Less than five months have passed since Microsoft debuted Windows Phone 8, so it might come as a surprise that Redmond already is quietly counting down toward the mobile OS's retirement. According to a recently published support page, Windows Phone 8's active lifecycle will expire on July 8, 2014. The page also reveals that Windows Phone 7.8 will lose support shortly thereafter, on Sept. 9.
Windows 7.8 was released to bring some of Windows 8's features to Windows 7 hardware, which is not compatible with the new OS. Don't infer from this precedent that Windows 8 users will be likewise locked out of updates once Microsoft terminates support, though -- Microsoft already has confirmed Windows 8 will have an upgrade plan. Nevertheless, Microsoft's mobility strategy points to other challenges, notably the company's ability to drive enthusiasm among developers.