Microsoft delays Windows 10 Mobile update for old phones until 2016

microsoft-lumia-950-review-13

If you’re part of the minority rocking a Windows Phone 8 or 8.1 smartphone loud and proud, and if you were hoping to update to Windows 10 Mobile, we’ve got some bad news for you.

Microsoft has decided to delay the free Windows 10 Mobile update for select Windows 8 and 8.1 phones until “early next year,” according to an official statement provided to ZDNet. Windows 10 Mobile was originally scheduled to roll out to Windows Phone faithfuls this month.

The delay dampens Windows 10 Mobile’s prospects. Microsoft’s mobile platform failed miserably at catching up to iOS and Android and quickly became irrelevant in the eyes of consumers. The latest Gartner numbers show the Windows Phone represents a minuscule 1.7% of the worldwide smartphone market as of Q3 2015.

Windows 10 Mobile is supposed to reverse — at least some part of — the disaster that is Windows Phone with a brand new operating system that supports Universal Windows apps, ones that only have to be written once for Windows 10 and can adapt to any screen size. Netflix is one such recent universal Windows 10 app that works on PCs, tablets and phones.

At such a crucial time when Microsoft needs to hold onto the few loyal customers it still has, it really couldn’t afford to make them wait even longer.

Currently, the only way to get the latest version of Windows 10 Mobile is to get either the Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL.

In addition to universal Windows apps, Windows 10 Mobile features Continuum, a feature that turns compatible smartphones into a PC-like desktop when it’s plugged into a dock and connected to a keyboard, mouse and display. Windows 10 Mobile also includes Microsoft Edge, a leaner and faster web browser.

Microsoft hasn’t detailed exactly which Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 smartphones will get Windows 10 Mobile as an update, which is worrisome, and not a good sign of things to come.