Initial reports suggested that Microsoft would cease supporting its latest range of smartphones in 2014, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The choice of hardware inside the latest generation of Windows Phone 8 handsets, like the Nokia Lumia 720, means that they will be compatible with the next version of Microsoft's smartphone operating system when it is launched.
Microsoft has announced that it will cease to support the Windows Phone 8 smartphone operating system on July 8, 2014 and that it will also stop providing support to Windows Phone 7.8 in September of the same year. When journalists first reported the story, the news caused panic with many Windows Phone owners believing that they were stuck with handsets that will only continue to operate for another year before they would have to buy new phones. They took to Twitter and to Microsoft's own blogs to express this confusion. But there's no need to panic.
The dates refer to how long Microsoft intends to continue making updates for the system and providing virus protection for it. As a software company, Microsoft always publishes the dates of when official support of an operating system is coming to an end so that users know how long they have to upgrade to the next operating system. But just because a consumer needs a new operating system doesn't mean that he or she also needs a new computer.
In recent press interviews, Microsoft has been at pains to highlight that Windows Phone 8 devices will all be receiving a system update to Windows Phone 9 (or whatever the company eventually decides to call the OS) when it is officially released. For example, in February, Greg Sullivan, a senior marketing manager at Microsoft told PC Mag that Windows Phone 8 handsets would be receiving software updates. "We're going to have an upgrade path going forward," he said, accepting that those consumers who had invested in a Windows Phone 7 smartphone were stuck on an old platform with no chance of upgrading other than through buying a new handset.
To further underline this fact, Microsoft took to Twitter to stress that phones running the current version of the operating system will be suitable for a software upgrade when released.