Few in the remaining one percent of smartphone users who have Windows Phones will likely be surprised, but only a subset of existing handsets will be getting the Windows 10 Creators Update release.
Microsoft officials have said the rollout of the Creators Update to handsets with Windows 10 Mobile will begin on April 25, two weeks after the Creators Update begins rolling out to PC users.
Not all Windows Phones running Windows 10 are going to be eligible for the Creators Update, however, according to my sources.
Here's an alphabetical list of phones that are expected to get Creators Update, based on tips from my contacts:
- Alcatel IDOL 4S
- Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL
- HP Elite x3
- Lenovo Softbank 503LV
- MCJ Madosma Q601
- Microsoft Lumia 550
- Microsoft Lumia 640/640XL
- Microsoft Lumia 650
- Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XL
- Trinity NuAns Neo
- VAIO VPB051
I've asked Microsoft if this list is accurate and final. I've also asked if there are specific reasons why other handsets won't be eligible for Windows 10 Creators Update. I received the following statement from a spokesperson:
"Beginning this month, Microsoft will release the Creators Update for Windows 10 customers including those using Windows 10 Mobile. As has been the case with pervious Windows updates, a device may not be able to receive the Creators Update if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer's ('OEM') support period. These devices will continue to receive security and servicing fixes according to our OS support policy. The full list of supported devices will be posted on the Product Lifecycle page soon."
So no word from Microsoft for now as to whether this list is correct or partial.
Update: A number of Windows Phone users are pointing out on Twitter that they have handsets other than the ones listed that can and are running Insider builds of Windows 10 Creators Update for Mobile. I cannot tell you why those handsets are not on the list above. Maybe the list will be updated. Maybe this is "planned obsolescence." I don't know.
There's also the possibility that Microsoft will allow those running Insider preview builds to stick with the Creators Update even on phones that are not on the officially supported list for some period of time (as has happened in the past).
This isn't the first time that Microsoft delineated which Windows Phone handsets would and wouldn't get the latest release of its mobile operating system.
Last March, Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 Mobile to a subset of its Windows Phone 8.1 devices. Officials said whether or not a device would get the upgrade depended on the manufacturer, device model, country/region, mobile operator or service provider, hardware limitations and other factors.
Microsoft has been slowly but surely pulling out of the consumer mobile-handset business with its ongoing sell-offs, layoffs and decisions against releasing new Microsoft-made phones. Officials have continued to insist that Microsoft isn't exiting the mobile market completely however, and have hinted that Microsoft may make another run at making its own telephony-enabled device aimed at the business market at some point (2018 would be my guess).
In the interim, many diehard Windows Phone fans and users are none-too-happy about Microsoft's directions with the platform -- and the company's recent decision to sell Android-based Samsung Galaxy S8 handsets in Microsoft's U.S.-based brick-and-mortar retail stores.