Lumia  Microsoft
Lumia 950

Microsoft will only allow a small subset of Windows 10 Mobile devices to be upgraded to the Creators Update. That’s according to a report on ZDNet, although there is some confusion about the finalized list of devices. Either way, the number of handsets getting the bump will certainly be limited.

In the report, ZDNet says its contacts have passed on a list of devices due to get the Creators Update. Microsoft will be launching the feature update for Windows 10 Mobile on April 25.

Of course, the Creators Update will be landing on PCs on April 11. However, not all Windows 10 Mobile users will be in line to receive the significant new features the update brings. ZDNet’s sources point to the following handsets:

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL
  • HP Elite x3
  • Lenovo Softbank 503LV
  • MCJ Madosma Q601
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
  • Microsoft Lumia 640/640XL
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
  • Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XL
  • Trinity NuAns Neo
  • VAIO VPB051

Admittedly, when I first saw the list I raised an eyebrow. Simply because I know for a fact there are devices not listed above that are already running the Windows 10 Creators Update on the Inside. The Lumia 735, for example.

So, considering I do trust the list ZDNet’s sources have provided, it begs the question is the list incomplete? That’s a possibility, but I am inclined to think this list could be for the Redstone 3 branch and not for the Creators Update.

Microsoft has already more or less finalized which devices will get the Creators Update (Redstone 2). A glance at the handsets that have been able to get previews from the Insider Program shows that. So, this could be the list of devices that will be able to run through Redstone 3 previews ahead of its full roll out later in the year.

In a statement, Microsoft was typically vague on the matter:

“Beginning this month, Microsoft will release the Creators Update for Windows 10 customers including those using Windows 10 Mobile. As has been the case with pervious Windows updates, a device may not be able to receive the Creators Update if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (‘OEM’) support period. These devices will continue to receive security and servicing fixes according to our OS support policy. The full list of supported devices will be posted on the Product Lifecycle page soon.”

Whittling Down Windows 10 Mobile

Whether this is the list for the Creators Update or Redstone 3, it shows that Microsoft is really failing to support Windows 10 Mobile properly.

When the company pulled out of the mobile hardware business last year, it promised to keep supporting the platform for OEMs. If this list of handsets does end up being accurate, then only 11 legacy devices will be eligible for a future upgrade, whether its Creators Update or Redstone 3.

This would be a terrible state of affairs and would be another nail in Windows Phone’s coffin. Yes, the platform is failing regardless and has less than 1% market share, but it seems Microsoft is slowly winding down its mobile OS.

The only reason I resist believing that is because I believe a Windows mobile platform is essential to Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform idea. The concept of having a universal OS that runs across devices is pointless if there are not many categories. HoloLens is nascent, Xbox is niche, so that just leaves Windows 10 for PCs and Mobile.

Sure, UWP is also to help developers easily create apps, but it is also supposed to appeal to dev’s by allowing them to have just one app that works across Windows 10 devices. A mobile OS is a necessity if UWP is to become anything other than pointless.

It is really becoming confusing to understand what Microsoft’s plans in mobile are. A Surface Phone is a nice concept, a super phone that becomes the first truly business-class handset. But without a workable platform behind it, what’s the point?