approved for public release'. This proposed ring is analogous to the Preview for Developers program, which released finalized builds of the OS before carriers had their approval. So this would be slower than Slow ring, but faster than the public version.

Another Windows Insider ring that still may see the light of day would be a 'ludicrous ring' for daily builds. Aul notes the data gathered from these releases would be very useful to his team, who could do more A-B testing to get feedback from users. However, there are clearly greater risks too.

Windows 10

Windows 10

The takeaway

For many weeks now, I have been saying the Windows Phone version of Windows 10 won't be ready for a while. The rawness of the current previews testifies to that fact. However, Microsoft has some bigger releases coming in May, and I think you will be surprised at how fast Windows 10 for mobile cleans up and become more coherent.

For Microsoft, these raw builds are normal. However, for customers, it's a new jarring experience. But in speaking with Microsoft today, they are very confident that this will all pull together over the next few months, and I for one believe them.

More importantly, we need to change our mindset. Windows 10 is never going to be 'final'. Sure, there will be an RTM flight to OEMs for release, but the point here is to think of Windows as a Service. Not a subscription service, but an OS that is constantly and frequently being iterated upon with new features driven by a long-term plan and user feedback.

This Windows as a service is an ambitious model, one that does not have any precedent. For now, I think we should keep an open mind to see what transpires over the next few months heading into summer.

All I can say is this: when talking to Microsoft's Windows leadership team, they have full confidence that they can pull this off, and I see no qualms when they talk about the future. So let's see if they can do it.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • Is anyone surprised?
  • Not really to be honest, but its always good to know its been made official known now.
  • Joe doesn't need to say Windows Phone isn't a priority for Microsoft, everyone can plainly see that.
  • Yeah, I mean they only designed a bunch of tools and an entire operating system for it.
  • Well, at least it will be a steady stream of new Windows products, as you mentioned. Some fresh hardware and features, though, would be nice. I think ATT forgot about "denim" on the 830.
  • Yeah, I've been cussing about that for weeks.
  • I'm still waiting for denim on the unbranded and unlocked L830.
  • I have it on mine, you may have an issue that needs to be addressed.
  • No. I think it's coming to phones by 2016. By then I expect the OS to be fully functional and bug free.
  • You'll find a unicorn before you fond anything bug free
  • Don't expect bug free even when 10.1 is finally released.
  • I agree. You won't see a flagship WP10 on sale IN stores till this time next year. By the time they finish it, develop the phones and have the carriers test them, it will be March or April 2016 at the earlieat.
  • Say the same here. Carriers are going to be the hold up for release.
  • Carriers take the least amount of time ...
  • You're kidding, right! Then please explain the reason why 8.1/Cyan, released by Microsoft on June 24th, was sent to my phone in November.
  • Not like Microsoft works directly with carrier. Updates have to get cleared by several parties before even reaching carrier.. Carriers take about a week to test. Not as if Microsoft's status page is accurate. If they wanted to be transparent they could, but it'd only look bad on Microsoft. If only they had less models/variants they could release updates all at once.
  • I was originally thinking this Fall, but forgot about hardware OEMs needing to test on devices and carriers need to test the OS on their networks. This thing could very realistically slip into 2016 and Mobile World Congress.  
  • No, the new flagship mobile device will be launched before the end of the year, probably November 2015. Then, around July or so in 2016, I might buy a very discounted Lumia 1030 or 1040 (whatever the name will be). Why? Because this is how it works in online retailers in Sweden. They have done it so far with Windows Phone flagships and will most likely continue doing so. Meanwhile, iPhones almost never ever get any heavy discounts half a year after release, because Apple don't do that.
  • Where do you people get these ideas from?
  • There is no such thing as big free, even on the supposedly polished iOS.
  • RTM will be some kind of slowest ring
  • What happened to the mobile first thing?
  • Depends on how you define 'mobile' but with Windows 10 the vast majority revolves around 'mobile'.
  • It's the Android and iOS part.
  • I think they're spreading themselves too thin with these. Who's going to maintain and support them in the long run? They should have focused on making Windows 10 the best experience first and foremost, for both users and devs. I understand most devs complain about the APIs being very limiting in comparison to other platforms. Now it's WP 8.1 all over again. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  • They are not spreading themselves too thin, as aren't Windiv and Devdiv 2 separate parts of MS? The API is also not limiting, what makes you say that? So yeah, I guess you're wrong ;)
  • Laptops and tablets are considered "mobile" as well, not just smartphones.
  • There was never any doubt. I don't think the phone OS will be dine before winter. They're far behind and slow
  • It only turned May today. Another two months and the OS will look drastically better. Remember: we have an old build of Win 10 mobile in our hands right now. The current, internal releases are a lot better, surely (although they seem not to be ready for testing just yet, obviously).
  • When will OS 8.1 GDR2 be released then?
  • After Windows 10
  • Already have it on my Lumia 930 and trust me you aren't missing out anything. Settings menu? You'll get over it. It's not going to help much.
  • What about the Bluetooth keyboard support. That is a big plus in my opinion. Really looking forward to Continuum on the new phones. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You are very dumb, fo real.
  • its a bit more complicated than that. Im not sure if you have a lot of knowledge of kernels and such? anyway, the reality is ALWAYS different than the marketing reality... to put it in plain terms, the goal here is for ONE platform, they are using the term "one OS" because its simple and gives an idea to people that know what an OS is that there will only be one OS because if they go on and say its ONE kernel that is dynamic and they can pick and choose what parts of the OS is switched on or off then that's just confusing. remember, phones need extra layers that PC's just have no use for. This is the reality, and this is why they simply cant have one true OS with the exact same build. But you can market (key term) that you have one OS because they are being built under the same kernel just different builds of this OS. just reading it sounds confusing and that's why they market the term One OS. Windows NT is the real mastermind behind windows 10 but the public doesn't care about kernels lol (I do :D)
  • So true! I am a hobby programmer. Mostly dedicated to Linux desktop and Linux console applications, but I have made Windows Phone apps as well. I know how to configure a Linux kernel and have done so on numerous occasions. The Windows NT 10 kernel is not open source, so I can't configure and recompile it, but .. I do now that kernels can either be monolithic or microkernels, etc. The kernel is what drives the OS, along with the kernel drivers for graphics, I/O, etc. The rest are just applications on top and hardware peripherals plugged in.
  • Well said and a WNT story many are unaware of.  Remember HAL in Kubrick's 2001 Space Odyssey?  Wonder where the name HAL came from? Add one letter to H A L and get I B M Add one letter to V M S and get W N T What's VMS you ask?  DEC's virtual memory OS spawned in the late 70s.  One of the architects was Dave Cutler.  Bill Gates offered Cutler 1% of Microsoft to work in Redmond.  Dave said yes and named their new OS WNT that started a new era for MSFT. Yes the kernel is important and I like how it got its name.  
  • You sound like your not working with a full deck there pal... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Ha ha ha
  • Because they aren't making any new OS but making changes in 2 different OS and unifying them is the final target. So they are trying to unifying two different OS - will make them one. If I am not wrong Microsoft released Technical Preview for Desktop last year and for phone this year. So they didnt start at same time, why do they finish at same time?
  • You're right. What I don't get though. Is that since the whole purpose is to unify and have one is on all devices. Whyyy didn't they start development of windows 10 for both more closely together. I don't really get that logic. Not complaining. It just doesn't make much sense to me
  • I think the core of the OS is what's the same. Like the API's and stuff. They need to take out the parts that a phone can't do, and put in the parts that only a phone can do to build the phone version of the OS. They need to add optimized versions of the UI elements.
  • First off, universal apps are literally a single application; The user interface scales between devices and window sizes, but its all the same app. They are released at the same time. Second, Windows 10 is one OS, but they can't just slap x64 desktop Windows into a phone and call it good. Not only does Windows 10 have to be tailored to the ARM architecture, but also to the small screen size and the usage case. Some interfsce elements have to be tailored for mobile (I.E Hub Control <ー> Panorama), and other things have to be added in, such as the functionality for phone calls, sms/mms messaging, one handed use, etc. This means that Windows 10 for mobile will naturally be behind, as it first relies on the core Windows 10 builds to add things in, then it has to tailor those things for mobile as aforementioned. If you want further proof they are the same OS and a single appreciate, look no further than continuum for Phones. The UI scales up into a desktop environment, and universal applications use the same desktop and tablet interface that they would on any other tablet or desktop computer ruining Windows 10. This literally proves that they are one OS, and that universal apps are one scalable/adaptive application.
  • I have windows 10 on my phone right now.  So yes people will launch apps for Windows and Windows on a phone on the same day.  It's even called Outlook.  I can reach into my pocket and in a couple seconds run the same app on both Desktop and Phone.  But there are apps that Windows Phone needs that Windows Desktop doesn't like its dialer app.   That dialer app could run on both but you can launch a desktop OS without a dialer app.  You can't launch a phone OS without a dialer app.  So yes the core OS could be done and be the exact same OS as a desktop but be delayed a couple weeks as you tune the bundled applications that people expect to have on day one.  Similarly you can launch a Desktop OS with terrible power management that isn't efficiently tuned because your desktop is plugged into a wall.  But with a month of tuning you could refine the settings in the OS and patch the OS to be more power efficient.    However if your phone dies after 6 hours of idling in your pocket you'll ditch the OS.  Once again you can't launch the exact same OS to two different device classes because one is less demanding than the other.  You could also launch the Desktop Windows 10 without continuum for touch mode even though it's the same OS as the Surface Windows 10 and then later release a Tablet friendly version that's the same OS but adds continuum mode.    The core OS is the same but the shell is slightly different.  Similarly you can have "Ubuntu" and use Gnome or you can use KDE.  Same OS... completely different user interface.  I could go on and on and on but you're just a simple troll so why bother...
  • @wpkevin,I think you just don't want to get it?
  • • A: AFAIK Universal Outlook cannot do any of what you mentioned on the desktop. • B: Laptops and desktops differences are trivial. They the same machine, different form factor, to simplify. • C: Windows 10 Mobile runs on a different architecture (ARM), and is reliant on the features of the core Windows 10 OS. It's impossible to optimize an element for mobile devices if it doesn't even exist yet. As such, the Mobile SKU has to be behind in development if it is to be optimized for mobile. • D: You didn't even read. The UI scales based on the device. If an app was a physical package, there would only be one. If a developer launches a universal app, they've launched a universal app. They can't just launch the PC app and not the mobile app, because then it would not be a universal app. A universal application is a single app that scales automatically based on the device and Windows size, not multiple apps under the same name for different devices. The APIs are part of this scaling, which ties back into my original point that they need to have mobile optimizations implemented AFTER it is built in to the core Windows 10 OS in order for universal apps to work right. Too Long; Clearly Didn't Read: A universal app is a single package that relies on the API to scale based on the size of the window and the device it is ran upon, and the mobile SKU requires features to be implemented in the core operating system before they are optimized, thus requiring that it have a later release schedule.
  • I'm going to take it that: A. You lack reading comprehension, B. You fail to understand the specifics that I am explaining, or C. You enjoy trolling users online as a pastime, And so I shall take my leave.
  • You sound like you know what you're talking about. Are you a Microsoft employee?
  • You can have One OS but need to write all of the drivers for a specific hardware system.   Why do you think Microsoft has a "RTM" build?  It's called "Release to Manufacturers".   Phones are highly integrated systems which require custom drivers.  Laptops are the same but they require less custom driver work and even then Microsoft releases an RTM build months in advance to give the laptop manufacturers time to tune their software to the new OS.  I am also developing an embedded linux machine right now.  It's Linux aka the same Linux that is in Ubuntu but it also needs to have the kernel options and drivers tuned for my specific device.  You can't just take Linux and install it on a Raspberry Pi you have to ensure all of the drivers and kernel options are correct, you have to ensure the bootloader works properly and on top of that OS you can have different installation options and update mechanisms to update the OS.   You clearly know absolutely nothing about systems development so the fact that this proves to you something that isn't at all indicated by this announcement shouldn't be a surprise.  Another way to put this is: a website can run on one webserver but release its mobile site months later.   Yes both run HTML and javascript.  Yes both are running on Apache or IIS, yes both use a web browser, yes both are TCP sockets, yes both use HTTP requests and responses.  But there is still work to be done on ensuring the mobile presentation of the same code works smoothly.  You wouldn't (I hope) say that the fact that Facebook's mobile site takes a few weeks to update after a change to the desktop site proves that they use different webservers. 
  • If it is not the same build and if it's not 100% the same code, it's not a unified OS. It's converging, but that's pretty much it. I just hope, there will be no further separation on basic building blocks. If we get VPN, it should be the same on phones and desktops. I guess, this will finally be the case. I really think, MSFT had all those building blocks in 2010. Hell, Silverlight apps on Xbox 360 and desktops would have been no problem. WP could have easily scaled to tablets.
  • What's the winning strategy?
  • If someone of us wanted android they would just buy it. At least for me, making custom build of android and calling it windows would be step that would drive me out from windows phone. But then again you are probably not just stupid just trolling people last few days.
  • If you want Android apps, buy an Android phone! It's a much simpler solution. No point blatantly copy-pasting your Android app to the Windows Store.
  • Thank you for filling my inbox with an irrelevant discussion ;)
  • Damn I'm so grateful your not in charge of Microsoft. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I don't think you understand how sotware developement or operating systems work. They already commited to release W10 in the summer, so they are pushing that aspect of it out, possibly a bit too fast. It's very easy to not release to all devices when you A) controll what gets released when, and B) haven't finished that aspect of the OS. Unified OS doesn't mean they work on every aspect of it at once.
  • +925 They aren't universal apps lol. But I don't think you have a strong programming background ;) Universal apps are based on WinRT (Windows Runtime) The runtime is *nearly* "universal", not the OS. WP 10 and W10 are very different .. .
  • Seriously why would anyone be even the slightest surprised for this?
  • It is natural for phones to be second. They need the os code for the desktop to be near final first before they can tweak it for phones. If we think about it, tech preview for phones was more on the UI and the design . They want to know how people would think of the continuum for phones - what people think if the buttons were placed here or there etc. Now people expressed what they voted for and windows 10 for desktop is final, then it's time to merge the programming and the design and the ui behavior. :)
  • There are two OSes, not one ;)
    Runtime is shared, not the lower level OS code.
  • Nooooooo
  • Nøøøøø ... Need a high end phone with continuum right now.
  • That's a relief. I like the way the phone UI looks, but I was worried they wouldn't have enough time. This makes a lot of sense though.  
  • Yeah. MS needs to nail it this time with Win10 on phones, and they won't do that by rushing to market.
  • W10 on phones is not going to be anything special. The key goal is to make everything that works now, work on 10. Its a full reboot like the transition from 7 to 8. Sure, there will be changes, but do not expect some herculean effort or innovation. It will be about basic function. Universal apps will be in its infancy. I believe it will be the most challenging time for the platform as most of the hold-outs will be disappointed.
  • Oh, yeah, I don't have high hopes for Win10M, but at the same time I'd like to think it won't come out half cooked :)
  • Cue the complaints...
  • We knew this would happen.
  • Verge reported w10 for phones release only after October...need no hurry we want a fully finished os without any errors
  • Exactly. In the meantime I'm perfectly happy with 8.1.
  • Yep. Not tired of 8.1 just yet :)
  • If that's the case, plenty of time to save up for a flagship :P.
  • If this means a smooth and polished experience that resembles Windows Phone in the present, then go for it Microsoft.
  • Exactly
  • Still very dumb. Fo real.
  • Nailed it again! Lol.
  • You sound like one of those crazy conspiracy theory people. Universal app "myth"? I feel stupid just rewriting what you said.
  • Man go somewhere else with that..
  • @wpkevin, think it is time detox off that moonshine :P.
  • I'm aware of the app gap and even with that and other things, I'm happy with Windows Phone.
  • So how would you like to see the mobile OS transform then? For me their strategy, although not beautifully unique experience of the past, still is the best chance to turn around it's luck.
  • "Zune Day"? You are reading too much into this. If Microsoft frustrates you, go somewhere else; there are plenty more fish in the sea. I'd hate it if I was committed to just one OS. Mobile software will only get better as technology moves forward.
  • Wpkevin, you have issues. Seriously, let it go. They call I a universal platform. Everyone but you understands what that means. That's what they call it. That's what they'll continue to call it and no amount of your insane rants will change it.
  • Did anyone ask about Microsoft Pay? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Good question.
  • Indeed it is, there is another day of build left soo who knows.
  • So wish I could fast forward to this time next year to see where we are at. . . So many exciting things coming!
  • Literally daydreamed about that exact scenario. Maybe 30 seconds before reading your comment
  • Thank god someone is finally confident that windows 10 won't be a failure!
  • It must not be a failure else I will be stuck with Apple forever.
  • A new troll born every minute
  • This ^^
  • He must be DJCBS's offspring.
  • @RyanAMG, lol.
  • Palm and Blackberry don't have the millions Windows PC users that will run Windows 10.
  • Nah this is just the same moron that runs around on some of these threads. Nothing new with this one. It claims to prefer Windows Phone but is always spewing crap about how Microsoft's strategy is making it fail or that's it's two different operating systems or some worthless crap like that.
  • No. They always said, that it will be one OS but different SKUs. The only one who fails here is you because you failed to understand that.
  • The article's reasoning trumps your reasoning 10 times over, just saying. (Pun on "10" completely intended)
  • Dude give it a fucking rest. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You're getting hung up on symantics. Of course its not the exact same OS. There is different hardware and not 100% overlap of function. It is one OS in the sense that you can dock your phone and it becomes like an RT desktop - mobile universal apps morph into the desktop versions of those apps. Obviously, a desktop version of this OS doesnt need this complex capability since it wont be installed on a phone. There's more going on in the Phone version and it has to fit into tighter storage and run on different hardware (ARM). Its going to take a bit more work.
  • The effort and the potential behind Windows 10 says it must not fail!
  • Don't actually mind since dev preview but then we won't see flagships or new phones till could be next year for rtm .....
  • i can say that i don't even consider another way.
  • Makes sense in my books. I have no problem waiting. This time it isn't waiting for something we really don't know what it will be. This time we know it will rock and if my PC and tablet rock a few months before my (hopefully new dual LTE Sim flagship) phone does, so be it.
  • I have a question. Why didn't they show off feature for windows phone during the keynotes? They only showed desktop universal apps stuff and not phones. Are they planning on talking about that at a later conference or did I miss it?
  • They did not talked anything about phones :$
  • They showed continuum on phones, android and iOS apps conversion to Windows apps. I guess that is enough for phones at this development stage ;)
  • And confirmed the 4 tiles in a row!
  • Ooh, was that in the key note or one of the following sessions?
  • Non! It was while showing of the trip(travel and hotel) app!!
  • It also likely means we will not see any new high end Lumina phones anytime soon. Sigh.........
  • No phones , no universal apps. Apple and Google bread n butter dependent on portable devices, more or less smartphone phones. No WP, no moving forward. No compelling device, no sale, devs upset and leave wp equals failure. And these wc/wp fan boys jolly for nothing! Don't think apps alone gonna cut It and
    India ain't gonna bail WP out.
  • o.O what the f*ck did I just read? That crap makes no sense dude.
  • Read It again.
  • @lubbalots, err..... what....? O.o
  • Err what?
  • I hope that we'll be able to put universal apps into the store at PC launch, so people can buy them now and then get them on their phones when it's released. I can understand why there's going to be a staggered release, and if you really want it you can have the windows 10 insider builds...these will become very stable, very quickly, so we should be seeing a build that can be used on daily phones close to the PC release I imagine, with just some small quirks left to iron out
  • Did you have a stroke? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • My left brain got numb from nothing compelling in my hand besides a show full of spectacles.
  • Release it when it's perfect is the mindset I have. Good choice.
  • The only small detail is that no software is perfect of 100% bug free...
  • Or Finished. Its only finished when it reaches the end of its support cycle.
  • So any idea if the quality and stability of the insider releases will stay about the same for the current rings? Or will they generally be more complete and stable because of them building off of a "finished" OS?
  • If anything it should get more and more stable. Of course the fast ring or the nutty ludicrous ring would be less stable.
  • Anyone ask about denim?
  • It's already out for most areas. Just if you're on a U.S.-based carrier, they control the actual install for compatibility on networks.
  • Yes can someone please check with MS what the hold up is? Why AT&T is delaying Denim? Issues with the 830? Neglect? Stupidity? Anything???
  • No hero device across all US carriers = no sale = devs not interested = no universal apps = failure.
  • Time to take a chill pill :).
  • I'm chillin...
  • So what I'm guessing is that Windows 10 will drop in the Summer for Desktop, Windows 10 for Phones (and a new flagship most likely) will drop probably sometime in the fall, and current phones in the US will get updated to Windows 10 sometime around the holidays or early 2016 because I have absolutely no faith in the carriers for a timely approval. 
  • +830
  • actually that sounds very accurate lol sad truth, if the phone build RTM's sometime around September we wont see it in the US until December-February.
  • I feel for you. U.S. carriers suck and seem to have too much power.
  • Good explanation Daniel. I'm pretty confident they can pull it off too - at this point it's all or nothing, and even if they lead us into the fire, it was a good run :)
  • I've been saying for some time that we wouldn't get phones until the very end of the summer, at best. This is basically what I said, that it would be announced as July/August, and any delays would push it into September. Now, it looked like July is the W10 plan, and if it's late-July, this delay for phones would put us near that. So, we're going to be nearly into three years since the 920 launched before AT&T users get a successor.
  • Probably October. But do they announce a flagship when desktop is released or when mobile is ready?
  • Umm, the 1020, 925 and 930 were all successors to the 920.
  • Not really. 1020 was a step up niche device and priced high at release, 925 was a step down specs wise, and 930 not available on AT&T and no Glance. 920 users still want something awesome!
  • I bought my 1020 a month after release for the same cost as the 920 at release. The 1020 was a pretty identical, but you all missed the 2 Gb ram as opposed to the 1 Gb on the 920. If Microsoft actually released a flagship (other than the US we don't have the unicorn 930) last year, this wouldn't be a thread. You all chose to stick around, so deal with it.
  • Same CPU, GPU, and display. It was built on the same core parts as the 920, and the camera was the only functional difference. Give it up, dude.
  • Um, no, no and no. The 1020 has a better camera (duh) but the rest of the phone isn't considered an upgrade, the 925 was more like a side-grade and the 930? I'm pretty sure AT&T didn't offer the 930 and the carrier-free versions don't have compatible LTE. As a current 920 user, I can honestly say there hasn't really been a successor to the 920 or I'd have one.  
  • 1020: Same guts, just a different camera. 925: Same guts, different case and flash. 930: Not on AT&T. Where did you learn reading comprehension?
  • Wow...I touched a nerve here. All of those phones upped something from the 920. No one said anything about the 1520 though. Seriously though, if its not good enough, why have you all stuck around?
  • You say something wrong and dumb and claim we have hurt feelings? Hah. 1. The size makes it a niche device. They even give it a different term (phablet, which is silly) because of it.
    2. The 1520 is a different phone line. It's like calling the Galaxy Note a successor to the Galaxy S devices or saying the Surface Pro is a Surface successor.
  • 1020 - lacking built in wireless charging, a niche device, too bulky for mainstream use
    925 - not much of an upgrade from the 920 hardware wise and also lacking wireless charging
    930 - not available in the US (outside of Verizon) and lacking glance screen. So no, there has been no 'true flagship' since the 920.
  • Exactly. The 830 could've been if only it had the cpu, ram, and camera from the 1520!
  • So...if it were the 930 with Glance.
  • And an SD card...
  • Actually I prefer the design of the 830 over the 930/Icon. But my dream successor to the 920 & 925 series would be based on the 925 design and have at least a 5.2" display, epic camera, wireless charging built in, GLANCE, and killer battery. Or a Surface phone. Lol.
  • I really hope we don't get a 925 successor, or at least that it's not the primary/only offering we get. I don't like metal devices. My cousin's M8 is increidbly slick, and I don't like that about it. Plus, with Microsoft's decision to change the Surface devices over to that wretched light coloring, I'd hate to have a phone with light metal. Though I loved my Zune HD, I hated the color of it. If they were to offer it in different shades, I wouldn't mind as much. However, I would greatly prefer the 830/930 design with hard lines than the curve.tapered backing of the 920/925. I'd alsorather have somhing that gave people all kinds of visual offerings, and I think that polycarbonate does that better than metal.
  • Why does it have to be on AT&T to be a 920 successor? Just change carrier. I'm Australian so I admit I don't fully understand the system in the US, but surely it's not that hard..... it's easy as pie here.
  • Because Verizon uses CDMA. Meaning if you wanted to use the Icon on another carrier, say the one you already have, you would have to buy the phone outright and pray they unlock it for you. Then you would only be able to get up to 3G speeds, since Verizons LTE bands are unique to them, and still have to wait for Verizon to approve updates before you could officially get them, which as we learned from the Cyan update for the Icon is like waiting for pigs to fly.
  • Easy here too but AT&T had the best WP selections and support, I hate Verizon, sprint sucks, and not thrilled with tmobile either.
  • I mean, I guess if you count not having Denim in May of 2015 for all devices as having the best support, AT&T's basically the cream of the crop, yeah. My 920's still on Cyan.
  • Well, because my comment stated that we haven't had a 920 successor ON AT&T. That's the reason we're sticking to AT&T examples.
  • Then the fault lies on your carrier for not delivering on their promise of being the premier carrier for WP.
  • Or it's on the crappy Verizon exclusivity deal.
  • Funny. I typically see ATT as the one with the exclusivity deals (820, 920, 520, 1020, 1520, etc.) all the devices listed either had carrier variants (810, 822, 521) or none at all due to the ATT exclusivity.
  • So?
  • No surprise. W10 phone is pretty half-baked right now. It feels like it's 6 months from release.
  • So still no official RTM date announced? July? August? September? Are they saying anything or announcing this later?
  • Probably not until at least 60 days before they plan to release it...
  • I think before "back to school". August. End of the summer (I'm UK).
  • Cool with that..... If you want to get it faster then buy a new device....
    I know if they come out with a worthy 1520 successor then screw the update, I'm getting a new device the day it comes out.
  • They did promise us a new flagship later this year, so worst case scenario if Windows 10 for phones doesn't make the deadline for the end of this year they'll probably just throw WP8.1 on the device, but still have it designed and tethered to work better with Windows 10. It beats pissing off consumers with more false promises
  • I'm sure they have some new devices already.. They're just in testing for quality, and what not.. I bet those devices come in August, loaded with W10... If July is an accurate date for W10, then that wouldn't be too far off for phone..
  • All I have to say is I believe. Bring on the ludicrous ring. I will gladly subject my 1020 to daily torture to push this os along.
  • With the sudden shift in when ios devices are released this plan of waiting doesn't sound good. Don't entirely see PC sales spiking in the summer though especially if old hardware has good driver support. There's always the delay for consumer release
  • Anyone else think LUDICROUS SPEED when the article mentioned daily builds?
  • Haha awesome!
  • Yup ;)
  • At least now we know why LG is making a phone.
  • Where did u get anything about lg from this
  • I can live with the fact that it wont be soon. Am I the only one hoping that if nothing else, I can live with a more stable build of Win 10 for mobile in my 920. I am glad to update it every two weeks. Just wish it would be with less issues, sort of how the developer preview build is, its stable for 95%, but 5% is unpredictable. Hell, I'd take 73/30, just wish I had something new. Who's with me. (same goes for my RT, I will be happy with tablet mode only, I just want something new)
  • This all makes perfect sense from a marketing perspective. Release desktop/tablet in the summer for the back to school sales. The phone, XBox  and maybe the Hololens in the fall for the Holiday season.
  • I'm very OK with this.  When Windows 8.0 came out, it seemed like Microsoft was desperately trying for a "shock and awe" release with Windows 8.0, Windows Phone 8.0, and Zune changed to Xbox Music/Video all at once-ish.  (It wasn't exactly all at once, but near enough.)  It ended up being both overwhelming for users and each platfom at release was half-baked in its own way.  This rolling release makes much more sense, I think. Design for everything to ultimately be synced but release as ready, and spread out the effort (and the marketing message) a bit.
  • Windows 8.0 wasn't half-baked, it was just emcumbered by mobile.  They basically turned people's desktops into Surface Tablets, and that's the part that wasn't cool at all. If the start screen worked more similar to Launchpad on a Mac, but with Tiles, that would have been great.  Example: You kept your start menu but there was a Start-key combination to bring up the start screen, that would have been totally fine...  Great, even. Really when you take away the Start screen, all Winodws 8.0 was, was Windows 7.2; and that's really all it needed to be to be successful.  The issues that people had with it, was Microsoft's way of forcing their PCs to work more like a tablet, in hopes that it would condition users to the interface and get them to buy Windows Tablets instead of iPads and Android Tablets. Merging Mobile user interface elements with Desktop OSes is FINE as long as it is not done in a way that makes the system feel out of place on the form factor.  That's something Apple did well, with the way it did Launchpad, Dashboard, and merged various elements nad services into OS X.  Microsoft tried to go from Step 1 to Step 24 all at once, and it backfired majorly. The Start Screen in Windows 8.0/8.1 is nothing more than just LaunchPad + Dashboards.  Tiles are like a merging of App Shortcuts and Widgets.  I don't have issue with the start screen.  It can be generally useful nad often is.  However, I had a huge issue with the way they got rid of things and forced you to basically jump between two (from a functional standpoint) operating systems to get things done.  Things as simple as... launching an application or performing a desktop search. Windows 10 will fix that.  Can just uninstall all of the Metro Apps that come with it and install desktop Apps and forget it exists much more easily than with Windows 8.1. 8.0's user interface was nice for about... 18 hours until I stopped playing around and tried to actually get work done on my computer, and then it was pretty evident how much of a fail the hard switching was.  Now, I use my Notebook sparingly and bought an iMac a few months ago becasue I simply couldn't take it anymore.  I was one of those people that initially thought people just needed to "get used to it," but I totally understand where the complaints come from, after using the OS heavily. Apart from that bastart start screen, the OS runs flawlessly.  No complaints.  But I couldn't be productive when my PC was throwing me out of the Desktop everytime I hit the Start Button, or even gaming if I was multi-boxing in an MMORPG it took way more effort to switch windows (and I was WAY slower at it as a result) on Windows 8.0 than on Windows 7.  Even on 8.1 you basically have to press a key combination to avoid getting thrown to Start.  It sucks. In the end, I really don't know any other way they could have done it, because htey got rid of the Start Menu.  The Start Screen was done all wrong on the desktop, all in the effort of being different.  It just wasnt' done correctly.  They should have just copied launchpad and dashboard (or made a new widget platform with tiles) and called it a day.  In any case, Windows 10 should be a lot better, but it's only a matter of time before I replace my Dell with a MacBook because I couldn't stand still for 3 years and wait for them to improve it.  If I don't get stuff done, the bills don't get paid and I don't like feeling bogged down by my technology.
  • You could have saved yourself a tonne of money & aggro by installing classic shell & modern mix :P lol.
  • I really hope you're right about it being a weeks behind, rather than it being months behind
  • Hope they don't announce any new lumia 840/ 940hardware till the release of windows 10 on phones; It would be rather nice of they announce Lumia 740 in June / July with full hd display and snapdragon 610 rather than hd and 615 processor
  • I agree it's gonna be quite a feat to get it done in time. I highly doubt it'll be done during the summer tho. But w.e
  • I couldn't personally do the "Beta" builds though the Finalized but not Public Release version sounds mighty tempting.  I'm too afraid of Driver issues for my SSD and Graphics Card, among other things, and if they're constantly getting info and phoning it home it would likely do something odd to my battery life, as well. Still find it off how they can't ever give a release date for something they've been developing in the open for quite a while now.  Apple gives release dates months in advance for their OS updates (and yes, I'm more than aware that MS has more customers and Microsoft isn't Apple, I'm just saying).
  • Is that Paul and Mary Jo?
  • Yes
  • MOBILE 1st, cloud 1st, amirite?
  • Microsoft Pay!
  • Well there's obviously gonna be a flagship, in the continuum for WP video he said something like better specs to run or something
  • Some things never change
  • Thanks Daniel. I adjusted my mindset and I feel at peace again
  • Weeks? I'll eat my hat. Bookmark this for future reference, W10 Mobile won't roll out (and probably still have Xbox Music style bugs) with a flagship until October at the earliest, but I suspect probably November or December, to get out of the way of a likely 'iPhone 6s' release.  And phone updates from carriers, will decidedly be a 2016 event, probably *well* into 2016.
  • I tend to agree...more several weeks than few ones. I wonder if MS will delay a "Global, Unbranded device" release to accomodate the need of carriers.
  • Updates come first, THEN new hardware in the fall. Bank on it.
  • Really?  I have a hard time believing AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile and overseas carriers are already doing network testing on an Alpha level OS and will have updates ready for users in the Summer. Seems like Land of Oz fantasy land stuff. This is assuming those carriers have any incentive at all to update Lumia 920/1020/925/1520 devices.
  • We really need to change our official phrase from "Seems faster..." to "Soon™".  It's a drag to see this stretch out into October or beyond.  Some of us have been waiting almost 3 years to get a proper device.  It might be too late to find one, but I'm tempted to finally give up and track down a 1520.3 (the problem is prices have always remained high because nothing newer was ever released).  My ATIV S has a fantastic display, but I desperately want a PureView camera, have been waiting 3 years (damn you, exclusivity agreements / lack of availability in Canada), and don't want to go through another summer without a good camera.
  • Stop being so childish with your seems faster and soon comments. Its just sad.
  • For the record, I've never used the "seems faster" phrase in a post until citing it above.
  • What are you, the comments board police? Puh-lease.
  • One Build a day is just dumb and useless: make the "ludicrous ring" cadence once a week; faster than once a month and by far more useful than once a day.
  • Fast ring will be twice a month
  • Makes sense, the preview for phones did start a good while later and as rightly put it keeps them in the news cycle thus retaining (somewhat) mind share.
  • It would be hard to estimate the complete lack of momentum that WP will have for the remainder of this year. Why would any new users make a switch to WP for the foreseeable future.
  • None will. No reason too. Hasn't been a reason since the Icon really. Few people switch OS's cause of an update (see kitkat) fewer still switch for a universal app promise; most people switch for a device and/or better service from a different provider. It's the reason why MS needs a flagship on every freaking carrier, ASAP or all this cool sh** will be for the same paltry market share they have now. :[
  • OEMs will keep making Android phones. They are not happy with Windows Phone. They want more control over the OS. They want to install bloatwares that are hard to uninstall. They need more customizations for WP. MS has to lead the way with marketing and bring the users to the platform itself. OEMs are the ones responsible for the marketshare but they are not helping the platform at the moment.
  • And yet nothing concrete for Windows RT! And need to know if I'm gonna break my Surface 2 or not!!
  • I would also love to know when they are going to address this!
  • Now that the new phone(s) has been pushed to EOY and maybe into Q1 2016, it better be one HELL of a phone....I mean like super duper stupid awesome and available everywhere or consider this journey LOST. They need iPhone 6+, Galaxy Edge levels of hype and promotion to even get considered as an option. The unifying is big and I like it, but I hope they understand how big a deal a readily available hero device is to all of this. Make it happen MS.
  • If you're expecting that than you're already setting yourself up for dissapointment.  
  • I know Johnny, and it's sad.
  • The term "Windows as a service" shouldn't be thrown so loosely around unless they planning to make it available in the cloud.
  • This is good and expected even. Get the OS out for desktop, optimize it for mobile later. Saves a lot of effort later in troubleshooting if things go wrong. Plus, an October time frame is when a flagship is likely to be announced. So yeah, it makes sense. In the meantime, I will install it on my 920 if it at least gets to a Dev Preview type of stability.
  • Microsoft and Daniel both are so confident, lets be ready to face the greatness!!
  • I'd love to see a stable release in May for phones. I just took the plunge on my PC with this latest build and I'm glad I did but obviously phone reliability is much more important. Plus I have an Icon and it would be first release for that phone. We shall see
  • Not surprising
  • People need to stop mindlessly bitching about W10 & MS now and enjoy the process of seeing things come together nicely!
  • We are getting tired of waiting, MS...
  • Windows might not be perfect, but it's a lot more fun watching it develop and going along for the ride than having something like iOS that's done and static.
  • Not surprised at all. It took months for my Saudi Arabian variant L1520 to be upgraded to WP8.1 and Denim. I can wait. Also, this would not bother me much if a new flagship comes out when W10 is released to the consumers.
  • Lets hope that windows phone makers are still in business if/when the OS is ready. This is such an missed opportunity again. They could have pooled marketing effort with big windows but apparently they ( Nadella & Belfiore) don't want to do any marketing of phones ever and delay may even be intentional.
  • It's obvious that they are releasing w10 for phones after w10 release.. Because they need time to make iOS and Android developers to recompile their apps for phones.. No ones gonna buy our expected flagship if they don't find their favorite apps in store.. Let's hope for the best... ;)
  • Ah, yes, that change in mindset might be great on paper but in reality it also has its drawbacks.I've had a clear experience with this back in windows 8. It means ever full engagement of users to the windows 10 program. One could see this as a smart marketing trick to usher in users into yet another "free" operating system. You get something new again, It's not ready and you will have to (yet again) deal with an unfinished product. But you can throw an unlimited amout of comments and feedback untill you are out of breath. But in the mean time "we as microsoft have managed to reach our goal and pull you into our program". So also reluctant critics who want to wait for a more stable OS are pulled in because if they don't their voices and feedback is not heard and they're missing out, joing the misserable caroussel of feedback slaves, but at least they're on board the billion people market that microsoft wants to pull in. That's smart marketing. I have to give credit that microsoft PR did a smart job. That's the sentiment I get from the mindset change. It's of course no different from the past, when I really think about it. Because this system has been going on for years.  remember this as the well know microsoft service packs. It's business. Here is what I hate about this system. It's a moving forward thing, but in the end the end user cant really make a choice not to update. Not every update is good in my experience. The most clear one for me was windows 8. In my experience windows 8.0 has a tremendously lovely universal search and very nice and powerful in-app search function through the charms bar. I loved this feature to bits. As tiime went by there were issue with a lack of support for mouse and keyboard navigation usecase in the OS, so through 2 update 8.1 and 8.1.1. things were changed. But not only that in those same packages were included essential stability and securtiy fixes. It was almost compulsory then to upgrade. But the drawback I saw was that the lovely search and in-app search was quickly being phased out, and only a fraction of the original capability were supported. To make matters worse a touch unfriendly and ugly drop down menu was added to manually choose to engage in app search through the charms bar. It was turned off by default. In the last version another search button was added to the top right of the start screeen for easy access. But the the charms search is only an inch away from that button. It didnt'understand this design choice and never updated tot 8.1 pro. I'm still at windows 8.1 and its still fine. But I don't get the stability and security updates that was included in the packs. I think this is an extremely customer unfriendly solution as an answer to moving forward. I hope microsoft considers seperate updates to windows 10 features, stability issues and security and doesnt bundle them. Because for me not every new feature or feature change is necessarily better. I think this is an important message to the microsoft service team. I think not the highest uservoice count should count on this part, but the individual voices heard, when it comes to the issues of incremental updates.This is one of the most frustrating experiences I have with microsoft services. My message: make feature updates seperate from stability and security updates. Make feature updates a choice, not a compulsory update to move forward. Some builds of windows 10 are better than others. I've read from previous posts that users actually reported that certain earlier build with features were better than others. Microsoft offers the option to choose your build be it windows 8.0, 8.1.0 or 8.1.1. or windows 7, feature pack 1 or 2 or even windows 10.0, 10.1 etc. And since windows seems to be offering more and pulling more together, why not empower the enduser to choose their windows 10. Satya Nadella did sya in one of his keynotess quote: "We want you to go from using LOVING windows". I want to LOVE windows by making "MY CHOICES". For that matter: That makes me a WINDOWS USER.
  • man !! Thats another article ;)
  • I think Windows 10 for phone may b released at Christmas or so...
  • But that's going to kill the unified platform strategy.
  • A staggered release? I'm happy with that. Of course, the desktop comes first because many people use it everyday and phones are also used bg many, not as much as the PC itself. But, I can roll with the staggered release.
  • Staggered release is one thing (I do think they should come out together), buy missing features is a fail.
  • Sad trombone... But makes sense.
  • Kind of expected, although this will also mean that we won't get a new flagship phone as soon. Other than that, I doubt it really matters.
  • Very good, my PC is far more important than my phone or tablet.
  • Think I would have preferred if all of Windows 10 was unveiled at once in the summer; the buzz is different after a long secretive development and then unveiling...
  • If you feel disheartened by the title, read the full article. Their confidence is actually quite uplifting.
  • So, this Windows as a service. Does it mean Windows 11 will be Windows 10 with updates up to a certain time installed? Will there be Windows 11? Or will they build it separately as it is now?
  • "Microsoft is targeting desktop first because it is their largest number of users when compared to phone customers. From that perspective, hitting your biggest group first makes total sense when devoting resources." --Actually, I would think you hit a smaller market first to get your bugs out. That's how they did Cortana, otherwise it would have launched overseas first.
  • Well like what is says, its understandable that bigger customer first. Besides w10 build was released first before wp10 build.
  • Good article. I have my fingers crossed that the apparent contradiction to "Mobile FIRST" simply means W10 Mobile will support time travel.
  • Dan, the real question on the Phone side is how or what is MS really doing to get Developers to "compile" their apps for WP10.  If they still refuse to make WP10 apps then the platform will fail.  BTW I use an Iphone for work and what kills me I only need it because my company supports the Good app for Corporate mail.  Having both WP is far easier and intutitive to work with.
  • "One ring may be 'finalized by not yet approved for public release'. This proposed ring is analogous to the Preview for Developers program, which released finalized builds of the OS before carriers had their approval." 
    This will solve the issues with carriers blocking updates. This needs to happen.
  • Makes sense.  After the fairly positive reception of the news about porting apps from android and IOS, it makes sense that the delay would happen with Windows 10 for phones.  That now has to be built in.
  • That's fine, but I don't think they're considering that any of their current users, that are getting antsy, are willing to wait into 2016 for a flagship device, particularly in the U.S. and Western Europe. If Microsoft misses another holiday shopping season, they may as well shut the phone hardware division down, because it's toast.
  • Welp, good thing my Lumia Icon is chugging along with no issues, Denim, and fully updated 8.1. If I have to live with it for a little while longer, so be it. I'm excited that MS is implementing what every person to use a smartphone has wanted ......adaptive UI, a phone that could be a useful PC when plugged into, or Miracasting to a display. Not only that, but the tablet OS and it's adaptive UI is a complete game changer. They need to bundle Miracast adapters with the tablets to increase usage. Xbox streaming to my Surface will be awesome, but they need to allow TV streaming to anywhere (similar to slingbox), and game streaming to phones and other devices not on the same network
  • 920 user here, 2nd Windows phone. So it will be 3 years and its still not clear what's coming? I'm done, good luck!
  • It was already said at the Live Streamed event that the Flagship Lumia wouldn't be released until after Windows 10 is Live. Which only makes since.
  • Such a downer! I just saw a company ditching Windows phone because of this announcement. Nobody can wait this long, it's frickin 2016 global release. I personally got disappointed by this build, only promises for phone nothing materialized. Ffs last year they promised same dreams. Can't believe there are so many people fooled by this again!
  • When i first installed the Windows 10 TP, i just used it fir a few hours and switched to Windows 8.1. I have dual boot. Then the build 10061 came and it made me used it more frequent but still Windows 8.1 is my daily OS. Last night when I installed the 10076 build, I have used it all night without needing to switch to W8.1. I have worked on this build with my everyday PC requirements and some home works and it did very well. I think, I wont be needing the W8.1 for now. Until, I stumble upon new bug again.
  • Will WP have a flagship by the Christmas sales season?  I wouldn't bet on it given the checkered history of failed promises.  It will be interesting to see if WP can release a flagship before my S6 edge is two years old.
  • Windows is the aircraft carrier.  Windows phone, Surface Hub, Xbox are the support ships.  Thus, get Windows 10 (for desktop) delivered, then integrate Windows Phone to Windows 10.  Then add Surface Hub and xbox.  Seems rational to me. 
  • I expected that. While I'm using Windows 10 regularly on my primary PC, phone version was installed on my Lumia less than 24 hours. Reverted to 8.x and I'm not going to try it again before final release.
  • I truly hope that the 2 new rumored flagships come out before Windows 10 for smart phones debut's because Windows smart phone fans like Myself want one NOW we can wait till October or November to update our new Flagship Windows  8.1 smart phones to Windows 10. folks Microsoft's bread and butter to some degree comes from licenseing it's operating System to run on Desktops,Laptops,ultrabooks, and 9 inch plus screen size tablets. I am not shocked that Windows 10 for smart phones is behind schedule. In a way that is a good thing because when the Desktop version RTM's a lot Microsoft best programmers will jump on the Windows 10 smart phone effort and do a great job getting it ready for us windows smart phone fans. that will be a plus.
  • From what I seem to understand on the way Apple updates their OS, does it not seem to match the way Microsoft wants to proceed with Windows 10?
  • the slower ring is getting too slower, a 2 new builds for the fast ring , and none yet on the slow ring!