In a seriously bone-headed move, Microsoft has quietly announced that their mobile Operating Systems will only be supported and updated for 18 months:
Microsoft will make updates available for the Operating System on your phone, including security updates, for a period of 18 months after the lifecycle start date. Distribution of the updates may be controlled by the mobile operator or the phone manufacturer from which you purchased your phone. Update availability will also vary by country, region, and hardware capabilities.
Windows Phone 8 mainstream(?) support ends on 2014-07-08, a contract entered into today expires on 2015-03-18, ~8 months later! Sure, they offer ‘extended’ support, but no-one knows what that means. Whatever it means, Microsoft makes it clear that updates and security fixes are off the table in 18 months from product launch. The clock has already started.
Since almost all phone contracts here in the USA are two years long and since almost all phone users do not – nor know how to – update or upgrade their phones, this means that users of Microsoft Operating System phones will be locked in to contracts with unsupported phones for at least one quarter (soon to be one half) of their lock-in time!
Then again, anyone know how long Apple provides support for iOS versions? Or Google for Android versions? Nokia for Symbian? Blackberry? I assume it is at least 2 years or the furor would be unbelievable.