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Windows Phone 8, 7.8 Refresh to End By September 2014: Is Microsoft Planning to Announce WP9?
Microsoft has announced it will stop supporting Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8 by September 2014, leaving users with only 18 months time. Posting a timeline table on its website, the company has outlined its future plans.
According to an Engadget report, the table indicates that Windows Phone 8 support will end on July 8, 2014 and WP 7.8 will get the death sentence two months later on September 9. The timeline reveals the Windows Phone support lifecycle, which the company does with almost all its other software.
This might be shocking to many, as it hints at a possibility of the software giant to abandon its smartphone platform and stop producing smartphone software in 18 months, however, it is unlikely. According to a tweet made by Microsoft, the reason for moving Windows Phone to the core that is similar to the desktop version, is to facilitate easier upgrading. This hints at a significant new version - Windows Phone 8.5 or Windows Phone 9, which would extend the period to another 18 months.
Earlier, Microsoft indeed said that there will be an upgrade path for Windows Phone 8 devices, hence, an end of support may not be too significant. Further, there are rumors that the next big update for Windows Phone will arrive sometime in the holiday season of 2013.
Hence, the announcement can be considered as another hint for the Windows Phone 9 to be introduced by the end of this year.
Certainly, it's nice to see Redmond based company being so open about its plans, though, it does mean that anyone looking forward to buy a Windows Phone based handset might be put off the idea of grabbing one. At the same time, analysts assume that this could be a sign that Microsoft has accepted the weak interest of consumers in Windows Phone 8, which has not fared well, as the company was hoping for.
Though it is good to know when Microsoft will be officially ending support for its mobile OS releases, it would be even better to know that those currently using their devices can expect something excellent to follow, with an upgrade. Also, Microsoft has to bear in mind not to leave any handset behind without rolling out upgrades.