It’s official: Windows Phone, at least Windows Phone 8.1, is essentially dead.
Just over three years after the operating system’s debut in 2014, those few out there who are still using a Windows Phone 8.1 device will be disappointed to learn that their smartphone will now no longer receive technical support or software updates. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that Windows Phone is dead considering Microsoft’s Windows Phone 10 OS is still supported, reportedly sitting at just 0.8 percent of the market.
Windows Phone 7 launched back in 2010 as Microsoft’s response to iPhone and Android, though the operating system failed to gain the traction its competitors garnered. Though the OS featured a unique take on the concept of a smartphone operating system, including a tile-based, highly-customizable home screen, it was held back by a disappointing device line-up and a lack of apps.
Also, and this will likely go down as one of the strangest moves Microsoft has ever made, Windows Phone 7 launched without the ability to copy-and-paste text. Though Windows 8 and subsequently 8.1 were a significant upgrade over Windows 7, it was largely too little too late for Microsoft. The ill-fated partnership between Microsoft and Nokia, which eventually included the purchase of Nokia’s hardware business by the company, also didn’t help matters, as the company continues to wind down its phone division.
While Microsoft claims it remains committed to Windows 10 Mobile, the company seems to be continually winding down its smartphone ambitions. Rumours of an eventual Surface Phone, however, continue to appear occasionally, though an actual device has yet to be revealed.