Well, it had to happen eventually, though it's still sad to see Microsoft finally drop the Insider build provisioning for old devices which topped out at the Anniversary Update (AU), from 2016. This back door was used until recently by all and sundry to get older phones* up from Windows 10 Mobile AU up to the Creators Update (CU, Spring 2017), giving them an extra six months of full support (up to Summer 2019). Stuck on AU, these older phones will run out of security patches and bug fixes before the end of 2018.
Recent News - Miscellaneous
People think of our OS being dead. Not quite. We're still looking at (up to) two years of support in terms of monthly patches and fixes for Windows 10 Mobile. And build 15254.248 (from .158) is fresh out today, so go grab it for all phones currently on the 'Fall Creators Update'.
As widely reported around the web today, one of the Microsoft Insiders programme team has confirmed what many people suspected would happen as we got close to the formal release of 'Redstone 4' (for which there is no mobile equivalent under any name) - no more development Insiders builds are planned for Mobile. Here's what this means...
Cue the usual unwarranted panic over the 'end' of something, but this particular item has been inactive and effectively dead for months, if not over a year. Today, July 11th 2017, is the official 'End Of Support' date for Windows Phone 8.1. Some quotes and comments below.
Even past the original March 1st deadline, Skype still worked fully on Windows Phone 8.1. But as of July, four months on, it seems as though a switch has been thrown somewhere and Microsoft's now deprecated Windows Phone 8.1 platform and its accompanying Skype client no longer allow sign-ins with the company's new centralised Skype architecture (done mainly to enable many-to-many calls/video).
A bevy of Skype and Messaging-related tweaks and stories has prompted me to round these up in a single post, for completeness. Takeaways include the 'Messaging+Skype' experiment being officially ended and that Skype UWP now supports animated GIFs 'inline', but there's more below too.
At the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC) in Shenzhen, China a few hours ago, Microsoft and its partners unveiled their plans for PCs and mobile devices running Windows 10. Most relevant to AAWP is that x86 emulation is indeed coming to Windows 10 on ARM chipsets (as was rumoured) - think running legacy x86 applications directly on a Windows 10 mobile device. Notice the lowercase 'm' since we're not exactly talking traditional phone form factors here.
Having teased this last week, we can now happily let you know that the AAWP Universal Windows Platform app is now formally available in the Windows Store, for mobile, tablet and laptop/desktop (of course). Featuring a choice of light and dark themes, in all sizes and aspect ratios, plus quick and smartly cached access to all our content, both static and interactive. And naturally you can run it on any Windows 10 phone, tablet or laptop.
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.
Microsoft is pushing forwards at top speed for Windows 10 Mobile now, with a major new build for the Insiders community. See below for the official release comments. The focus in build 10512 (over the previous 10166, a month ago) is in the new core models and a long list of critical bug fixes. And yes, this build really is worthy of use day to day, in my opinion.