Windows 10 Mobile gets its end-of-life date

Microsoft is preparing to say goodbye to Windows 10 Mobile, warning hold-outs that their smartphones will no longer get support by the end of the year. The ill-fated phone platform failed to make a significant dent in iPhone and Android sales, and indeed now Microsoft is recommending that owners migrate to Apple or Google's platforms.

To be fair, the news comes as little surprise. Windows 10 Mobile hardware development had already ceased, and no new features were being developed for the OS. Much to the dismay of Windows 10 Mobile fans, Microsoft was ready to wash its hands of the platform.

Now we know exactly when that washing will take place. "Windows 10 Mobile, version 1709 (released October 2017) is the last release of Windows 10 Mobile and Microsoft will end support on December 10, 2019," the company confirmed in a lifecycle support document updated this week, The Verge spotted. "The end of support date applies to all Windows 10 Mobile products, including Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise."

Beyond that point, it'll only be the last gasps of a dying OS. Settings backups will continue until March 10, 2020, along with backups for select apps. Support for restoring a new device from an existing backup could even work up to a year after the December 10, 2019 deadline.

All the same, it's clear Microsoft wants to move Windows 10 Mobile fans on. Owners of the phones "will no longer be eligible to receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options or online technical content updates from Microsoft for free," it warns. As for where they should go next, it's cold water on any hopes that Microsoft has a new smartphone platform waiting in the wings for yet another attempt at the segment.

"With the Windows 10 Mobile OS end of support, we recommend that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device," Microsoft advises. After all, that's where its software focus is these days: on making apps for iPhones and Android handsets. Indeed that has proved to be a lucrative business, arguably gaining Microsoft far more of a footprint in mobile than developing its own platform ever did.