Over the last few days there has been some speculation about the exact status of the Windows Insider program as it relates to Windows 10 Mobile and when exactly the program may be expiring.
This wave of concern happened because of a paragraph on Microsoft's Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page about system requirements for participating in the Windows Mobile Insider Preview program.
Sometime in the last week this appeared on that page:
Insider Preview expires on October 1, 2015: If you’re running Insider Preview, we'll send you notifications beginning on September 15, 2015 to remind you that it’s time to upgrade your phone to a newer version.
That 01 October 2015 date sent Windows 10 Mobile testers into a frenzy because it looked like the program was ending.
Well technically it is and what is happening with Windows 10 Mobile is very similar to what occurred last month before Windows 10 reached General Availability on 29 July 2015.
As you might recall, Microsoft stopped the distribution of the last Windows Insider build for PCs and instructed everyone to prepare for the 29 July release by using their Microsoft Account with their current Windows Insider Preview build. The goal was to prepare them to receive the GA build of Windows 10 later that month.
What happened was those Insiders received Windows 10 Build 10240, which was the build that would ultimately be released to the public on 29 July, and was able to be on the final build a couple of weeks ahead of GA.
While I can not confirm if that same thing is expected to happen with Windows 10 Mobile, I can verify that this is a routine step required because the certificates used to validate and distribute Windows 10 Mobile is expiring. That means users on older builds will need to upgrade to the latest Insider mobile build and notifications will be used beginning on 15 Sep to make Insiders aware of this.
Here is the statement I received from a Microsoft spokesperson:
The information listed on the page reflects our current date for expiration of the certificates we use for code signing. We use short expiration certificates as a measure to prevent piracy or misuse. Windows Insiders over time will receive new builds signed with certificates that have expiration dates beyond October 1. It has no connection with shipping dates for software.
That last sentence is also important as none of this is pointing directly to a release date for Windows 10 Mobile but, based on info we have already been told, the public availability of Windows 10 Mobile should not be very far beyond 01 October.
Especially since the mobile operating system is pretty much feature complete and just getting bug fixes and performance improvements right now.
Plus there is also the rumored October event to reveal new hardware including mobile devices.