The subject of forthcoming Windows Phone releases has come up quite a bit lately, either talking about specific WP8 updates due later this year, or as a broader look at where current users will end up once Microsoft moves on to Windows Phone 9, or whatever lies in its future. From what we heard from Microsoft late last month, there wouldn’t be another WP7.8 situation with WP8 hardware, and the company committed to “[having] an upgrade path going forward.” Now the company is laying (at least some of) its cards on the table, spelling-out the end of the road for both WP7.8 and WP8.
It’s all a little anti-climactic, but Microsoft has standard practices it follows for product lifetimes, and for these operating systems, that means an eighteen-month lifespan. Ironically, that means that WP7.8 will outlast WP8, as it didn’t launch until February, and so shall be supported until September of next year, while WP8 support wanes in July 2014.
Before you go freaking out about that WP8 date, remember that upgrades to WP9 would mean that Microsoft could stop updating WP8 while still supporting hardware that originally shipped with the platform. As such, we really wouldn’t worry about this info; it’s more Microsoft trying to keep its practices transparent than it is a threat of impending doom.