Earlier this year Microsoft stated that their plan was to begin the roll out of Windows 10 Mobile to existing Lumia devices in December. With December being half over by this point, the fact that the update would probably be pushed to 2016 was something of an unofficial but accepted truth. Today Microsoft has made that truly official. The company said the following in a statement to ZDNet:

"This November we introduced Windows 10 to phones including brand new features such as Continuum and Universal Windows Apps with the introduction of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will begin rolling out early next year to select existing Windows 8 and 8.1 phones."

It's not made explicitly clear why the update has been delayed, as the OS is already available on Microsoft's recently launched Lumia 950 and 950 XL. From my experience with the beta/developer releases of the OS that Microsoft has made available, it's entirely possible that they still need to work on ironing out bugs and improving performance. Many reviews of the new Lumia phones have a similar sentiment, and with many of the older Lumia devices running less capable hardware from Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 series than the 950 and 950 XL, it wouldn't be such a bad thing to have the update delayed to ensure it doesn't cripple performance on those phones.

At this time it's also not known how many devices will receive the update to Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft has stated that phones will need 8GB of NAND, but it's not clear if there are other hardware requirements. Given that the Lumia 550 just launched with Snapdragon 210 and runs Windows 10 Mobile, I would hope that Microsoft plans to update a significant number of existing devices.

Source: Microsoft via ZDNet

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  • Flunk - Friday, December 18, 2015 - link

    The next announcement will be that they're cancelling the update for older handsets. That's what they did for Windows Phone 7, why not do it again?
  • AkulaClass - Friday, December 18, 2015 - link

    I think not. They need as large as possible installed base of Win10 Mobile.
  • close - Monday, December 21, 2015 - link

    I really liked Windows phones because they run well even on low specs, the interface is clean and I was willing to go past the fact that the market place is almost abandoned.
    But constantly skipping over updates (like most Android makers also do) is not something I can put up with. I can understand 3rd parties doing this but MS controls the environment. Apple provides updates to its handsets, Google does the same, MS is acting like a 3rd party failing to update its own handsets.
    This i sad and really not a good sign so I find less and less reason to invest in such a platform.
  • Gich - Friday, December 18, 2015 - link

    WM10 is already aviailable via the insider preview...
  • Pessimism - Friday, December 18, 2015 - link

    Its sad that these false promises and subsequent backpedalling have become accepted industry practice.
  • BurntMyBacon - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    @Pessimism: "Its sad that these false promises and subsequent backpedalling have become accepted industry practice."

    Not sure I agree that this situation falls into false promises or backpedaling. Thus far, they haven't backed off of support for the older phones. As soon as they come out and say we changed our minds, I'll agree with you.

    I think this situation falls into the less condemning category of "we over estimated our ability to execute and/or underestimated the problem to be solved." I still prefer this to the, "We are going to go ahead and release it and let the users beta test it for us." category.
  • Manch - Sunday, January 3, 2016 - link

    I have the insider preview fast ring build on my 1020. Its a bit slow at times. As long as I don't keep too many apps open and make sure I have a few GB of free space for swap files, it works pretty good. I was using it as my daily driver until I got my 950XL. Still, it does need more polish before it hits the older phones. If the fast ring builds are any indication, when they do release it, it will be very nice.
  • Cryio - Sunday, December 20, 2015 - link

    Because WP8.0 would've needed too many workarounds to work on single-core system as well. Not to mention WP8.0 would've crawled on single core devices. I agree it would've been nice though.
  • BurntMyBacon - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    There are two misconceptions around why MS didn't bring WP8 to WP7 devices.

    The first misconception is that it would have resulted in a usable device. @Cryio You are correct. I was part of a small group that managed to get WP8.0 onto a Lumia 900. I believe this was the most capable WP7 phone and it launched with 7.8. Even ignoring the bugs from workarounds that we didn't have, the performance was not something you'd want to deal with from a daily driver. It ran worse than the iPhone 3G post iOS 6 update. When you consider the countless issues from missing hardware support, well, its a no brainer.

    The second misconception is that MS dropped all support for the old phones. That same Lumia 900 received updates up to version WP7.10 after WP8.0 had dropped. It brought a lot of the UI features from WP8 to WP7. It's not quite the same, but it's better support than I recall ever seeing from iOS or Android (perhaps excluding Nexus devices).
  • AkulaClass - Friday, December 18, 2015 - link

    I have a Lumia 830 and have been using the latest Windows 10 mobile. For normal use it has been a disastre. Especialybbattery life has been terrible. Standy-by have been eight hours!
    So I want to return to Win8.1 for now.. Not that easy. The tool for this did not work for me and MS could not helt. They did try with various suggestions but no result. After som search mt self Infound a Noka?! tool that did fix it, so now I am back in good shape.
    So from my experience good they delay it. Seem to lack some work.
    Else I must say the Lumia 830 has been good to me.
    Nice camera
    Nice UI
    Nice display
    OK browser
    Good messaging and call handling
    Nice mechanical design
    Good battery life
    Terrible and hopeless app-support

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