Microsoft this week has finally retired Windows 10 mobile, ending support for its smartphone OS. However, in a quirk of differing lifecycle policies, the software giant will continue to support its Office apps for Windows 10 Mobile a bit longer – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote will get support until early 2021.

This past Patch Tuesday, December 10th, was the final update that Microsoft will deliver for the Windows 10 Mobile. This means that going forward, the company will not be providing any further security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options, or free online technical content updates for the OS. This applies to smartphones/phablets produced by Microsoft (under the Nokia Lumia brand), whereas other devices may have a different lifecycle policy and continue to get certain kind of support.

Microsoft will continue to support its Office apps for Windows 10 Mobile till January 21, 2021, which includes availability of install packages, technical support for issues, security fixes, and bug fixes.

Microsoft launched its Windows 10 Mobile OS in 2015 to succeed the poorly adopted Windows Phone 8.1, which was only used by a handful of manufacturers. Designed to resemble Windows 10 for PCs, the new OS didn't have much more success than its predecessor: the only well-known Windows 10 Mobile smartphones were Microsoft’s Nokia Lumia as well as HP’s Elite X3.

The software giant started to wind down its smartphone efforts in July, 2014, by laying off 12,500 former Nokia employees. In mid-2015, the company took an impairment charge of approximately $7.6 billion related to assets associated with the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business, and fired another 7,800 former Nokia employees globally. In 2016, the company laid off nearly 2,000 people from its smartphone division and agreed to transfer another 4,500 to HMD Global. By late 2017, the company ceased development of its Windows 10 Mobile OS and essentially halted its efforts to build a competitive mobile platform.

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Sources: Microsoft, Microsoft, GSMArena

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  • HardwareDufus - Thursday, December 12, 2019 - link

    I don't know. Did you ever try running Windows 10 Mobile on a Lumia 520? I did...It hurt. That's what it would have been like for those first WIndows Phone 7 devices had they migrated to Windows 10 Mobile....
  • HardwareDufus - Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - link

    I stayed on Windows 10 Mobile for a long time... often recommending it to friends.
    I bought a slew (6) of Lumia 920s and put WIn10 on them for poor friends in Mexico. Was a very good inexpensive solution (talking $25 a handset). Performed fairly well with just 1GB of Ram.

    My wife and I owned many Lumia 920s, 1520s, 950XLs, Heck we even owned the ill fated Lumia 2520 tablets. Bought some dirt cheap 520s for folks too (talking $15 a phone).

    Gave up on Windows Mobile about 18 months ago. I have a midrange Huawei w/ Oreo. Can't believe how much more reliable it is. I never have to restart it. Even replaced my mom's Lumia with the exact Huawei dual sim phone my wife and I use.

    Windows 10 Mobile was a great phone if you were back and forth between two countries, with dual Sim Chips and Two Languages. Just seamless. I think Windows 10 Mobile did contact management (People), multiple languages and dual sim better than any other OS, but that's where it's superiority ended.

    Our Midrange Android phones have been so much better than any Windows phone I owned in terms of reliability and consistency. Can't auto assign a contact to favor a particular Sim when dialing, but that's okay... Maybe someday Microsoft will bundle a version of it's own People contact manager from Windows 10 Mobil with it's Launcher for Android.
  • magreen - Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - link

    And yet the rest of us are stuck with Windows 10 for PC being a mobile-first operating system with "apps" and tiles.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, December 12, 2019 - link

    Yup, you can thank a combination of Steven Sinofsky and his OS design team inattempting to get Microsoft to catch up with the tablet and mobile fad on the PC side along with what is now only a slow creep away from those design decisions by current day Microsoft so as not to look like the company is admitting the awful UI decisions really were a detriment to usability or that the software store is anything but a costly also-ran attempt to duplicate Apple and Creeper Google's successes with their own software purchase model. Sadly Microsoft trails in the telemetry collection department as well because we need the world's most popular OS to gather everything and send it back to the mothership in Redmond by forcing you to make an account when the OS first boots...oh wait...huh.
  • HardwareDufus - Thursday, December 12, 2019 - link

    When I first used Windows 8 as an Insider... and saw that Fish screen.... and then when it finished and I saw those limited colors and backgrounds.... and then I tried to figure out how to install my HP printer, using a combo of MetroTablet and Win32 Desktop interfaces.... I thought: "My God... fire the whole team... How did this get released?" Windows 10 has just been a slow painful recovery effort.

    No worries... the full retreat back to Win32 is almost complete.
    Windows IoT Core will disappear next...
    Holo Lens will go away soon too.
  • woonesuf - Wednesday, January 1, 2020 - link

    I really like reading through a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!
  • GeorgiaPortus - Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - link

    It’s a piece of heartbreaking news but still a piece of information for all Windows mobile users. I am also using a Microsoft Windows mobile phone and it words perfect to me because I can do my stuff easily by this topic It will be hard for me to change the platform I was on for past 6 years. But everything happens to modify your stuff and be futuristic so I think it is not that bad and I can manage myself to step up.
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  • JR58 - Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - link

    My two windows phones are still getting updates as of September 2020

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