Redstone 2 to only come 'officially' to phones less than two years old

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Don't get too worked up over this, despite the apparent omissions in the quoted list, but ZDNet is reporting an apparent official list of the production handsets which will get Windows 10 Mobile Redstone 2 (a.k.a. the Creators Update) pushed to them. The list looks plausible and the common factor is evidently that anything much over two years old is out of luck. Or at least production users with old phones will be - anyone in the know will simply put their omitted phone on the Insiders programme and opt into the 'Release Preview' programme. Job done.

You can't blame Microsoft really - you have to put in a cut-off at some point in terms of official support, and two years seems more than fair enough for major OS upgrades. Anyway, Mary-Jo Foley reports:

Here's an alphabetical list of phones that are expected to get Creators Update, based on tips from my contacts:

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL
  • HP Elite x3
  • Lenovo Softbank 503LV
  • MCJ Madosma Q601
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
  • Microsoft Lumia 640/640XL
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
  • Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XL
  • Trinity NuAns Neo
  • VAIO VPB051

I've asked Microsoft if this list is accurate and final. I've also asked if there are specific reasons why other handsets won't be eligible for Windows 10 Creators Update. I received the following statement from a spokesperson:

"Beginning this month, Microsoft will release the Creators Update for Windows 10 customers including those using Windows 10 Mobile. As has been the case with pervious Windows updates, a device may not be able to receive the Creators Update if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer's ('OEM') support period. These devices will continue to receive security and servicing fixes according to our OS support policy. The full list of supported devices will be posted on the Product Lifecycle page soon."

Notably missing from this list (of the original list of phones deemed worthy of the original Windows 10 Mobile upgrade) are the Lumia 735, 830, 930 and 1520, of which the last two are most definitely capable of running Redstone 2 - in fact, this runs more sweetly than Redstone (Anniversary Update) in my tests. However, these phones are now very old - the 1520 is, unbelievably, three and a half years old now - where did the time go??!

There seems to be nothing more than this to the list, i.e. it's certainly not specs-based. By the way, the full list of previously-'compatible' phones not mentioned is:

Lumia 430, 435, 532, 535, 540, 635 (1GB RAM version), 730/735, 830, 930, 1520, Icon, BLU Win HD w510u, BLU Win HD LTE x150q, MCJ Madosma Q501

It's a non-story in some ways though, since almost no one reading this will be affected. The four models just mentioned are popular with AAWP readers, but they're also almost certainly on one of the Insiders rings by now. While non-savvy users of production 735, 830, 930 and 1520 phones will still get all the core/UWP app updates through the Store in the usual way. Plus any emergency security fixes, should such a need arise (though Windows 10 Mobile is extremely secure, such a patch has never been necessary?)

In other words, it's not as if anything's going to stop working or receiving the myriad of app updates, this is just a freezing of the underlying OS/core at a particular branch. Which I think is absolutely fair enough.

One good question is how long all the indented devices above will remain eligible for being in the Insiders programme, i.e. into the Redstone 3 era? My guess is that RAM will start playing more of a part. For all the performance gains in Redstone 2, we are expecting Redstone 3 to need more RAM. Meaning that only the phones above with 2GB or more of RAM will still get provisioned in the Insiders rings, i.e. just the Lumia 930/Icon and 1520.

All very interesting though, I'm siding with Microsoft on this one, for the core OS. What about you?

PS. This page seems to imply that devices with Snapdragon 800 processors will get Windows 10 Mobile after all. We'll have to wait and see!

Source / Credit: ZDNet