Windows Phone 8.1 was a significant update to Microsoft’s Mobile operating system. It introduced many new features that laid the foundations for Windows Phone 10.
Just to name a few:
- Cortana – Window’s equivalent of Google Now or Siri
- Action Centre for notifications
- Updated personalisation options
- Skype integration
- Lockscreen themes
- Internet Explorer 11 which included InPrivate browsing and password caching
… and the list goes on.
Today Microsoft has ended support for Windows Phone 8.1. This means that there be no more security updates/patches. A lack of security patches would normally be worrying for an OS that is less than four years old. However, the fact that Windows phone as a whole (inc. WP10) has a 0.3% market share, it’s not as bad as you might think.
Chances are if you have a Windows Phone, you one of the roughly the 70% who has a Windows 8.1 device. It is by far the most popular version of Windows Phone. The latest version (Windows Phone 10) makes up for around 20% of all Windows Phone devices.
What does this mean for Windows Phone 8.1 users?
Most users of 8.1 will have three options. Update to Windows Phone 10, if an update is available. If the Windows Phone 10 update was available for your device, you probably would have updated already. The second option is to just stick with it despite the security vulnerabilities that come with an unsupported OS. And the third option is to migrate to a new OS, such as iOS or Android.
Most users of Windows Phone 8.1 won’t be migrating to a Windows Phone 10 device. There’s simply not enough enticing users to go in that direction. Bug infested software and a huge lack of apps plague Microsofts latest mobile operating system. Android and iOS have a much broader range of devices to choose from as well as much more polished software.
This means that a lot of users will be moving away from Windows Mobile. Consequently, Microsoft will be loosing even more market share, making it even harder for Windows Mobile to get back on its feet.
It’s a sad day for Windows Mobile; it feels like it’s the start of the end for the already struggling OS.