Microsoft is continuing to trim back its Windows 10 Mobile upgrade plans now that the update is rolling out to Windows 8.1 Phones, confirming that devices with 512 MB of RAM won’t be eligible.
Although Windows Phones with 512MB of RAM can currently access test builds of Windows 10 through Microsoft’s Insider program, the company said on Twitter that it has no plans to bring a stable version to users. The rationale comes down to feedback and performance, with users saying the “experience didn’t meet expectations,” Microsoft noted.
In another tweet, Microsoft said the HTC One M8 will not be getting Windows 10 Mobile either, though the company did not offer an explanation.
Since announcing Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft has continually moved the goalposts on which devices will receive the upgrade. A tweet from November 2014 claimed that “all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices” would be eligible, though Microsoft quickly clarified that it would merely try its best to make that happen. In January 2015, Microsoft said it would aim to support “the majority of Lumia phone running Windows 8 and 8.1,” but six months later said the upgrade would only extend to devices running the latest Lumia Denim software.
Now, it appears Microsoft won’t make good on that plan either. As the company’s own software availability list shows, both the Lumia 630 and some Lumia 635 variants have 512MB of RAM and are running Lumia Denim right now. They’ll be stuck with outdated software unless users elect to install test builds through the Windows Insider program.
As for which phones are getting the upgrade, right now it’s a subset of the most popular models, including the Lumia 1520, 930, 640, 640XL, 730, 735, 830, 532, 535, 540, 635 1GB, 636 1GB, 638 1GB, 430, and 435; along with some third-party phones such as the BLU Win HD w510u, BLU Win HD LTE x150q, and the MCJ Madosma Q501. Microsoft has not yet promised upgrades for some older flagship handsets left off the list, such as the Lumia 1020 and Lumia Icon.
Why this matters: Not getting the latest smartphone operating system might not seem like a big issue—hey, Android users deal with this all the time—but the problem in this case is that Windows 10 Mobile involves yet another separate app ecosystem from its predecessors. Some developers are already abandoning their Windows Phone 8 apps as they move onto the Universal Windows Platform, and users who can’t upgrade will be excluded. As with Windows Phone 7 before it, the Windows Phone 8 platform is collapsing while Microsoft seeks yet another do-over in mobile.
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