Microsoft will make updates available for the Operating System on your phone, including security updates, for a period of 18 months after the lifecycle start date. Distribution of the updates may be controlled by the mobile operator or the phone manufacturer from which you purchased your phone. Update availability will also vary by country, region, and hardware capabilities.At first blush this is bad.
But it's not. It's great!
Mary Jo Foley's column assesses this. Her position is that what this means is that there is going to be a continuum of Windows Phone operating system versions.
She bases this on the Microsoft Windows Phone team's tweet:
As we’ve said, one benefit of moving to the Windows core is that Windows Phone 8 is upgradeable.Mary Jo reads this as Microsoft will be providing in place upgrades to the Windows Phone operating system regularly, more frequently than 18 months.
Obviously some equipment may not be capable of newer versions but given that Windows 7 and Windows 8 lowered the minimum requirements even this may not be a problem. We still have to worry about the carriers.
Let's hope Mary Jo is right.