The Windows 10 Mobile update, which comes with a range of new features, will launch Thursday. According to a VentureBeat report Wednesday, the update will arrive nearly four months after the operating system first shipped on the Lumia 950 smartphone. If it materializes, the release will end months of speculation and bring Microsoft’s universal app platform to a big new audience.
Windows 10 has shipped on only a handful of phones so far, like the Lumia 950 and Japan-only NuAns Neo. The release will bring the platform to a large group of users who have not upgraded to a new phone. The Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, which the update will reportedly target, runs on 1.68 percent of global smartphones, according to February figures from NetMarketShare. That’s far ahead of Windows 10 Mobile, which accounts for just 0.36 percent of devices in use.
The update will bring the universal app platform to a wide array of new phones. Microsoft has banked on the success of the universal app platform to rejuvenate its troubled phone venture. These apps can run on any device using Windows 10, and Microsoft hopes this will bring more apps to its phones.
The phones that will be eligible for upgrade are anyone’s guess. The report says Microsoft will reveal at launch the full list of devices eligible for upgrade, with users initially expected to manually request an update through their phones’ operating system. At an unspecified date, Microsoft will switch to prompting users to upgrade instead.