The journey of Windows 10 Mobile from announcement to release has certainly been a strange one. The OS itself was announced roughly one year ago, and around that time Microsoft stated that it would make its way to existing Windows Phone 8.1 devices in December. As December of 2015 came and went, they issued another statement which said that it would be pushed to the first part of 2016.

The delays with the release of the OS were fairly well understood by users participating in the Insider beta program, as there were clearly areas that needed to be improved before the software could be widely released. However, October brought about an oddity of sorts as the Lumia 950 and 950XL launched with Windows 10 Mobile while the OS still felt unfinished to users who were beta testing it. While I won't get in to the state of Windows 10 Mobile as it launched in October, the launch of the 950 and 950XL made it clear that the OS needed to come soon to the rest of the Windows Phone user base.

Today Microsoft has made good on their promise to bring Windows 10 Mobile to select Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 devices. Getting the specifics on which devices are supported is probably the most important part of the announcement, as the update does not cover all Windows Phone 8 devices, and it doesn't necessarily cover all devices that were originally eligible for the Windows Insider beta program. By brand, the devices that will receive the Windows 10 Mobile update are as follows:

Windows 10 Mobile Supported Update List
Brand Models
Lumia 1520
635 (1GB)
636 (1GB)
638 (1GB)
BLU Win HD w510U
Win HD LTE x150q
MCJ Madosma Q501

I have to admit that I'd never heard of the MCJ Madosma Q501, but it's a phone for the Japanese market, so hopefully those users will be pleased with the update. As for the devices from BLU, the update is limited to the Win HD and Win HD LTE. The former of those two is a Snapdragon 200 device with two Cortex A7 cores but 1GB of RAM, which makes it clear that the limiting factor here is RAM more than processing power.

Finally, there's the Lumia devices. The list of eligible devices is fairly substantial, but there's again the caveat with models that came in two versions that you need the model with 1GB of RAM.

To prepare for the update to Windows 10 Mobile and confirm your phone's eligibility Microsoft recommends that you download the Update Advisor application. They've also set up a support page with some more information about the upgrade.

Source: Microsoft Windows Blog

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  • Spunjji - Saturday, March 19, 2016 - link

    You acknowledge that reliable info suggests that the iPhone 4/4S iOS updates have been largely detrimental since iOS 7 onwards, so I have to ask, what's the point of having the latest OS update if it makes your phone worse? I had several non-techy friends hold out on iOS 6 and eventually abandon their iPhones for this reason. This is aside from stuff like the hilarity of updating an iPhone 5 to iOS 8 (not enough memory to update! Random instantaneous battery depletion! etc.)
  • ET - Sunday, March 20, 2016 - link

    If Microsoft's desire is to provide a good experience to those who update to Windows 10, I think that it's perfectly reasonable to not take Apple's example.

    I'm disappointed that my 620 isn't supported, but the insider builds were indeed quite sluggish.
  • Murloc - Sunday, March 20, 2016 - link

    Apple does only high end phones so this is apple to oranges, but you're right that support is not too good in MS, although it's still better than Android on low-end devices.
  • nikon133 - Sunday, March 20, 2016 - link

    @Samus: "iPhone 4's, even the 4S, runs iOS 9 like shit, BUT it runs it".

    So... you'd rather have an "update" that will cripple your phone's existing functionality while not offering much - if any - of new features, because your phone cannot handle them?

    I guess that's one of those "one shoe size doesn't fit all" things... Back in the days, I was not happy at all when Apple released iOS6 that "supported" 3Gs. Granted, my 3Gs was 4 years old... but still perfectly serviceable under iOS5 - for my needs. After iTunes nagged for upgrade for a while, I finally did. Such a waste.

    I was planning to use my 3Gs another 6 - 12 months, but after iOS6 upgrade, I purchased Lumia 920 within a month. True, I was thinking of trying WinPhone already, but this dodgy Apple practice didn't make me feel any extra love toward them, too. Updates are great when they make sense, but this one didn't. It only had marketing value in giving Schiller some bragging rights, and in forcing people to replace their devices sooner than they would have to. Win-win for Apple, but not for this customer.

    So... if W10 can't work as intended on 512MB devices, or dual core devices such as Lumia 920 is, I'd rather keep very functional 8.1 for this phone's lifetime. And it could be so - I can see that even 8.1 runs a bit smoother on my work 4C 830 than on my personal 2C 920, even if my cores are a bit faster. I don't know if difference is due to storage performance or 8.1 already multi-treads efficiently, but difference is noticeable, if not dramatic. 920 is 3 years old already, but I might stick with it until I see if there is Surface phone in the pipeline. I don't want to get 950 or any other non-Windows phone and have cravings to replace it after a year.

    So I'm hoping to see W10 for 920 and other older phones down the path, but ONLY if it works fine. Otherwise, 8.1 it is, and I don't mind at all.
  • Myrandex - Monday, March 21, 2016 - link

    Ummm the 920 had 1GB of RAM and I really liked that phone. It was a hell of a phone and I still miss some things about it.
  • Antiflash - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    Adding to that "history" how they abandon my Band 1. Every single "new" software feature is only for Band 2 even when processing power and sensors on both are mostly identical. I was happy Band and was thinking on upgrading but realize I will be rewarding the practice kind of forced obsolescence.
  • Voyager_2084 - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    Disclaimer: I work on the Microsoft Band team

    Hi Antiflash, I am personally sorry that you feel we abandoned Band 1. I'd like to stress though, that several features did come out for Band 1 after the release of Band 2. Further, the principal reason more of Band 2's features didn't make it to Band 1 is because there is insufficient storage in Band 1 to enable them. At the release of each of those features, adding them to the Band 1 was always considered. Ultimately though, adding more features would require regressing on the already existing features in Band 1.

    Again, I am personally sorry that you feel the way you do. Going forward, please know that our team does not design in forced obsolescence. All of the people that worked together to design and build the Band really care about our customers, the experience you have, and the feedback you give us.
  • mkozakewich - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    I wish there were more employees of these companies finding their way onto tech blogs an answering comments. This was nice.
  • lmcd - Friday, March 18, 2016 - link

    You should consider an online management tool to manipulate what functions are on the band device, or a phone app to do that utility. This would negate the question of tradeoffs.
  • lilmoe - Thursday, March 17, 2016 - link

    I wouldn't call it "lying". A more appropriate word would be incompetence, which is a direct result of their broken management hierarchy. It's that broken structure that led to Windows 8 for desktop.

    Lets see if Nadela can fix that. Otherwise, Windows 10 is shaping up to be it.

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