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Microsoft Cuts Support For Windows Phone

Microsoft has signaled the end of support for Windows Phone 8.1, leaving millions of devices without security or technical updates in the future.

Launched in 2010 as Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s attempt at launching an mobile operating system that could take on iOS and Android received major updates with Windows 8 in 2012 and Windows 8.1 in 2014.

While never finding the same kind of popularity as its competitors, millions of smartphones running Windows Mobile have been sold from a wide range of manufacturers including HTC and Samsung.

Facebook was among the companies who had dropped support for the operating system, announcing in March that users of its Messenger app on Window Phone 8.1 would no longer be able to send or receive messages.

Microsoft itself even stopped supporting Skype on the operating system, along with messaging app WhatsApp.

Data from AdDuplex (via The Verge) suggests that almost 80% of all Windows-based smartphones are running the now unsupported Windows Phone 8.1 or even older versions.

Research firm Gartner last reported sales of smartphones running Windows had made up 0.3% of the market in Q4 2016. This figure sunk even further in Q1 2017, when Gartner only reported a figure for operating systems other than Android and iOS at just 0.2% of the market.

Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft’s replacement for Windows Phone released in 2015, is also included in this figure.

Support for this operating system from Microsoft seems to have dwindled, with few new features added in the latest Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update.

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