Microsoft used its Lumia Conversations blog today to give some of the details for the upcoming software update for Windows Phone, which will be moved to Windows 10. Chris Weber, Corporate Vice President of Sales for the Microsoft Mobile group address the update, and gave details as to which devices will be eligible. Unlike the update from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8, the entire lineup should be eligible for Windows 10 on the phone, although not all of the experiences will be available on all devices due to hardware limitations.

Though Chris Weber did not address all devices, he did specifically mention the new low end Lumia 435, and that their goal is “for the majority of the Lumia phones running Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 to join the Windows ecosystem” so there should be no issues with any Lumia device getting upgraded. As for other Windows Phone OEMs, they should be safe too but of course that may depend on each OEM and wireless carriers updating the devices, which is not always the case.

In any case, there will be a technical preview for Windows Phone as well. Along the same lines as the Developer Preview for Windows Phone, which is an app that unlocks much quicker software updates for Windows Phone users, the Phone Insider app will allow people to try out the latest build on their Windows Phone 8 devices. The app is available on the store now, even though the actual OS update for the phone will not be available to Windows Insiders for a week or two.

Also discussed was the new universal apps, which will be replacing some of the default Windows Phone apps such as mail, calendar, maps, and even settings. These will now be the same app as one on the PC, but with a UI designed for a smaller screen and touch input. There will also be a lot more of the handoff capabilities between the PC and the phone, and even the new Project Spartan browser debuting on Windows 10 will be a universal app available on the phone as well.

Looking at the initial screenshots and images of Windows 10 on the phone, it seems like the phone is going to closely resemble the PC version, which is good news for consistency across the platforms. It does appear that some of the Windows Phone signature details may be going away though. For instance, there will be less reliance on the pivot and panoramic experience, with apps like Outlook having interactions that are much different than Windows Phone does now. Some of the flatness is also being scaled back, with a background image now behind the live tiles for more sense of depth. Whether this is good or not remains to be seen, and a big factor of course will be whether you liked the aesthetic or not.

As for the update, once it is made available we will get it installed and be able to offer more in-depth coverage of the update.

Source: Lumia Conversations

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  • Drumsticks - Thursday, January 22, 2015 - link

    I was concerned about Windows Phone. I've been a reasonably longtime fan, with my most recent being a Lumia 928, but both Android and iOS had reasonably feature rich updates. Actionable notifications, chat integration - there were plenty of places where Windows Phone was falling behind after coming close in the 8.1 release.

    I've been trying out iOS 8 on a friend's iPhone 5 that I borrowed and comparing it to lollipop on my Nexus 7. For the most part, I prefer lollipop (although the iOS' quick reply SMS is awesome), and was starting to consider a new Android. But with how awesome Windows 10 looks, I will probably be returning to their Lumia flagship this summer. Apps were never a problem for me, although Chase is apparently pulling their app from Windows (this seems like a terrible time to do it too... unless they're going universal or something), and it only stands to improve, however slowly. My family has been happy with 8.1 as well, although my sister misses snapchat, which was recently pulled.

    I think 2015 will really bring "Windows on Phones" to true feature parity with the other OS', not simply close. If Microsoft can just figure out what it needs to do to bring ALL of the big names over, then they'll definitely be in a good spot to become a viable third place, imo.
  • Laxaa - Friday, January 23, 2015 - link

    I'm optimistic about the future, and I need to see what the next flagship will be like before I decide to jump over to Android or not. I'm not the biggest user of scpecialy apps, but there are som apps like Lightroom, VSCO and Snapchat(I got kicked out for using 6snap) that make me want to jump ship.
  • Manch - Friday, January 23, 2015 - link

    What do you mean by actionable notifications? When they pop up at the top I just tap it to open. Is that not the same? I haven't messed with Android in a while. They have a third party snapchat program. Works great, better than the native app on my friends phone. starts with a 6. If you search for snapchat, it will pop up. Now, MS needs to release a new version of teh 1020!
  • val1984 - Friday, January 23, 2015 - link

    Actionable notifications enable you to act on the notification directly, without leaving your current app, by expanding the notification.
    For example, if it's a mail notification, you may mark it as read or trash it directly by pressing one of the two buttons; if it's a text, you might reply to it: a text field and the keyboard appear and when you're done, you can resume using whichever application you had opened without having to switch to it.
  • miles_russell - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    It would be great if this would really happen and hopefully would help them land a spot on a consumer satisfaction list (such for example...)
  • Penti - Thursday, January 22, 2015 - link

    Will the browser actually be a Store (Windows Runtime app)? If it's not it seriously can't be an universal app. Sure you don't mean it's just a hybrid Win32 applications as today? With some continuum add on?
  • Brett Howse - Thursday, January 22, 2015 - link

    During the event yesterday, they referred to it as a universal app. That doesn't technically mean it is a Store app though, but it would make sense to update it through the store though.
  • Laxaa - Friday, January 23, 2015 - link

    According to Tom Warren at The Verge(in his Spartan "leak" article), it will be a store app.
  • Penti - Friday, January 23, 2015 - link

    UI still looks custom so could be an hybrid Win32 solution still. Those can't be updated through the Store yet, as the Store has yet to introduce support for Win32 programs. But that might come ready for the release. Though the store mechanism themselves are Win32 (not WinRT) to begin with, so the early divide didn't make much sense. A separate Win32 IE will also be available.
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, January 22, 2015 - link

    Are we finally going to see a Windows phone (x86) that can plug into a basic dock and switch to desktop mode?

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