Microsoft has officially ended support for Windows Phone 8.1 just over 3 years after its April 2014 debut, according to media reports.
Although this doesn’t mark the end of Microsoft’s mobile ambitions as Windows 10 Mobile is still hanging around, this only means that from now on, devices operating on WP8.1 won’t get software updates or technical help, according to Engadget.
Windows Phone 7 was launched in 2010 as Microsoft’s formal response to the iPhone and Android rave, and according to Engadget, “This was the release that was going to prove Microsoft could make a truly consumer-focused mobile platform instead of catering primarily to the business crowd”.
But Microsoft was unable to make concrete impression on the mind of smartphones consumers to be able to win them over with its innovative effort.
The tile-based home screen and other interface elements were breaths of fresh air, but the so-so device lineup and lack of feature parity (it launched without copy-and-paste text) set the tone. It was always a bit lacklustre compared to what Apple and Google were doing, even if there were occasional bright spots.
Another case in point was the Windows Phone 8 upgrade; which although was huge, no Windows Phone 7 device could run it.
Millions of users were faced with the prospect of having to upgrade their handset early to stay current. Windows Phone 8.1 finally provided a truly complete answer to Android and iOS, but it was still a little bit behind and never got the sustained big-name app support that Microsoft had tried so hard to cultivate.
That Microsoft ditched Windows Phone entirely in favour of Windows 10 Mobile says a lot.