Windows Phone users have been eagerly awaiting the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade for their handsets in recent weeks, after Microsoft said a couple of months ago that it would "begin rolling out in December". However, the company delivered some bad news today to those hoping to upgrade their devices before the end of the year.
In a statement published on Petri.com, Microsoft revealed that the rollout won't actually begin until "early next year":
This November we introduced Windows 10 to phones including brand new features such as Continuum and Universal Windows Apps with the introduction of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will begin rolling out early next year to select existing Windows 8 and 8.1 phones.
Recent figures - published three weeks ago by AdDuplex - showed that 7% of all Windows handsets were already running Windows 10 Mobile, thanks almost entirely to the Insider Program, which provides early access to new OS versions before their general release. For those who haven't purchased one of Microsoft's newest Windows 10 Mobile handsets - the Lumia 550, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL - the preview program will remain the only way to install Microsoft's latest OS onto older Windows Phone 8.x devices until it eventually begins its delayed rollout in the new year.
In July, Microsoft confirmed "an initial list" to Neowin of the first ten Lumias designed for Windows Phone 8.1 that would be eligible for the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade. It's not yet clear if that list has been affected by its revised rollout plans.