LONDON -- Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 Mobile will come to its range of Lumia smartphones from December while Xbox One owners will switch over a month earlier.
During its hardware event in New York Tuesday, alongside the launch of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book laptop, Microsoft unveiled its flagship Windows 10 smartphones -- the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. These will be the only devices running the updated software when they go on sale next month, but Microsoft has confirmed via its Lumia Facebook page that the update will roll out to compatible older devices from December.
The number of devices which will be able to upgrade to the latest operating system will be limited. Microsoft has stipulated that smartphones will need at least 8GB of storage and will need to be already running the Lumia Denim update. A number of the more advanced features of Windows 10 Mobile, including Windows Hello and the ability to turn your smartphone into a PC using Continuum, will also be absent from most devices as they don't have the hardware required.
This is the list of smartphones which Microsoft says will be eligible for the update:
- Lumia 430
- Lumia 435
- Lumia 532
- Lumia 535
- Lumia 540
- Lumia 640
- Lumia 640 XL
- Lumia 735
- Lumia 830
- Lumia 930
It should be noted, however, that the rollout is likely to be staggered in locations around the world and will also be limited by operators pushing the update to users.
Windows 10 Mobile is Microsoft's latest play to make a significant mark in the smartphone market, where it currently holds less than a 3 percent share, with IDC predicting that figure to remain unchanged for the next 12 months.
Microsoft sees Windows 10 as a single platform to connect everything from desktop computers to smartphones, tablets and wearables. As part of that vision, the company has also announced that Xbox One software will get a Windows 10 update next month, bringing with it the ability to play Xbox 360 games on the new console for free.
The update will bring "a complete redesign built on the cornerstone of Windows 10," Microsoft said, offering "the fastest and most social Xbox experience ever." The Xbox One Backward Compatibility update, which is available at the moment to a limited number of Xbox One Preview customers, will also roll out next month with 100 free games and the promise of hundreds of more to come.
The update will also allow gamers to stream Xbox One games to their Windows 10 devices (laptops, desktops, tablets) though, to stream, multiplayer games will need Xbox Live Gold membership and a home network connection.