Finally older Windows Phones seem to be locked out of Windows Insider Program


Microsoft had a huge upgrade disaster for phones running Windows Phone 7.8 which haven’t got the update to version 8.0. I can remember my Nokia Lumia 800 back then running Windows Phone 7.8 and one day I was kind of forced to get me the Lumia 920 since developers didn’t publish any new apps for the operating system and there haven’t been rolled out any updates for the OS anymore.

Now we have got the next generation mobile operating system, Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft promised to bring a free upgrade for all devices running Windows Phone 8.1 back in January 2015. However, once again early adopters and enthusiast have been disappointed by the company. Once the OS had been released it turned out that not all devices will get the free upgrade. Initially sold as premium devices, such as the Lumia 920 or the Lumia 1020, haven’t got the update to Windows 10 Mobile.

(Jump to 13:15 in the video to see the Windows 10 Upgrade avilability announced at the Windows 10 event on Jannuary 15th by Terry Myerson)

Well that was a huge disappointment but at least for enthusiasts there has been a way to get Windows 10 Mobile on those devices even though is wasn’t officially available. Through the Windows Insider program it was possible to upgrade unsupported devices to the latest version of Windows 10 Mobile. Although lately it was only possible to join the Release Preview Ring, there was a way to get the new more modern and feature rich operating system. This possibility has been ended now by Microsoft since the company is finishing things up for the release of the Anniversary Update.

To move on after the Anniversary Update with the development of their operating system, the company is now shutting down any support of new builds for unsupported Windows Phone devices. If you are trying to do a clean installation of Windows 10 Mobile and you are using the Windows Device Recovery tool, you will not be able to install Windows 10 Mobile again.

Of course it was clear that Microsoft wouldn’t offer new builds for those devices until forever. Though it is sad to finally see this move from the company to lock them out of the Windows Insider Program. It would have been a great decision if those devices would have been able to continue to join the Windows Insider program. Sure the operating system is getting more and more features and might even need a better hardware. But who knows, the more polished to operating system gets maybe it would even support older phones.

Another way for Microsoft to handle this would be to announce a fourth Ring through which new builds are offered. Beside th Slow Ring, Fast Ring and the Release Preview Ring they could offer another one dedicated to old Windows Phone devices for enthusiasts who are still willing to try new builds on their phones and either live with it or downgrade to Windows Phone 8.1. Simply to leave the decision to the user rather than taking it away from him.

My brother is still rocking a Nokia Lumia 920 and you know what it is still running fine. I known there have been tons of reports that older phones are having great battery, heat and performance issues, but in fact if you are looking through some forums about unsupported devices there are a lot of those which are reporting their phones running Windows 10 Mobile just fine.

It would be great to see a compromise here from Microsoft but we will see what the future brings. What do our readers think on this story? Feel free to drop us a comment below with your thoughts on this and stay tuned for more Microsoft related news in the future.