Windows Phone 8 support to end July 2014

Windows Phone 8

Software giant Microsoft has announced that it will end mainstream support for Windows Phone 8 on 8 July 2014.

The firm has confirmed the move on its support pages, where it also stated that support for Windows Phone 7.8 will end on 9 September 2014.

After these dates, users of the smartphone operating systems will no longer receive security updates or bug fixes, paving the way for the release of a new version of the mobile OS.

In the advisory notes, the company said the end of support date is in keeping with its product lifecycle strategy.

"Microsoft will make updates available for the operating system on your phone, including security updates, for a period of 18 months after the lifecycle start date.

"Distribution of the updates may be controlled by the mobile operator or the phone manufacturer from which you purchased your phone," it added.

The Windows Phone 8 operating system made its debut last October, around the same time as Microsoft rolled out the latest desktop version of its flagship software.

According to tech site The Next Web's figures, around 4.2 million Windows Phone 8 handsets are thought to have been sold during its first three months on sale.

In a recent IT Pro group test, the Windows Phone 8 operating system was put through its paces on the Nokia Lumia 920 device, winning praise from our reviewer for its camera.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.