Microsoft cuts off 40 percent of Windows phones with Creators Update shift

There is an alternative for locked-out phones, if running beta software is your thing.

Our review of the Creators Update for Windows 10 Mobile may have shown it to be a half-hearted update at best, but a substantial portion of Microsoft's base of installed phones won't even have a chance to experience it.

A report by AdDuplex, an ad network running on top of Windows devices, found that four of the top ten Windows phones won't be allowed to upgrade to Microsoft's latest feature update. That works out to about 40 percent of all Windows phones already in the hands of users.

windows phone market share adduplex AdDuplex

Only 6 out of the top 10 best-selling phones are eligible for the Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update, AdDuplex found.

Just thirteen phones are eligible for the Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update: some recent Lumias (the 550, 640/640XL, 650, and 950/950XL), two Alcatel phones (the IDOL 4S and OneTouch Fierce XL), the HP Elite x3, and a few others.

Unfortunately for Microsoft users, that means many popular older phones can't be upgraded. The Lumia 535, the third-most popular Windows phone, is ineligible, as well as the eighth, ninth, and tenth most popular phones: the Lumia 930, the Lumia 730, and the Lumia 540. The recent Acer Liquid Jade Primo, as well as popular older phones like the Lumia 1520 are similarly excluded. By AdDuplex's standards, 39.2 percent of all Windows phones won't be eligible to receive the Creators Update. 

There is an escape hatch, however: Even officially unsupported phones can download the Creators Update via the Windows Insider program, which puts beta builds on the phone. If users sign up for the Release Preview, they'll essentially upgrade themselves to an "official" release. But those phones won't be officially supported, either.

What this means: Many people are simply talking openly about the death of Windows phones, even if Microsoft has yet to admit it. ( For the month of February, Windows phones held just a 1.7 percent market share in the United States, according to Kantar Worldpanel.) Even if Microsoft hasn't lost its mobile ambitions, telling 40 percent of its customers that they'll be unable to upgrade without buying a new phone (and how many will do so?) seems like just another nail in Windows Phone's coffin.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Windows MobileWindows 10

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?