Since various Windows Phone blogs reported this weekend about Microsoft's end of support dates for the 7.8 and 8.0 versions of the software, mainstream news has picked up on the story. Unfortunately a few details were lost along the way, and now there are widely reported misconceptions about Windows Phone 8's long-term support from Microsoft.
After the misery and controversy surrounding Windows Phone 7.8, we don't blame people for being concerned about their purchases but in reality Microsoft has already told us that Windows Phone 8 devices will be sticking around for a long time.
Last year during the WP Summit, Windows Phone division VP Terry Myerson explained that the operating system would be supported for 18 months after release. Now read that sentence again — the operating system is going to be serviced with updates for a year and a half, but that doesn't mean the hardware is going down with it. Myerson also specifically promised that the 7.8 situation would be a one-time hump to get over, which was reinforced today with a message from the Windows Phone Twitter account pointing to the new Windows core's upgradability:
As we’ve said, one benefit of moving to the Windows core is that Windows Phone 8 is upgradeable.
— Windows Phone (@windowsphone) March 18, 2013
In other words the Windows Phone 8 OS may be put to pasture next July, but most devices will be upgraded to the next major iteration anyway. Mary Jo Foley speculates that the Blue update will be WP8's successor, and will likely push current devices' support well past July 2014. Plus with talk of two more GDR updates this year preceding Blue, we'd like to point out that this is the highest level of post-release support for Windows Phone that we've ever seen.
So put down the pitchforks and pick up your Windows Phones, because you're going to be seeing that pretty face until 2014 and beyond.