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By Rich Woods
Windows Phone 8.x and Windows 8 will no longer get app updates as of today - upgrade now
by Rich Woods
If you've got a Windows phone that's running Windows Phone 8 or 8.1, there's some bad news. As of today, Microsoft won't be distributing app updates through the Microsoft Store on those platforms, as was announced last August. On those versions of the OS, the Store is pretty much dead. Not distributing app updates should also mean that you can't download apps at all.
There's good news and there's bad news here. The good news is that if you're on Windows 10 Mobile, you'll still get app updates that are supported for your build. Every Windows Phone 8.1 device that was eligible for an upgrade is now officially unsupported, with the Lumia 640 and 640 XL getting Windows 10 version 1703 and everything else getting 1607, so the apps will need to support Windows 10 builds 15063 and 14393, respectively, to get the update.
The bad news is that to get to Windows 10 Mobile, you actually need to install an app from the Microsoft Store. At the time of publishing this article, that's still possible. You'll need to get the Upgrade Advisor app, which will let you activate your phone for Windows 10 Mobile.
Also ending today is the distribution of app updates on Windows 8; however, Windows 8.1 apps will still get updates through July 2023. Once again though, you'll need to use the Microsoft Store to jump from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.
If you want to continue to receive any kind of app support through the Microsoft Store, you'll need to upgrade your devices now if you're on Windows Phone 8.x or Windows 8. The reason it has to be now is because the only upgrade paths are through the Microsoft Store.
Update: Microsoft will continue to allow Windows 8 users to upgrade to Windows 8.1 via the Microsoft Store, even though you won't be able to download apps.
By Steven P.
The only thing Windows Phone 8.x users are getting in the Store is error 805a0193
by Steven Parker
Earlier this year Microsoft announced that the definitive cutoff for Windows Phone 8.x users for app updates and downloads would be July 1, 2019, and this would follow apps no longer being able to be submitted to the store for those devices from Oct 31, 2018, which has already passed. However, users have been reporting on Twitter and Reddit that they can no longer download apps in the store and instead are greeted with an error "805a0193" message.
Although many of the tweets have gone unanswered, the @MicrosoftHelps account did respond to at least one tweet regarding problems Windows Phone users are having accessing the Store, after initially providing support to the tweet for Windows 10 Mobile:
Although we're just coming out of the weekend, which could easily be blamed for technicians not yet rectifying the access issues Windows Phone users are having, as of writing, people still can't get apps in the Store on their Windows Phone 8.x devices and @MicrosoftHelps hasn't acknowledged the issue either.
A volunteer contributor in the Microsoft Community support forums did suggest that the problem would normally be resolved "in 1-2 days", but that was posted on Friday, and here we are three days later.
Source: Windows Latest
Are you still using a Windows Phone 8.x device as a daily driver and having this issue? Let us know in the comments.
Microsoft Weekly: Game truffle, build muffle, app shuffle
by Florin Bodnarescu
Another week’s gone by, and thus another weekly column should make an appearance in your feed. There’s been a much larger emphasis on gaming, but the regular preview news and app updates haven’t been forgotten either. Be sure to check all that out and more, in your Microsoft digest for the week of August 18-24.
Much like the sweet it borrows the name from, this section is full exquisite gaming tidbits fit for even the pickiest gamer. Feel free to not believe a single word of what you just read, and check it out below.
We start off with what’s arguably one of the most interesting news of the week, i.e. Microsoft is looking to create something called Xbox All Access. This new subscription service borrows the two-year contract model seen with phones and transfers it to the console. In essence, for $22 a month over a 24 month period, you get access to Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live, plus an Xbox One S. Bump that up to $35/month and you’re offered the top-of-the-line Xbox One X. It’s a move that makes sense, especially given that you save a bit of money over picking these up individually.
Until the above becomes a reality, you can just head over to the Microsoft Store and pick up a month of Xbox Game Pass for $2 (normally $9.99), plus another month for free. To make it even easier to manage, Microsoft has also launched beta versions of the Xbox Game Pass app on iOS and Android.
Switching to the hardware side, the company has announced eight new bundles at gamescom 2018, which package either a 1TB Xbox One S or a 1TB Xbox One X with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Forza Horizon 4, Battlefield V, or Fallout 76. All of these are available now for pre-order. While we’re on the subject, the Xbox Design Lab has gotten new shadow and camo options, but seemingly no trigger grips like the PUBG Wireless Controller. The aforementioned controller may be available for pre-order now, but it launches on October 30, unlike its namesake game which exits the Xbox Game Preview Program on September 4.
Three days before PUBG’s exit, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is going to show up on Xbox Game Pass, unfortunately lacking Halo 3: ODST. Next month is also when the Forsaken Shores event for Sea of Thieves is going to set sail, complete with volcanoes, rowboats, earthquakes, and other niceties – depending how you look at it. To hold you over, there’s the 1.2.3 serverside update which beyond fixing a couple of issues also marks the final week of the Cursed Sails event.
In other DLC news, also launching in September –this time on the 12 – is the Daybreak Pack for State of Decay 2, which adds a four-player co-op mode called zombie siege. And if that’s not quite your thing, you’ll soon be able to get ReCore: Definitive Edition, Super Lucky’s Tale, Disneyland Adventures, Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure, and Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection via Steam. These were previously exclusive to Windows 10 PCs, but they won’t be for long. However, we don’t know any release dates just yet.
Finally, in a move that may seem strange due to not being done sooner, the Minecraft Education Edition is coming to the iPad. There’s a little asterisk, as the educator needs to be on the Microsoft 365 Education A3 or A5 plan for this to work right now. Even if the school doesn’t have this subscription in place, the game can still be obtained via a yearly subscription to the Microsoft Store for Education.
While Windows 10 preview builds weren’t absent this week, we’ve seen a bit more of a diminished presence, as only Redstone 5 flights were pushed out and there’s been nothing about 19H1.
First up is build 17744 which at this point only contains fixes for Cortana, the Share UI, and some Microsoft Edge design inconsistencies. Folks logging out of their user profile then shutting down the PC may also experience a Green Screen of Death, and certain Narrator functions may be a tad broken. The good news is that the list of known issues is getting ever smaller as we near 1809’s RTM. In further good news, build 17746 fixed a Narrator issue centered on combo boxes, the disappearing Yes button for OneDrive delete prompts if using Italian as a display language, and the need to re-pair Windows Mixed Reality Controllers. The GSOD when logging off is still present though.
The ones above are for the Fast ring, but rather surprisingly, there’s also build 17738.1000 for those in the Slow ring. As far as Redstone 5 goes, this is only the third build to make it to this ring, which is quite a ways off from the schedule Microsoft originally envisioned. Nevertheless, it’s there if you want it.
Also there if you want it is build 17743 for the HoloLens with a singular bug fix: users who weren’t receiving incoming call notifications in Remote Assist can now rest assured, as the bug is no more.
Mirroring the main part of the Slow ring build number is Server 2019 Preview flight 17738, which brings host device access for containers and SDN high performance gateways. There are a number of bugs to be aware of, such as Notepad crashing when a user selects File>Open, or a memory leak from the Base Filtering Engine, or the Virtual Hard Disk Miniport Driver causing a bugcheck (BSOD). On the not as eventful side of the spectrum, there’s always the identically numbered SDK Insider Preview to check out.
And for those looking forward to the new and (arguably) improved UWP File Explorer, there’s been some progress made in version 1809 (or Redstone 5, or the October 2018 Update, or however you want to call it). Unlike the previous incarnation, this version has drag & drop support, better right-click support, a new cut option, improved copy/paste, UI buttons at the top rather than the bottom, and the ability to set an image as your wallpaper directly from within the app. The reason why it’s being updated seems to be in connection with Windows Core OS rather than a wish to outright replace the current File Explorer.
Microsoft has put a lot more emphasis on apps in the post-Windows 8 era, so it’s only natural that they would be updated rather frequently. And that’s exactly what’s happening.
Snipping Tool veterans who were perhaps not too fond of the upcoming replacement’s name should now be a little less miffed by the new name: Snip & Sketch. Truth be told, the older one wasn’t that bad either, but its replacement is a tad more descriptive.
Another positive development concerns Sticky Notes’ third major version, which now syncs your notes across devices via your Microsoft Account. While we’re on the subject of other devices, those who use Microsoft To-Do on Android can sort their notes across projects via a new method: hashtags.
Less lucky are users of the Sway app on iOS, which Microsoft has decided to discontinue. If you’re on a Mac and use Office 365, you’ll need to be running Sierra (10.12) or High Sierra (10.13) starting in September to receive future updates. This is probably an attempt from Microsoft to streamline its offerings and processes, which might explain why it’s merging the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 roadmaps.
Jumping over completely to the Microsoft ecosystem we arrive at the Store, to which the software giant has begun rolling out the Wish list option. As you may remember, it was taken down last week for a rework, and is now seemingly making a return. Also in the Microsoft Store you’ll find the recently added WPS Office and yet another Win32 app, WinZip.
The Fast ring
Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit has disabled and taken control of six websites allegedly linked to the Russian government. The Redmond giant has made available via its Update Catalog, a host of Intel microcode updates meant to mitigate various iterations of Spectre. Some Surface Pro 4 users have reported touchscreen issues and longer restart times. About 1.24% of Surface owners now have the latest variant in the hardware family, the Surface Go. It’s been rumored that Intel may have convinced Microsoft to use its chips in the Surface Go, instead of going the ARM route. Hot corner
Hot corner is a section of The Fast ring dedicated to highlighting five Microsoft-related stories that haven’t been covered over here, but might be of interest.
Australia and Japan are now available as data residency regions for Microsoft Teams. Improved previews and text annotations are available for the Office Lens app on iOS and Android. French and Japanese are now available as language options for Microsoft Workplace Analytics. Custom metrics, improved chart data flexibility, and more can now also be tried out in Workplace Analytics. The SharePoint 2019 Preview is now supported in the SharePointDsc v3.0 Preview branch. Logging off
We end on a bit of mixed note, part sad and part nostalgic.
On the sad note for the few people who used and perhaps even enjoyed them, the stores in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 (and thus their 8.1 counterparts) are being shut down. First off, on October 31, no new apps will be accepted on WP8.x, but updates to existing apps can still go through. Starting next year on July 1, app updates will no longer be accepted for Windows Phone 8.1 devices. If you’re running those same WP8.1 apps on Windows 10 Mobile, they’ll still be eligible for updates. Finally, after July 1, 2023 app updates for Windows 8.x PCs will no longer be accepted – this is because extended support for Windows 8.1 ends on January 10 of that same year. As is the case with the phone equivalent, Windows 8.x apps will still be eligible for updates on Windows 10.
To wrap things up on a high note, you can now run Windows 95 on your preferred desktop OS as an app. The Electron-based application mimics the 23 year-old operating system rather well, though don’t expect it to be exactly the same it was more than two decades ago. IE doesn’t load websites, and the program doesn’t seem to recognize the drives on your PC. Still, it’s a nice little app to play around with and soak up the nostalgia.
Missed any of the previous columns? Click here to catch up.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft announces when it's killing the Store on Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x
by Rich Woods
If you're still on an older version of Windows, Microsoft has been very clear that it wants you to move on. Naturally, those versions of Windows won't be supported for much longer, and today, the company announced the dates that the Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x Stores will be shut down.
The first date that you'll want to be aware of is October 31. This is the date that Microsoft will stop accepting new apps for Windows 8.x or Windows Phone 8.x. Updates for apps will still be accepted.
Beginning on July 1, 2019, you'll stop getting app updates on Windows Phone 8.1 devices. If you're running Windows 10 Mobile, those apps can still be updated; it's just the Windows Phone 8.1 Store that's shutting down. It's no surprise, given that Windows Phone 8.1 hasn't been supported in over a year.
That also means that this is your last chance to upgrade your phone to Windows 10 Mobile, if you're eligible. Remember, you actually need to download an app from the Store to upgrade your device. The upgrade will not be made available automatically.
And finally, Windows 8.x PCs will no longer receive app updates after July 1, 2023. This is no surprise, since that's after Windows 8.1 support ends. Extended support for the OS actually ends on January 10 of that year. Once again, Windows 8.x apps will continue to be updated on Windows 10.
None of today's news is particularly surprising or exciting. All of this happens after the operating systems are out of support, except for the inability to add new apps to the Store. Naturally, if you're still on Windows 8.1, Microsoft wants you on Windows 10. If you're still on Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft wants you, well, not on Windows Phone 8.1 anymore.
By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft is discontinuing Skype for Business, Teams, and Yammer for Windows Phone
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft has pretty much given up development on Windows Phone - which includes Windows Phone 8.1 losing mainstream support in July 2017, and Windows 10 Mobile no longer being a focus for the company, according to Joe Belfiore in October 2017.
Now, Microsoft has also announced that it is discontinuing several apps developed by the company for Windows phone devices.
The following three apps are being officially discontinued by Microsoft:
Skype for Business Microsoft Teams Yammer The Skype for Business app was made available to Windows Phone users in August 2015, and it made its way to Android and iOS later as well. Microsoft Teams replaced Skype for Business in September 2017, while Yammer made its way to Windows Phone way back in 2013.
However, all three apps are being discontinued for Windows Phone on May 20, 2018, and will not be available to download from the Store after the aforementioned date. Microsoft has also clarified that it will not be offering support or updates for the apps.
After May 20, existing users of Skype for Business and Yammer Windows phone apps will continue to work, but Microsoft offers no "guarantees" after the date. Meanwhile, Teams will stop working altogether, and users will be greeted by an error message when they try to connect.
As such, Microsoft has recommended that Skype for Business users migrate to Android, iOS, or the desktop applications for the service. On the other hand, Teams and Yammer users have been advised to utilize the services in their mobile browser.
While the company has offered no specific reason for killing support, it has stated that Microsoft "continues to support Windows 10 Mobile, we are not focused on building new features for the system". The firm will now be focusing its efforts on the Android, iOS, and desktop counterparts of all three apps.
Source: Microsoft via Dr. Windows