Windows Phone's terminal wind-down: Microsoft sets new sunset dates

Microsoft outlines key dates cut-off dates for Windows Phone.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Video: Microsoft drops Teams, Yammer, Skype for Business from Windows Phone.

Microsoft has issued a warning over a few new key cut-off dates coming for developers who built apps for Windows Phone 8.x and Windows 8.

With no future for Windows Phone, Microsoft has now laid out its plans for the remnants of its mobile effort.

From October 31, the Microsoft Store will no longer accept new app submissions for Windows Phone 8.x or earlier, or for Windows 8/8.1, though it will continue to accept updates for existing apps in the store, Microsoft said in a blogpost.

From July 1, 2019, the company will stop apps distributing updates to devices running Windows Phone 8.x or earlier devices.

Developers can still publish updates to all existing apps in the store, including those with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier packages. However, Microsoft will make these available to Windows 10 devices.

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)

The cut-off for apps targeting Windows 8 and 8.1 devices is a little further off. Microsoft plans to stop distributing updates to these devices on July 21, 2023.

Microsoft last year announced that it would not release any new features for Windows 10 Mobile, and HP has also discontinued the Elite X3, one of two Windows 10 phones still for sale on Microsoft's website.

Microsoft is telling developers of apps for its older mobile and desktop operating systems to instead port their existing software to its Universal Windows Platform for targeting all Windows 10 devices, from Microsoft's HoloLens headset to PCs.

At the time of its Nokia acquisition Microsoft optimistically forecast that it could attain 15 percent share of the smartphone market by 2018.

Microsoft's current mobile efforts are focused on syncing Windows 10 with Android and iOS through its Edge smartphone app and the new Your Phone app, which should be available with the next major feature release of Windows 10, version 1809, expected to reach the public in October.

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