Move comes just months after the last Windows 8.1 smartphones were delivered to NYPD cops.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has said it is to replace 36,000 Windows smartphones it handed out to officers over the last 24 months. 

The new is hardly surprising, if embarrassing for police chiefs in the Big Apple. Somewhat bizarrely the, decision to purchase Microsoft’s Windows phones for the department took place when its share of the mobile market was already below 1%, and falling. Unconfirmed reports state that the final nail in the proverbial coffin was Microsoft officially ending support for Windows phone.

NYPD spending $160m to replace 36,000 Windows.

NYPD used Lumia 830, and Lumia 640 XL Windows phones

$160m!

The city is now coming in for harsh criticism after spending $160,000,000 on the smartphone initiative. Mayor Bill de Blasio hailed the move as a ‘huge step in to the 21st Century,’ when the NYPD announced the move just a few years previously.

Made life easier

That said, most officers who have used the Windows phones, have said that they have made their jobs easier and more efficient. The ability to receive bulletins, alerts, file reports, and search databases while in the field. The main problem resides in the fact that the phones now have an extremely limited lifespan, and there are questions about the future security of a system no longer receiving updates.

The side of an NYPD vehicle that has nothing to do with the story, but I liked the picture.

The Windows phone models used by the NYPD were the Lumia 830, and Lumia 640 XL, both considered to good budget to mid-range phones. The phones are equipped with specialist software and custom ‘911’ apps.

City chiefs have not specified the the models they intend to use with the NYPD going forward. It is apparently unlikely that they will be using the latest model the iPhone 8 given its elite style pricing.

All Windows phones currently issued to the NYPD are due to be phased out by early 2018.