Both mobile OS iterations will not be receiving support from Microsoft beyond next year, according to the company’s support page.
Windows Phone 7.8 will be supported until September 9 2014 and Windows Phone 8 will be discontinued from July 8 2014, meaning they both receive a shelf-life of approximately 18 months. Microsoft puts the Window Phone 7.8 start date at December 14 2012, while the February 9 is listed for Windows Phone 8.
Posting a brief table on its support pages, Microsoft has been unusually transparent about its plans to support older platforms, as it took the company a long time to admit that Window Phone 7.8 users would not be eligible for a Windows Phone 8 upgrade.
Anyone who purchased a Windows Phone 8 device should be eligible to upgrade their device tied to a two-year contract by the time Microsoft ditches support for the OS, the same with Windows Phone 7.8.
Windows Phone 8 is the latest version of the Microsoft mobile platform and introduced new features like adjustable Live Tiles and upgraded Lock Screen options and was introduced with handsets like the Nokia Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8X by HTC.
Windows Phone 7.8 on the other hand was an upgrade OS offered to Windows Phone 7 users unable or unwilling to buy a new device, bringing a selection of Windows Phone 8 features to the older handsets like the Nokia Lumia 800 and HTC Titan.
The fact that Microsoft is ending support for its latest operating systems next year shouldn’t come as much of a surprise though. The smartphone market is driven by speedy and regular OS updates. For example, Apple launches a new version of its iOS each year, so Microsoft has to try and keep up with its competition.
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