Microsoft has issued a warning over a few new key cut-off dates coming for developers who built apps for Windows Phone 8.x and Windows 8.
With no future for Windows Phone, Microsoft has now laid out its plans for the remnants of its mobile effort.
Back in Oct last year Corporate vice president of Windows 10 and head of Microsoft’s “PC-Tablet-Phone” division, Joe Belfiore, said on Twitter that Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 Mobile with bug fixes and security updates, but new features and hardware are no longer front and centre.
At the time Windows phones account for just 1.3 percent of the market in the US, bested only by BlackBerry at 0.3 percent. Compare that with Android’s 64 percent share of new phone sales and 34 percent for iOS (figures that are closely matched in the UK and Australia).
From October 31, the Microsoft Store will no longer accept new app submissions for Windows Phone 8.x or earlier, or for Windows 8/8.1, though it will continue to accept updates for existing apps in the store, Microsoft said in a blogpost.
From July 1, 2019, the company will stop apps distributing updates to devices running Windows Phone 8.x or earlier devices.
Developers can still publish updates to all existing apps in the store, including those with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier packages. However, Microsoft will make these available to Windows 10 devices.
The cut-off for apps targeting Windows 8 and 8.1 devices is a little further off. Microsoft plans to stop distributing updates to these devices on July 21, 2023.
Microsoft last year announced that it would not release any new features for Windows 10 Mobile, and HP has also discontinued the Elite X3, one of two Windows 10 phones still for sale on Microsoft’s website.
Microsoft is telling developers of apps for its older mobile and desktop operating systems to instead port their existing software to its Universal Windows Platform for targeting all Windows 10 devices, from Microsoft’s HoloLens headset to PCs.
At the time of its Nokia acquisition Microsoft optimistically forecast that it could attain 15 percent share of the smart phone market by 2018. What did Microsoft actually achieve – a big fat zero or close to zero.
See this chart for an excellent view of market share by vendor and by region.
From a global perspective Samsung have a 30% and Apple 20% market share. While in the UK Apple have close to 50% and Samsung 30%.
We recommend once again to all remaining Windows Phone clients that they replace the Windows handsets with Apple iPhones.