There's an interesting story doing the rounds that Microsoft has revealed its official cutoff dates for support for Windows Phone 7.8 and 8.0 – September 9 and July 8 next year respectively, if you must know.
The interesting part isn't the story itself, it's how it has been reported, with a large number of the articles I've seen suggesting Microsoft is treating its users badly by effectively sentencing their phones to death in just over a year.
The dates, revealed on Microsoft's support site, reflect an 18-month support cycle from the two OS' respective “lifecycle start dates”.
Microsoft says it 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”.
That suggests if you've got a current Windows Phone, whether it's a 7.8 device or a WP8 one, by just after mid-year next year Microsoft will be washing its hands of you – or at least washing its hands of your phone.
Cue sensationalist reporting about 18-month support on phones taken on 24-month contracts and Microsoft proving yet again that it doesn't care about its users.
Talk about missing the point. The clue to the truth is in the actual dates. Windows Phone 8's lifecycle start date is listed as December 14, 2012, which is not when WP8 itself was launched (that was October 2012), but when the Portico update was rolled out.
In other words, the 18-month support cycle isn't for the OS itself, it's for that specific version of the OS. Now sure, for Windows Phone 7.8 there's effectively no difference, as it's shut off to any major future upgrades anyway.
All this really means is if by July 8 2014 you still haven't upgraded your Windows Phone 8 handset to the latest version of Microsoft's OS, you'll no longer be getting software support.