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Microsoft Extends Windows Phone 8 Support to 2016

Microsoft on Wednesday said it is extending the deadline for Windows Phone 8 support by another 18 months to Jan. 12, 2016.

The 36-month support lifecycle is new to Windows Phone 8, according to this blog post attributed to Tony Mestres, vice president of Windows Phone partner and channel marketing. The previous support lifecycle was only 18 months, which would have meant Windows Phone 8 losing support on July 2014.

"Beginning with Windows Phone 8 we'll make updates, including security updates, available for 36 months," Mestres wrote. "These updates will be incremental, with each update built on the update that preceded it. The mobile operator or phone manufacturer may control the distribution of these incremental updates and update availability may also vary by country, region, and device hardware capabilities."

The support lifecycle for devices running Windows Phone 7.8, the incremental update for older phones that do not meet Windows Phone 8's hardware requirements, is unaffected. Windows Phone 7.8 is scheduled to lose support on Sept. 9, 2014, according to this Microsoft document.

In addition, Mestres announced an upcoming update to Windows Phone 8 that will bring enterprise productivity improvements. The update, which Mestres described as an "enterprise feature pack," will arrive sometime during the first half of 2014.

"This feature pack will provide IT departments with more control over Windows Phones and give their employees a fuller productivity experience," he wrote.

The blog post listed a few features coming in the update:

  • "S/MIME to sign and encrypt email
  • "Access to corporate resources behind the firewall with app aware, auto-triggered VPN
  • "Enterprise Wi-Fi support with EAP-TLS
  • "Enhanced MDM policies to lock down functionality on the phone for more enterprise control, in addition to richer application management such as allowing or denying installation of certain apps
  • "Certificate management to enroll, update, and revoke certificates for user authentication"

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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