Despite market share and support for Microsoft’s next mobile OS dwindling, many new apps and services are being built specifically for Windows 10 Mobile. And, now as we get closer to the official release of Windows 10 Mobile, a distinct line is being drawn between Windows 10 and Windows Phone 8.1 apps. A feature gap is starting to widen and separate the two platform versions, showing that Microsoft is already beginning to shorten its support lifecycle for the older mobile OS even though its latest platform is still not officially released. Rumor suggests that Windows 10 Mobile officially see light of day on February 29, 2016, but the details for the hardware that will be supported on day 1 is sketchy.
This whole scenario is a bit sad for many, considering many customers are still invested in Windows 8.1 devices and there’s no realization of when Windows 10 Mobile might be available for them on their older hardware.
Another example of this came overnight when Microsoft released its second update in February for the Microsoft Band. As part of this latest update, Microsoft has delivered better activity sharing features. For users of Windows 10 Mobile, the feature works great.
But, for Windows Phone 8.1, users are met with the following.
The link for “See what’s shared” is non-existent (shown in the second image) and the “More” option for other sharing choices bombs.
Additionally, in the "What's New" section of the Health app, the following page does not exist for Windows Phone 8.1:
Microsoft Health for Windows 10 Mobile is now at 2.3.20217.0, while the version for Windows Phone 8.1 sits at 1.3.20217.2 with the update.
Microsoft has quietly stopped supporting its original Band v1, holding back updates and features, lending itself to some very vocal and irate customers who haven’t made the jump to Band v2 yet. As we’ve seen and heard, Microsoft truly wants to move the entire planet to Windows 10. Is this yet another scheme to accomplish that task? – by limiting features enough until Microsoft Band owners move to its latest platform (which, again, isn’t yet available) or choose to migrate to iOS or Android?
To be fair, this could be just a bug, but recent happenings seem to suggest it’s not. However, if it’s a quality control issue, as I pontificated yesterday, Microsoft needs to do better.