The story so far. Microsoft's Maps product, built into all Windows 10 devices (including phones), had been using out of date (2016) maps from HERE, pending a major platform update in terms of how Microsoft massage and process the raw map data. Prompting complaints from users and a response from the Bing Maps team. Happily, I can reveal that the new data went live overnight for much of the world, with my 'canary roads' in the UK now present and correct. Phew!
Recent News - Industry
Overnight (UK time), Microsoft took the wraps off the Surface Go - not strictly a phone, so not AAWP's core focus, but it has LTE and is definitely of interest as another addition to the growing Surface hardware line-up. And who knows, maybe a Surface Mobile late this year or early in 2019? Surface Go is a low cost, smaller Windows 10 hybrid and will be of special interest in education and around the home.
People think of Windows 10 Mobile being dead. Not quite. Not yet. We're still looking at over a year of support in terms of monthly patches and fixes for Windows 10 Mobile 'Fall Creators Update'. And build 15254.369 (from .313) is fresh out today, so go grab it for all phones currently on the 'Fall Creators Update'.
Around six months ago, Microsoft quoted "28 months" as the supported period for each Windows 10 branch, but this figure seems to have been somewhat nebulous and - recently - truncated, judging from the official web site as it is now. At various points (I have screenshot proof), support has been "42 months", then "28 months", and now "18 months". Which is fair enough for the Desktop, but slightly more critical for Mobile...
The headline above is more of a confirmation than a revelation, of course, but it's still worth stating, if only to work out the phones that are still going to be supported. The sources here are independent tweets from Jason Howard and Brandon Le Blanc, senior managers on the Windows Insider programme. Below, I dig deep into timescales and support windows to find out what this means for some classic Lumias.
Well, it didn't take a rocket scientist to see this one coming. Back when the Windows 10 Mobile-running HP Elite x3 was launched, it came with a custom virtualisation solution from HP (actually layered on top of Frame), the idea being that employees out and about could then run enterprise Win32 applications remotely on their Continuum display or HP Lap Dock. But Workspace was slow, clunky and expensive... and now no more.
Expending zero energy on thinking up a new branch title, Microsoft has announced at BUILD 2017 that the next major Windows 10 branch (for most form factors) will be the 'Fall Creators Update'. I guess this makes sense since there's still an emphasis on creating, in this case desktop-hosted story 'remixing' (photos and videos), but it's still a somewhat weak title, if you ask me. The future for phones and mobile in general is yet to be announced, though I've got a feature on the way which will hopefully reveal all.
As each new build of next year's Redstone 2 Creators Update for Windows 10 Mobile hit over the last few months, the 'Slow' Insider ring had stuck determinedly to mirroring the Redstone Anniversary Update 'Release Preview' builds. I'd been saying that it was only a matter of time before the 'Slow' ring got switched up to the next major OS version and this has now happened (last night). Changing the update landscape for many of our enthusiast Windows 10 Mobile devices.
Although Microsoft never gave an exact date for the start of the official Windows 10 Mobile upgrade for existing Windows Phone 8.1 users, it's fair to say that its hints were originally for late 2015 - which then slipped a little. However, at least Q1, 2016 was achieved, if only by a couple of weeks, with the arrival of Windows 10 (10586.164) for a whole clutch of devices, including the popular Lumia 640, 735, 830 and 930. There's an initial hurdle, presumably to make sure that only keener users get Windows 10, and then this will be replaced by the full 'pushed' update later.
In an announcement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has made yet another 'tough' round of job trimming at the software giant, resulting in almost 8,000 job losses (from around 100,000 total), many of them in the phone division (i.e. producing feature phones and Lumias). See below for the release text and comment.