A tiny flurry of activity this week saw Microsoft release an update to the Photos app on Windows 10 Mobile. It appeared on the ‘fast ring’ of beta updates and test builds for Windows 10 Mobile users happy to live on the cutting edge. It’s not a significant update, but it could be the last tangible change to Windows 10 Mobile.
Jez Corden reported on the update:
It doesn’t bring in any of Windows 10 PC’s more interesting features such as video editing, but it does allow you to ink on top of photos, select filters, and more. The version brings it to 18011.13438.0. The Photos app on the Fast Ring has also become rather slow for some, particularly on devices that aren’t officially “supported” by Windows 10 Mobile.
The reason that the update to the app was notable was that it was updated at all. Apart from security updates and bug fixes to core features that would be needed to maintain support levels guaranteed to manufacturing partners, Microsoft called a halt to new builds of Windows 10 Mobile, with confirmation coming from Brandon Le Blanc, Senior Program Manager @Microsoft on the Windows Insider Program Team, reported by Zac Bowden:
Whatever plans changed, it appears Microsoft is no longer committed to releasing new Insider builds for Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft will continue to service Windows 10 Mobile with monthly security updates, but outside of that the platform will not be receiving any more love. As such, this means Windows 10 Mobile Insider Program has more or less come to an end, not with a bang but a whimper.
For those of you keeping track, that means Windows 10 Mobile has ground to a halt with the Redstone 2 iteration using the Feature2 branch.
Applications for Windows 10 Mobile can continue to be updated, and those apps using the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) standard are more than likely to remain up to date for some time to come, but this will be small comfort as the main software support is now definitely on minimal maintenance levels. Although there was hope for new Windows 10 Mobile hardware in 2018 through British-based manufacturer WileyFox, that company has placed its European operations into administration.
The software is winding down, there is a distinct lack of hardware champions, and the sheer dominance of Android in the mobile space means that Microsoft’s ambitions are best served in pushing its cloud services into Android and iOS than keeping Windows 10 Mobile alive on life support.
Now read how Microsoft is successfully hiding inside the iPhone…
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