Microsoft Windows Phone Lifecycle Policy FAQ
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NOTE: This FAQ was updated on November 10, 2014 with formatting changes.
1. What does the Windows Phone Support Lifecycle Policy cover?
Starting with Windows Phone 8, Microsoft will make updates available for the Operating System on your phone, including security updates, for a minimum of 36 months after the lifecycle start date. These updates will be incremental, with each update built on the update that preceded it. Customers need to install each update released in order to remain supported. Distribution of the updates may be controlled by the mobile operator or the phone manufacturer from which you purchased your phone. Update availability will also vary by country, region, and hardware capabilities.
2. What support is offered for Windows Phone 8 once Windows Phone 8.1 is released?
There is an easy upgrade path from Windows Phone 8 to Windows Phone 8.1. When Windows Phone 8.1 is released, Windows Phone 8 will be supported via the 8.1 upgrade path.
3. Can customers upgrade to Windows Phone 8.1 from Windows 8 if they stay on Windows Phone 8 hardware?
Yes, Windows Phone 8 hardware can be upgraded to the Windows Phone 8.1 Operating System. However, some hardware dependent new 8.1 functionality may not operate on the Windows Phone 8 hardware.
4. How does this policy apply to the actual phone (e.g. mobile hardware) made by other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)?
Third party products that integrate Microsoft products, such as the Windows Phone Operating System, are not included in the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy. Please contact your mobile operator or OEM for more information about support and warranty on your mobile hardware.
5. What is the support lifecycle policy for subscription services and/or applications that are part of Windows Phone?
The Windows Phone 8 Support Lifecycle Policy covers the Windows Phone 8 Operating System. Downloadable applications and subscription services are supported by the publisher.
6. Why is Windows Phone 7.8 support lifecycle 18 months and Windows Phone 8 support lifecycle 36 months?
Based on customer feedback, and as part of our dedication to our current and future software generations, beginning with Windows Phone 8 Microsoft has made the commitment to provide a minimum of 36 months of support. Windows Phone 7.8 is a separate operating system based on older hardware technology that is not able to take advantage of the newer capabilities in Windows Phone 8.
7. What does the difference in Windows Phone 8 upgradeability mean to customers on older versions of Windows Phone operating systems?
- Windows Phone 8 requires new hardware to take advantage of new technologies, and while many customers have chosen the Windows Phone 8 solution, we recognize there are customers still utilizing prior versions of the Windows Phone Operating System that came installed with their mobile device. We care deeply about our existing customers and want to keep their phones fresh. For Windows Phone 7.8 users, we have provided an update throughout the early part of 2013 that delivers the newer, more customizable Windows Phone 8 Start screen experience. Please note, the update availability will vary by country, region, and hardware capabilities.
- Existing Windows Phone 7.8 customers will not lose any current functionality and will continue to benefit from services such as OneDrive, Xbox Live, Office Mobile, Bing and more than 135,000 applications currently available in the Windows Phone Store.
- Our OEM partners continue to deliver innovation for existing Windows Phone 7.8 devices – for example, Nokia offers Lumia customers some exclusive apps like PhotoBeamer, Cinemagraph and others.
- In addition developers can continue to create applications that will work on both Windows Phone 7.5/7.8 and Windows Phone 8 devices.