Microsoft unexpectedly extends Windows 10 Mobile support

The all-but-dead mobile OS reached its end-of-life last week before Microsoft granted users a 30-day reprieve

Windows Mobile will now reach its end-of-life in January after Microsoft granted users a surprise 30-day extension of support despite the firm all but having killed off its mobile operating system (OS).

Having set a 10 December end-of-life date for its Windows Mobile platform in January, Microsoft released a security update on this date with a new end-of-life date for 14 January 2020.

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Windows 10 Mobile version 1709 will now reach its end-of-life at the same time that Windows 7 ticks over into extended support only, with users of the legacy OS expected to shift across to Windows 10.

Microsoft’s platform boasts less than a 1% share of the mobile OS market, compared to Android’s approximately 75%. Windows Mobile never really took off in the same way that Google competing platform had since its first iteration, Windows Phone 7, was released in October 2010.

Windows 10 Mobile’s end-of-life announcement earlier this year was preceded by the withdrawal of several critical apps in 2018, including Teams and Skype for Business. This signalled the death knell for Microsoft’s mobile venture, with the firm seemingly keen to decommission the languid OS once and for all.

Devices served with a previous version of Windows 10 Mobile, for example, had reached end-of-life far sooner; in June 2019.

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Microsoft hasn’t entirely been counted out of the mobile gadget game, however, having launched a Surface smartphone-like device in October. Dubbed the Surface Duo, the device uses a customised version of Google’s Android OS to suit the dual-screen nature of the device.

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The demise of Windows Phone has been especially stark considering the sharp rise of Android and Android-powered devices during the same time frame, with the reasons behind its failure still not fully established.

A former engineer, James Whittaker, revealed, however, that some of Microsoft’s recent bug-lathered updates in Windows 10 are down to contributions from the same team that oversaw Windows Phone failures.

IT Pro approached Microsoft for the reasons as to why it’s extended Windows 10 Mobile’s lifespan by 30 days without any prior notice or explanation.

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