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Yes, you heard it right. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) will stop supporting Windows Phone versions 7.8 and 8.0 just 18 months from their respective release dates. Users that are deemed unable to upgrade to the next version of Windows Phone on their devices will no longer receive security updates and general software enhancements when the expiration period is reached. In this video, Motley Fool contributor Steve Heller discusses Microsoft's likely motivation behind this seemingly poor choice and what it could mean for investors.

It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/04/10/microsoft-will-stop-supporting-windows-phone-after.aspx

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Before those 18 months are up there will be a new version to which those phones can be upgraded

And the 18 month cycle starts again

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I don't see the issue. Practically everyone with Windows Phone 8 device would get vNext anyway, unless MS pulls another Windows Phone 8.0 and makes all existing HW unable to run said vNext.

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unless MS pulls another Windows Phone 8.0 and makes all existing HW unable to run said vNext.

This is unlikely. No WP7 device went to WP8 due to the kernal change from a hybrid to NT, if this change didn't occur existing devices would have updated to 8 and 7.8 would not have been required. It is well known they would not provide more than 18 months of updates. They should make it 24 as the majority of people buying on a plan go for 24 month.

They could play Apple's more dishonest game "sure you can update software on your old phone then run out and buy a new one when you find it to slow to use!"

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Isn't this like how Apple stops signing older versions of iOS??

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Yeah, and WP 8.1 will be supported for 18 months too, and every WP8 phone will get it. WP7.8 will get 18 months of support, but that's an update to WP7.5. Any phone running WP7.8 will have had a total duration of support for over 24 months.

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So unless you get a newly released phone straight away it inevitable that the software updates will stop before either your contract ends or the phone has reached its useful end of life.Ergo the second hand value of such phones will be lowered because of lack of support for second users.

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So unless you get a newly released phone straight away it inevitable that the software updates will stop before either your contract ends or the phone has reached its useful end of life.Ergo the second hand value of such phones will be lowered because of lack of support for second users.

Just like any other phone.

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Were they just used as phones it would not be an issue but the devices are more likened to PDAs these days and used to connected to the internet so software needs constant updating to prevent security breeches and install new protocol innovations.

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Were they just used as phones it would not be an issue but the devices are more likened to PDAs these days and used to connected to the internet so software needs constant updating to prevent security breeches and install new protocol innovations.

Hawkman's point still stands. It's just like every other phone. Android OEMs do it, and so does Apple with older versions of iOS.

Also, this decision is most likely due to the fact that the current phones will support 8.1, 8.5, 9 and maybe even beyond. So, unless you buy a 920 half a year from now, and never update it, your phone will be supported for a long time after purchase. To be fair though, a year or so after release, the mid-level phone will be just as good, if not better, then the mid-phone that you were previously going to get. For example, the Lumia 820 is better then the Lumia 800, but is offered at very similar prices on contract - but the 820 would get more software updates and supported for longer, so why would you get the 800?

Unless you're in the small minority that buys a new smartphone just before the new one is released, or purposefully buy the previous generation phone when the new one has come out (both scenarios are more to do with consumer negligence, btw), most people will not go out and buy an older phone when similarly-specced new phones have come out. Ergo, supporting an OS version for 18 months when new phones come out every year and version updates come out in the same year, is perfectly fine.

EDIT: Also, a title like "Microsoft will stop supporting Windows Phone after 18 months" is pretty sensationalist and misleading, not to mention spreading FUD. This would be the equivalent of saying "Google will stop supporting Android after 18 months" when obviously the OS will live on, it's just certain versions will stop being supported.

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At Least MS says "we will support yoru phone for at LEAST 18 months.

I'm not seeing Google and followers or anyone else doing that.

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Old topic is old, didn't we talk about this support cycle a month ago? Once you update to a newer OS version on your phone you start on the new 18 month cycle, those who don't update for some reason or other are left out but there really should be no reason not to update when you get the chance.

I bet portico, aka, GDR1 has it's own cycle end date that's a bit longer than vanilla WP 8.0. And GDR2 which comes out this summer will have it's own date as well, it's how MS handles these things and has for years with big Windows on PCs.

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While it is commendable to present a good idea of what's to follow (and Microsoft has had such roadmaps for all their software products, I believe), overall it's a shame, really. Despite the costs to the end user nearly every possible corner is being cut. It is for this reason I'm afraid of change, of that mobiles and tablets will replace desktops - limited functionality and planned obsolescence has gone to very great extremes suddenly. There's no justification for this.

Consider Windows. It used to be 3 years, yearly updates will be quite the same, but unless you have a big shyte for a machine, you can install Windows 8 on a ten year old computer and everything's working fine. Backwards compatibility is what defines desktop computing.

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I think OP is bit behind the times. This has already been discussed to death.

OP needs to come up some new anti-MS BS since that's all he posts.

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At Least MS says "we will support yoru phone for at LEAST 18 months.

I'm not seeing Google and followers or anyone else doing that.

Not quite accurate....

Google has been updating their Nexus devices, even the older ones, with the new OS when it comes out. It's the OEMs that are having the problem. Another reason why I am sticking to Nexus devices.

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Google is updating them, but they NEVER promised how long they would. MS at least says that your phone WILL be up to date for at least 18 months. They're not saying "after 18 months your phone will not get updates"

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Paul Thurrott - http://winsupersite.com/windows-phone/windows-phone-support-lifecycle-18-months

Fool.com indeed....

Just so everyone realises, windows phone updates != phone hardware updates

Each version, 7.8, 8.0 etc all each get 18 months of support. Your phone hardware will likely get updates to 8.1 which is supported for its own 18 month period after release.

Apple only support the latest version for updates for example if an exploit exists in the iOS 4.X tree and apple have released iOS 5.X only the latest 5.X will be fixed/patched, not the old major version. With WP if both 8.0 and 8.1 had an exploit and were within the 18 month limit, both os versions would get the security fix, you wouldnt have to update to 8.1 to get it necessarily.

Phone hardware updates (aka if you get iOS 5/8.1 etc) are separate and not part of the 18 months mentioned.

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Windows Phone 8 support ends BEFORE Windows Phone 7.8, which ends 3-4 months later.

This fact clearly means that Windows Phone 8 will be updated to Windows Phone 8.5 or Windows Phone 9, hence the lower support period.

/thread.

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Just like any other phone.

Yeah. I might not like it but they do all do it.

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