After ending mainstream support for Windows Phone 8.1 a year ago, Microsoft announced today that Windows Phone 8.x handsets will no longer get app updates after July 1, 2019. Before that happens, Microsoft will also stop accepting new app submissions from developers on October 31.
According to AdDuplex’s data from last year, over 70% of Windows Phone users are still running Windows Phone 8.1, so this is kind of a big deal. While many developers such as Facebook or even Skype have now dropped support for Windows Phone 8.1, there are still some apps such as WhatsApp that receive frequent updates. Coming July 1, 2019, that will no longer be the case, even though this is probably not as bad as Microsoft stopping push notifications for Windows Phone 7.5 and 8.0 handsets earlier this year.
Today’s announcement also included Windows 8/8.1 devices, with Microsoft blocking new app submissions for these platforms on October 31, 2018 (same date as for Windows Phone 8.x) and no longer pushing app updates for existing apps after July 1, 2023. For Microsoft, this is also a way to encourage developers to port their existing Windows Phone 8.x and Windows 8/8.1 apps to the UWP platform, so they can reach more consumers across the whole family of Windows 10 devices.