Microsoft pulls the plug on support for Windows Phone 8.1

It never really stood a chance.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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Roger Cheng

Windows Phone 8.1 introduced Cortana to phones. 


RIP Windows Phone 8.1. 

Microsoft said Tuesday that it was ending support for Windows Phone 8.1, one of the more notable updates to its troubled mobile operating system. 

The writing has been on the wall for a while for Windows Phone, which hasn't gotten a meaningful update or any new products in two years. While Microsoft continues to support the successor to 8.1, Windows 10 Mobile, the move marks another sad chapter in the company's desperate struggle to gain relevancy in the smartphone market at a time when iPhones and phones running on Google's Android software dominate the world. 

Windows Phone 8.1 was the fourth iteration of the mobile operating system and introduced the Cortana digital assistant to the phone. High-end devices like the Lumia 930 sported the new software, and companies like HTC, Acer and Alcatel offered products using the platform. 

But there was a lack of app support for phones running on the OS, which offered a unique tile-based user interface similar to the PC version of Windows, and consumers weren't interested either. The Windows 10 mobile update hasn't fared much better, and there's minimal support from device makers.