Windows 10 Mobile users on the latest version 1709 will no longer be able to receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options, and an online technical content updates starting December 10, 2019. Microsoft said that third parties or paid support programs may continue, but reiterated that it will no longer publicly provide updates or patches for the platform.
Meanwhile, Windows 10 Mobile devices on version 1703 will only be supported until June 11.
After the end of support, automatic and manual creation of new device backups for settings and some apps will continue for three months to March 10, 2020. Some services, including picture uploads and device restoration through backups, will continue to work for up to 12 months.
Just to be clear, the Windows 10 Mobile device itself will not shut down once support ends. The continued usage for the smartphone, however, will carry more risk as there will be no more security updates, and services such as restoration from backups will eventually phase out.
With support ending in less than a year, what should Windows 10 Mobile users do? Microsoft is recommending a switch to an iOS or Android device.
“Microsoft’s mission statement to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, compels us to support our Mobile apps on those platforms and devices,” the support page says. Microsoft’s Office products are available for both iOS and Android, so the company will still have a presence in smartphones even after Windows 10 Mobile shuts down. It would be wise to switch to a new device before Windows 10 Mobile support ends.
Microsoft’s end of support for Windows 10 Mobile may be the company’s method to pave the way for the rumored Surface Phone, codenamed Andromeda. It is believed to be a folding smartphone, which is apparently the next stage in mobile evolution as companies such as Samsung and Huawei prepare to release such devices.