Now that Microsoft has officially begun to roll out Windows 10 to millions of Windows users worldwide, many may be wondering about its cellular counterpart – Windows Phone.
Officially, Windows Phone 8.1 devices will be updated to Windows 10 Mobile this summer – give or take a few hardware dependent features. What happens between now and then, is still a mystery to most.
Here’s our take on the situation from rumours, internal sources and leaked documents. To begin with, Windows 10 mobile, as it is now, is about 70-80% done. If we’re talking about features heading to older devices, then it rises up to about 90%.
Microsoft has finished up the core of the underlying OS for the most part and is now working on bug fixes and feature optimizations with an internal target date of September for completion(RTM). What remains to be added to the OS at the moment are a framework for mobile NFC payments via the wallet app (rumoured to be coming), Skype integration in the messaging, phone and people apps and finally, work on continuum. These will be completed at a much faster pace than previous main branch features because Microsoft will free up engineers from Windows 10 desktop to work on Windows Mobile and prep it for launch.
Beyond that, the Windows Mobile core store apps will receive updates periodically to bring them up to par with their desktop counterparts. Groove Music for one still has no way for Groove Music pass users to add music to their collection from the phone and the store app is still quite slow and buggy.
In terms of UI, the Windows 10 mobile UI is largely stabilized. Don’t expect to see any huge changes from here on out. We’re hearing talk about more transparent elements being in the works to match Windows 10 desktop, but that may be scrapped just like tall tiles of Microsoft decides they interfere with the UI negatively.
On the topic of release, like we said above, the internal target date is sometime in mid-September along with the launch of the flagship devices Lumia 950 and 950 XL. For current Windows Phone 8.1 devices, the OS will begin to roll out the next month – October (10th month). We’ve heard reports of carriers getting ready to launch W10M for Lumias around this time so this adds up.
Mmicrosoft US “Our newest Lumia smartphones – the Lumia 640, Lumia 640 XL and Lumia 430 Dual SIM – will receive a free upgrade to Windows 10 ”
Microsoft UK “The following Lumia smartphones will receive a free upgrade when available: Lumia 435, Lumia 535, Lumia 640, Lumia 640 XL, Lumia 735, Lumia 830, and Lumia 930.”
According to Microsoft, the newer Windows Phone devices will get the update first, followed by older ones. In the UK, this includes the 930, 830, 735, 640, 640 XL, 535 and 435. In the US, the lists shrink down to 435, 640 and 640 XL. It is implied that the other devices like the Icon, 735 and 830 will have to wait a while before they get the update.
There you have it, that’s the general plan for Windows 10 Mobile from now to launch. We caution that plans could always change going forward and acknowledge that we (and no one outside Microsoft) has the full picture, but this is what we believe to be the case as of now.
What do you think of Windows 10 Mobile as of now? Let us know in the comments below.