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article imageMicrosoft finally rolls out Windows 10 Mobile to older Lumias

By James Walker     Mar 17, 2016 in Technology
Microsoft has officially announced the immediate availability of Windows 10 Mobile on a selection of older Windows Phone devices. The hugely delayed update is still not available for all phones over three months since Microsoft said updates would start.
The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade has been delayed, rumoured, seemingly confirmed and then delayed again so many times that users have been left wondering if their older Windows Phone 8 Lumia will ever see the new software. Today, Microsoft is launching it in markets worldwide for select devices and networks though, proving it can eventually deliver a major software release.
Users still have to specifically look for the update to find it though. An "Update Advisor" app must be installed from the Windows Store for the phone to detect and download the update, a step that will prevent many users from knowing Windows 10 is even available. Microsoft will push the update to phones in the future but for now users have to "pull" it themselves.
Microsoft said it is "pleased" to begin the roll-out of Windows 10 Mobile to Windows Phone 8.1 devices. It wrote in a blog post it has been "focused on delivering a high quality experience for our customers," without explaining the three month delay.
Microsoft launched Windows 10 for PCs and tablets in June 2015. Initial rumours of the mobile version being ready by October quickly proved to be unfounded but Microsoft support channels assured customers the update would be ready by the end of the year. December came and went though, leaving users with Windows Phone 8.1 as before.
Since then, owners have been left with a dazzling array of rumoured dates to pick from, many of which have been supplied by official channels. Mobile networks from across the world began to tell customers that Windows 10 Mobile would arrive at the end of January, suggesting a delay of only a few weeks. January quickly turned into February though, bringing even more confusion.
Microsoft Mexico posted on Facebook that the update would be delivered on February 29, a seemingly convenient date to aim for. The date was then disowned entirely though with Microsoft sources later admitting that February 29 was never an official date.
Fast forward another two weeks and Microsoft has finally pushed the button on the update. Even now, many users will be excluded though as the initial batch of updates focuses on high-end and mid-range devices.
The list includes the Lumia 1520 and 930, Windows Phone's aging flagships, the recent and well-received Lumia 640 and 640 XL, popular mid-rangers the Lumia 730, 735 and 830 and a selection of budget devices including the Lumia 535, 540, 635 and 435. Regional variants of each are also included as well as some devices built by manufacturers other than Nokia, the BLU Win HD and MCJ Madosma.
The most conspicuously absent device is the Lumia 520, the best-selling Windows Phone to date. The low-cost handset became an unexpected hit with consumers but owners are going to be waiting a little longer to get their test of Windows 10 Mobile.
Some phones are unlikely to ever receive an upgrade due to hardware limitations. The Nokia Lumia 530, the popular successor to the Lumia 520, is one due to its mediocre 4GB of storage. Windows 10 has more demanding hardware requirements than Windows Phone 8.1 and Microsoft says it will only offer Windows 10 to devices that "can continue to deliver a good customer experience" after the upgrade.
Windows 10 Mobile is a substantial overhaul of the operating system, incorporating a new notifications system, redesigned Start screen with optional fourth tile column and completely reworked stock apps. There are improvements across the operating system to make Windows 10 Mobile a much more robust smartphone OS than its predecessor, although bugs, glitches and a lack of apps remain key problems.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, windows 10 mobile, lumia
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