One of the less positive storylines around the official rollout of Windows 10 Mobile has been the fact that some Windows Phone 8.1 devices once expected to receive the update are out of luck. It’s not that terribly surprising that things have changed since Microsoft first announced the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade path–it’s impossible to predict how such a massive upgrade will ultimately perform on lower-spec’d devices, for example.
At the same time, it’s important that Microsoft carefully manages the messaging around these developments. Plenty of people who were running Windows 10 Mobile Insider builds on their 512MB devices, for example, surely expected to be able to update to the official version. The company risks a backlash greater even than the OneDrive storage allocations fiasco.
Over at Reddit, one user highlights what could very possibly be the worst way to handle things. Forever, the Blu Win Jr LTE has been advertised as being upgradeable to Windows 10 Mobile, even up to yesterday’s launch. Check out the user’s screen capture of the Microsoft Store listing for the Blu Win Jr LTE (with a date stamp of March 17, 2016).
However, this particular device is clearly not on the list of supported devices, and Microsoft has indicated that the current list is likely to remain the complete list. There are no future “waves” of devices to receive the Windows 10 Mobile update, and so if your device isn’t supported today, then it’s not likely to be supported tomorrow. It’s not the best practice to simply change the Microsoft Store listing, as Microsoft clearly did in the case of the Blu Win Jr LTE in the image below.
How Microsoft handles this specific situation, and ones like it, will go a long way toward determining how large swaths of the Windows community perceive the company and its mobile platform. We can’t advocate any particular action that Microsoft might take, like offering refunds to people who purchased their devices based on a good faith understanding that it would be upgraded. That’s for Microsoft to decide.
We do suggest, however, that Microsoft act quickly. Windows 10 Mobile already has enough strikes against it that if the company wants any chance of building a successful mobile strategy, they can’t afford to alienate their most loyal users along the way. We’ll be looking forward to Microsoft’s response to this issue, and we’ll let you know what they say.