The State of Windows 10 Mobile

The State of Windows 10 Mobile

It has been nearly two weeks now since Windows 10 for PCs was released to users on Windows 7 and 8.1 for a free upgrade.

Many Windows Insiders have likely upgraded their systems and are ready to move forward with Windows 10 Mobile. All you have to do is conduct a search on Twitter for the term GabeAul and see the string of questions being sent Gabe’s way to verify many are ready for that next mobile build.

The last Windows 10 Mobile build was 10166 and was released one month ago today on July 10th.

Now the Windows team has been busy since then as they have released a new operating system to the world. I am sure there has been a team of engineers monitoring all of the telemetry, Windows Feedback app, Uservoice and social media to see how things are going. We even saw the first post release update for Windows 10 which was labeled Cumulative Update for Windows 10; August 5, 2015.

In other words, they have not been slacking over there in Redmond post launch.

So as we begin the second full week after the official Windows 10 launch where do we stand with Windows 10 Mobile?

First, we learned last week that build 10240 will not be coming to Windows Insiders because it has what is called a blocking bug according to Gabe Aul on Twitter. That bug is just what it sounds like – it is so bad that it blocks that build from progressing any further. There was also a delay as the Windows team took a few days to move the Windows 10 Mobile build to a new development branch between 4-7 August. Then, this past Friday, Aul confirmed the new branch was stood up and that new mobile builds were already in Microsoft’s internal rings for testing.

That means the pipeline for mobile is completely functioning and builds are flowing from it. It also means Windows Insiders should see a new build very soon. Getting new builds will be great but what should we expect in them? New features? Bug fixes?

Well here is something to keep in mind. Windows 10 is being built on a common core operating system across all devices.  That common core was feature complete when Microsoft released build 10240 on 29 July for PCs.

Microsoft also stated when Windows 10 Mobile Build 10166 was pushed to the Windows Insider Slow Ring on 22 July, just a week before the PC launch of Windows 10, that their primary focus was on core stability – in other words – bug fixes.

I believe that while we might see some slight enhancements in Windows 10 Mobile when we get the next build it will likely be considered feature complete in Microsoft’s eyes. That means the focus shifts to smashing bugs and updating built in universal apps as they take the mobile version of Windows 10 towards its expected release this fall.

Another area we can expect to see some efforts is getting Windows 10 Mobile onto other Windows Phone devices outside of the Lumia product line such as HTC, Samsung and Win Blu handsets. Those need to be tested as we move towards General Availability this fall.

As for when Windows 10 Mobile will become available, it is likely tied to the availability of new flagship hardware such as the Cityman (Lumia 950 XL) and Talkman (Lumia 950) devices that Daniel Rubino from Windows Central has reported on in great detail.

It makes no sense for Microsoft to launch Windows 10 Mobile without being able to show off new hardware running it and these two devices are the premium devices Windows Phone users have been clamoring for.  However, I will add this caveat – announcement day needs to be general availability day.

Passionate Windows Phone fans are going to want to walk in a store and pick these devices up on launch day and Microsoft needs to make that happen. It may not result in the platform suddenly gaining huge chunks of market share but it will certainly go a long way to invigorate the platforms base.

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