Confirmation of W10M Anniversary Update End-Of-Support date

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As was expected, Microsoft's preparing to cut users on Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update loose in terms of security updates, with no 'Patch Tuesday' update available in October (this month's was the last one ever for this branch). More details below, though hopefully most AAWP readers have heeded my advice over the years (first Insiders, then using a registry hack) and have any affected older devices already on later branches.

From a Microsoft email, sent out to companies and anyone subscribed to its quarterly 'lifecycle' newsletter, here are some selected lines of interest:

Microsoft provides industry-leading lifecycle policies – in length and provision – giving customers consistent, transparent, and predictable software support and servicing guidelines.

IMPORTANT: Security fixes are NO LONGER available for unsupported products. It is recommended to upgrade as soon as possible before this date.

On October 9, 2018 the following products will NO longer be supported:

• Windows 10 Mobile (released in Aug. 2016)

On June 11, 2019 the following products will NO longer be supported:

• Windows 10 Mobile (released in April 2017)

Which is as expected. Thus branch 1607 ('Anniversary Update'), first rolled out in August 2016, will cease to be supported as of Patch Tuesday in October this year, while the same will happen in June 2019 to branch 1703 ('Creators Update'), and so on. I've been graphically depicting all this for a while in my monthly updated charts. Here's the last one I did:


Note in the graphic that the Anniversary Update (Windows 10 Mobile branch 1607) is indeed nearing the end of its (already extended) supported life.

Now, older phones (Lumia 930, 830, 735, 640, etc.) will, by default, finish life on the Anniversary Update (Windows 10 Mobile branch 1607). Typically these devices have had an interesting life, starting on Windows Phone 8.1 around four years ago, getting the chance to upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile in 2016, and the progressing up to what was codenamed 'Redstone' and then officially named 'Anniversary Update'.

And that's where the story stops - officially. You may have already done this, but if not, and if you're feeling a bit geeky and have a couple of spare hours (really) then head over to my write up of the spoofing hack that essentially makes your older Lumia pretend to be a Lumia 950 XL and thereby get access to newer Windows 10 Mobile branches. You then won't be losing out on the core security fixes, plus you'll also get newer browser compatibility and a few other useful features

Lumia 930, equipped to take the jump to FCU

Note that for the desktop (so laptops, Surface hybrids, and similar), the end of support for Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update (AU) is irrelevant, since every single piece of hardware will have been upgraded over the air by now, to Creators Update (CU), Fall Creators Update (FCU) and then 'April Update '- it's just part of the regular Windows As A Service (WAAS) that was introduced when Windows 10 was introduced. I have several really old laptops (one started life under Vista!) that run Windows 10 just fine and are bang up to date.

Things are more critical in the phone/mobile world, with the limitations of phone hardware making it more important to set support limits on the hardware - after all, the mobile world changes so fast. We still get many years out of a phone, but less so than for a traditional (e.g.) laptop.

What of users of older Lumias (again, 735, 830, 930, etc.) who don't read AAWP or aren't willing to go through the hack linked above? All is not lost after October's deadline, the phones will continue to work, of course, applications will continue to get updated in the Store - in fact, the casual observer would scarcely know that there has/had been an issue in terms of official support. Plus, there's a good chance that such relatively old phones in casual hands will by now be handed-down to kids or parents who won't be at all fussy or prone to lying awake at night worrying that their smartphone isn't fully patched and up to date.

And, let's be honest, given the state of Windows 10 Mobile in late 2018, the chances of attackers learning of a post October 2018 vulnerability and exploiting it in a way that might install and work on a W10M phone is almost zero.

Comments welcome then. Will you be affected at all by the end of support for 'Anniversary Update'? How did you get on with my 'faking it' tutorial for these older phones? And how well (or badly) does your classic (WP8.1) Lumia now run on Windows 10 branches that it was never designed for?(!)*

* My Lumia 930 runs extremely well under branch 1709 ('Fall Creators Update'), but your data points welcomed!