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Phones

Windows 10 Mobile set for clean death as something called “Andromeda” is born

By Jules Wang August 11, 2017, 8:54 pm

It feels like we’ve been riding on a merry-go-round of development with all the terms we’re dealing with: “Andromeda,” “Windows 10 Mobile,” “another chance.”

We pick it up from Microsoft’s announcement at Build in April that Windows 10 Mobile would no longer have a full development slate — pre-release files in Insider builds have moved from the “Redstone 3” bin into a branch called “feature2,” stuck with Redstone 2. We’ve been wondering what this has meant for the mobile OS as it has lacked fuel for excitement for many months now — all we’ve heard from the company is gobbledygook.

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Windows Central‘s Zac Bowden has put some tapestry together from source conversations and ventures a guess that Windows 10 Mobile will become redundant as the full Windows 10 suite is being developed to fit into all forms — mobile, tablet or desktop. Makes us wonder why Windows 10 S exists, but we’ll pocket the thought. The effort behind this “Andromeda OS” project means that all current Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile devices will get a clean break from this change.

At least there’s no user base carry-over to worry about, as there has been for Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile. But the dying will be gradual — nothing is officially guaranteed at this point, but we should see support for existing devices last through the end of 2018. Universal Windows Phone APIs will be “backported” to PCs running on Redstone 3 and Redstone 4, but expect phones to only receive small updates.

With that kind of timeline envisioned, we’re going to be waiting for a while before any sort of hardware comes up for discussion. It also doesn’t really put the idea of the viability of a third, healthy mobile OS in the marketplace to death, though.

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