The Windows Phone 8 OS was more well received than its predecessor but come July 2014 users better be ready to upgrade. Microsoft has announced that both Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8 will lose official support in mid-2014.
Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 8 in July 2013 and then terminate Windows Phone 7.8 support in September.
Based on those numbers it appears that Microsoft is remaining committed to an 18-month support cycle for its mobile software releases.
While Microsoft has announced plans to end Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8 support, the company has not yet announced a roadmap for its next mobile iteration.
Microsoft may not have announced a new OS but its future support plans have made the company more transparent in its support efforts than its competitors. For example, it is often impossible to tell when Apple will drop support until it happens. Google on the other hand suffers from extreme fragmentation via its Google Android OS. Android support often relies on individual manufacturer support which only muddies the waters further.
This time around Microsoft has promised that there will be a clear path for upgrading Windows Phone 8 devices. Microsoft provides clear support path cycles for its Windows desktop products but those products typically have new versions available or about to be released.
Current rumors are pointing to a 2013 end-of-year release for the next version of the Microsoft Windows Phone platform.
It would serve Microsoft well to announce plans for its next OS quickly. Developers can often be skittish about developing new apps for a platform they don’t see a future in. Without knowing how their apps will perform via some type of SDK developers could slow production for Windows phones.
Do you think Microsoft should announce the next version of its OS soon considering it has announced plans to end Windows Phone 8 support?
[Image via rvanhauwere.deviantart]