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Microsoft increasing Windows Phone 8 support period to 36 months, adding enterprise features in early 2014

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Microsoft hasn’t said much about the future of Windows Phone recently, preferring to let the ongoing proliferation of hardware do most of the talking. But the question of when Windows Phone ‘Blue’, the next major iteration of the software, will be revealed is a big question hanging over the company’s head, especially as it plans to release Windows 8.1 to the public this fall.

We already know that the Amber update, so-called GDR2, is already available pre-installed on some high-end Nokia devices like the Lumia 925 and 928, and will be hitting existing devices later this summer. Another relatively minor upgrade, GDR3, is supposed to come later this year, bringing support for quad-core processors and 1080p screens. But a full feature release, one that adds the rumoured notification centre and improves multitasking, isn’t expected until early 2014.

Microsoft issued a blog post today outlining some changes to the Windows Phone support cycle, as well as divulging some future enterprise additions users can expect. Starting in early 2014, a “feature pack” will be released to address some major omissions in the current WP8 software for business and enterprise users. These include full VPN support, enterprise WiFi support with EAP-TLS, S/MIME signing for encrypted email, and improved MDM for improved application management.

Microsoft is also lengthening the Windows Phone 8 support cycle to 36, doubling the current 18 month period. This means that even if your phone is relatively out of date, it will still receive important bug fixes and minor performance improvements as newer devices are released. Carriers and OEMs are still required to implement these changes, so your particular phone may never receive the software, but it’s good to know Microsoft is looking out for consumers in this way.

Source: Microsoft

  • beyond

    GO MICROSOFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dave Evans

    Hmmm…I think the bigger statement being made here with support for the next three years isn’t so much that they will support devices for three years, that shouldn’t be an issue for this platform. What they are saying is we don’t see any significant software or hardware changes coming in the next three years that would prevent us from supporting future devices..

    • Mike366

      I think the 3 years starts at the time the last wp8 is licensed. Similar to windows XP, 5 years after the last win XP license was sold.

  • Phil the Trainer

    To little, to late MS. I gave you a shot with the Lumia 920 and now I’m just waiting for my google edition One to arrive.

    • Superzar2000

      Willing to trade? I’ve been itching’ to get rid of my crappy Google edition One!

    • hunkyleepickle

      Ha, I have a rare cyan Lumia 920 that I’m on the fence that I want to keep. That’s a Google edition HTC one you say?

  • Erik T.

    I don’t think that source link is correct… unless Microsoft published this news via a trailer for Oldboy through Yahoo Movies. >_>

    • Daniel Bader

      Oops, thanks guys. Definitely wasn’t watching the Oldboy Redband trailer right before posting this…

    • Daniel Bader

      Could have been a lot worse.

      Also nice to know that people actually click on the source links.

  • rgl168

    The reference link is wrong – currently it points to an Oldboy trailer on Yahoo Movies site.

    The correct link is:

    blogs[.]windows[.]com[/]windows_phone[/]b[/]windowsphone

    Then select “Making Windows Phone an even better choice for business” dated July 10 2013.

  • BB BlueBalls

    This is why I have a blackberry 10 device with full VPN support and multitasking and notifications and security I can rely on out of the box.

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