Death date: Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 10 Mobile in December 2019

Windows 10 Mobile finally has a death date: Microsoft will end support on December 10, 2019. 

The company officially sealed the operating system’s fate in October 2017 when a corporate VP tweeted that Microsoft would stop releasing new features and hardware for Windows 10 Mobile. While the company avoided saying so at the time, that month’s version 1709 would be the OS’ last, as confirmed on the Windows 10 Mobile FAQ page.

While Windows OS-running phones hadn’t captured significant market share even in the years before then, the corporate VP confirmed the company was sunsetting Windows 10 Mobile because of a dearth of apps. Which, in a chicken-egg reasoning, companies weren’t making due to low user volume.

Microsoft has continued to release security and software updates in the interim, but that will end this coming December. After that date, “we recommend that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device,” Microsoft itself recommended in a separate end-of-support FAQ.

Which fits the company’s shift in emphasis from supporting an OS ecosystem to producing apps and services on the far more successful iOS and Android platforms. “Microsoft’s mission statement to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, compels us to support our Mobile apps on those platforms and devices,” the FAQ continued.

After the end

After official Microsoft support stops, so will other services like automatic and manual device backups, which owners won’t be able to use after a grace period ending March 10, 2020. Other services like photo uploads or restoring devices from an existing backup might work up to a year after the December 10, 2019 end-of-support date.

Support ends even earlier for some devices. Lumia 640 and 640 XL phones only received up to version 1703 of Windows 10 mobile, and their end-of-support date is June 11, 2019.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.