While Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows Phone 8.1 more than six months ago, there are some users that still utilize the platform as their daily driver. Although the company's overall mobile initiative isn't faring too well either, most users on older platforms are still there because they prefer it over the competition or weren't offered an upgrade path to Windows 10 Mobile.
However, it now appears that Windows Phone 8.1 users are facing some unforeseen problems with the Store - and no, it isn't regarding the dearth of apps. According to reports, people on the platform have been unable to download apps from the Store since yesterday.
Hundreds of people over in Windows phone Facebook groups (private), Reddit, and Microsoft support forums are complaining that they are being hit with error code 80070020 when attempting to download apps from the Store using their Windows Phone 8.1 devices. We have confirmed the presence of the issue on our devices too.
A quick search reveals that this problem has occurred in the past too, and the usual fix is to check that the system date and time is correct, and that the Microsoft account is synced. However, this solution strangely isn't working for people who are affected this time around.
It is important to note that this issue is not present on Windows 10 Mobile, which has lead many people to (wrongly) assume that Microsoft has ceased support for Store on Windows Phone 8.1. The company explicitly states in its relevant FAQ that the "Store will continue to work for at least another 12 months from end of support, after which time, services will start to be discontinued", which makes the problem all the more peculiar.
While Microsoft hasn't officially commented on the issue, some users have discovered that setting the date to December 3, 2017 inexplicably cures the problem, but that also means that you'll have to revert to an incorrect system date every time you decide to download an app - until this problem is fixed, that is.
For those of you who still use Windows Phone 8.1 devices as their daily drivers, the temporary workaround detailed above should work, but we have also reached out to Microsoft for official confirmation and clarification regarding the matter, and will update if the company responds.
Update: It appears that Microsoft has finally fixed the Store issue plaguing Windows Phone 8.1 users, with the company providing the following brief statement to Neowin:
The interruption in mobile app downloads has been addressed.