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Windows 10 Mobile

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Title: Windows 10 Mobile  
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Subject: Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft Mobile, Action Center, Cortana (software)
Collection: Arm Operating Systems, Mobile Operating Systems, Smartphones, Windows 10, Windows Phone
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Windows 10 Mobile

Windows 10 Mobile
A version of the Windows Phone[1][2] operating system
A screenshot of Windows 10 Mobile taken from a Nokia Lumia 1520
Developer Microsoft
Released to
10 November 2015 (2015-11-10)[3]
December 2015 (2015-12)[4]
Latest preview 10.0.10581.0 / 29 October 2015 (2015-10-29)[5]
Update method Firmware over the air, OTA
Platforms 32-bit ARMv8, ARMv7, IA-32
Kernel type Hybrid (Windows NT)
Preceded by Windows Phone 8.1 (2014)
Official website //

Windows 10 Mobile is an upcoming mobile operating system developed by Microsoft. It is an iteration of the Windows Phone product line and a successor to Windows Phone 8.1,[2] but is marketed as being an edition of Windows 10, Microsoft's operating system for personal computers, as part of Microsoft's plans to unify their platforms into one converged operating system.[6]

Windows 10 Mobile aims to provide greater consistency with its counterpart for personal computers, including more extensive synchronization of content, a new universal application platform will allow one app to run on multiple Windows 10 devices such as PCs, mobile devices and Xbox, as well as the capability, on supported hardware, to connect devices to an external display and use a "PC-like" interface with mouse and keyboard input support. Microsoft has built tools for developers to easily port some Android and iOS apps with minimal modifications. Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones will be eligible for upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile, pursuant to manufacturer and carrier support.[7] Some features may vary depending on hardware compatibility.[8]

Windows 10 Mobile is designed for use on smartphones and small tablets under eight inches in screen size, running on ARM as well as IA-32 processor architectures. Windows 10 Mobile entered public beta for selected Microsoft Lumia smartphones on 12 February 2015.[9] The first Lumia smartphones powered by Windows 10 Mobile are scheduled to be released in November 2015, while eligible Windows Phone devices are scheduled to begin receiving updates to Windows 10 Mobile the following month.


  • Development 1
    • Naming 1.1
  • Features 2
  • Release 3
  • Devices 4
  • Version history 5
  • References 6


Microsoft had already begun the process of unifying the Windows platform across device classes in 2012; Windows Phone 8 dropped the Windows CE-based architecture of its predecessor, Windows Phone 7,[10] for a platform built upon the NT kernel that shared much of the same architecture with its PC counterpart Windows 8 including file system (NTFS), networking stack, security elements, graphics engine (DirectX), device driver framework and hardware abstraction layer.[11][12] At Build 2014, Microsoft also unveiled the concept of "universal" Windows apps. With the addition of Windows Runtime support to these platforms, apps created for Windows 8.1 could now be ported to Windows Phone 8.1 and Xbox One while sharing a common codebase with their PC counterparts. User data and licenses for an app could also be shared between multiple platforms.[13]

In July 2014, Microsoft's then-new CEO Satya Nadella explained that the company was planning to "streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes," unifying Windows, Windows Phone, and Windows Embedded around a common architecture and a unified application ecosystem. However, Nadella stated that these internal changes would not have any effect on how the operating systems are marketed and sold.[14][15]

On September 30, 2014, Microsoft unveiled Windows 10; Terry Myerson explained that Windows 10 would be Microsoft's "most comprehensive platform ever," promoting plans to provide a "unified" platform for desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and all-in-one devices.[16][17] Windows 10 on phones was publicly unveiled during the Windows 10: The Next Chapter press event on January 21, 2015; unlike previous Windows Phone versions, it would also expand the platform's focus to small, ARM-based tablets. Microsoft's previous attempt at an operating system for ARM-based tablets, Windows RT (which was based upon the PC version of Windows 8) was commercially unsuccessful.[18] Windows RT devices will receive a different update with some of the features of Windows 10 for PC.[19]

During the 2015 Build keynote, Microsoft announced Windows Bridge,[20] a collection of tools to allow Android and iOS software to be ported to Windows 10 Mobile. Windows Bridge for Android consists of a runtime environment (codenamed "Astoria") that allows Android apps written Java or C++ to be adapted for use under Windows 10. The layer will implement the majority of Android 4.4's APIs, translating relevant calls into calls to equivalent Windows APIs. Support for Microsoft platforms such as Bing Maps and Xbox Live will be available as nearly drop-in replacements for equivalent Google Mobile Services. Android apps for Windows 10 can be published to Windows Store in APK files. The layer contains some limitations: Google Mobile Services and certain core APIs will not be available, and Kevin Gallo, technical lead of Windows Developer Platform, explained that apps that have "deep integration into background tasks", such as messaging software, may not run well in this environment.[21][22] Windows Bridge for iOS (codenamed "Islandwood") is an open source middleware toolkit that provides a toolchain for compiling Objective-C based software to run as universal apps on Windows 10. Visual Studio 2015 can convert Xcode projects into Visual Studio projects.[20][23][24] An early build of Windows Bridge for iOS was released as open source software under the MIT License on 6 August 2015, while the Android version is in closed beta.[20]


In accordance with Microsoft's branding strategy, this operating system will be branded primarily as an edition of Windows 10, rather than "Windows Phone 10". Microsoft had begun to phase out specific references to the Windows Phone brand in its advertising in mid-2014, but critics have still considered the operating system to be an iteration and continuation of Windows Phone due to its lineage and similar overall functionality. Microsoft referred to the OS as "Windows 10 for phones and small tablets" during its unveiling,[25] leaked screenshots from a Technical Preview build identified the operating system as "Windows 10 Mobile"[26][27][28][29] and the technical preview was officially called the "Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones".[30] Internally, the Microsoft Edge user agent on Windows 10 Mobile still contains a reference to "Windows Phone 10".[1]

On 13 May 2015, Microsoft officially confirmed the platform would be known as Windows 10 Mobile.[2][31]


A major aspect of Windows 10 Mobile is a focus on harmonizing user experiences and functionality between different classes of devices, particularly devices running the PC-oriented version of Windows 10 and smartphones. Under the Universal Windows Platform concept, Windows Runtime apps for Windows 10 on PC can be ported to other Windows platforms, such as Windows 10 on mobile, and share nearly the same codebase, but with adaptations for specific device classes. Windows 10 on mobile will also, where applicable, share user interface elements with its PC counterpart, such as an updated Action Center and settings menu.[13][18][25][26][32] During its initial unveiling, Microsoft presented several examples of Windows apps that would have similar functionality and user interfaces between Windows 10 on desktops and mobile devices, including updated Photos and Maps apps, and new Microsoft Office apps.[33][34][35]

Notifications can be synced between devices; dismissing a notification on, for example, a laptop, will also dismiss it from a phone. Certain types of notifications now allow inline replies. The start screen now has the option to display wallpapers as a background of the screen behind translucent tiles, rather than within the tiles.[36] The messaging app adds support for internet-based Skype messaging alongside SMS, similarly to iMessage, and can synchronize these conversations with other devices.[27][37] The camera app has been updated to match the "Lumia Camera" app previously exclusive to Lumia products,[37] and a new Photos app aggregates content from local storage and OneDrive, and will be able to perform automatic enhancements to photos.[37] The on-screen keyboard now contains a virtual pointing stick for manipulating the text editing cursor, a dedicated voice input button, and can be shifted towards the left or right of the screen to improve one-handed usability on larger devices.[26][37][38]

Windows 10 Mobile supports an adaptation of the "Continuum" concept from its PC counterpart; supported devices may be connected to a Microsoft-produced docking station, which includes USB ports, along with HDMI and DisplayPort outputs to an external display.[39] When docked to an external display, the user interface and apps are scaled up into a "PC-like" desktop interface with support for mouse and keyboard input.[40][41]

A new iteration of the Office Mobile suite, Office for Windows 10, will also be included with the operating system. Based upon the Android and iOS versions of Office Mobile, they introduce a new user interface with a variation of the ribbon toolbar used by the desktop version, and a new mobile version of Outlook. Outlook utilizes the same rendering engine as the Windows desktop version of Microsoft Word.[32][33][42] Microsoft Edge will replace Internet Explorer Mobile as the default web browser.[43]


Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones can be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile, pursuant to hardware compatibility, manufacturer support, and carrier support. Not all phones will receive the update or support all of its features.[7][44] Microsoft stated that it planned to begin rolling out the operating system to existing devices in December 2015, following the release of Windows 10 Mobile's first-party launch devices—the Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL, and Lumia 550—in November 2015.[45][46]

In November 2014, a post by a Microsoft Twitter account stated that all Nokia and Microsoft Lumia smartphones running Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 would receive updates to 10, but Microsoft has since reiterated that only devices with the "Lumia Denim" firmware revision and at least 8 GB of internal storage will receive the upgrade.[38][46] In February 2015, Joe Belfiore stated that Microsoft was "working on" a version of 10 for low-end devices with 512 MB of RAM, specifically citing the Nokia Lumia 520—a model which represents 24.5% of all Windows Phone devices sold, but reaffirmed that not all of its features would be supported on these devices.[44]

The Windows Insider program, adopted to provide a public beta for the PC version of Windows 10,[47] is used to provide a public beta version of Windows 10 Mobile for selected devices.[44] A build released on 10 April 2015 was to support most second and third generation Lumia products, but the Lumia 930, Lumia Icon, and Lumia 640 XL did not receive the update due to scaling bugs, and delivery was suspended as a whole due to backup and restore issues on some models.[48][49] An update to the Windows Phone Recovery Tool resolved these concerns,[50] and delivery of Windows 10 updates was restored to the 520 with build 10052, and to the 640 with build 10080.

Build number 10136 was released on 16 June 2015, with a "migration bug" that required that existing devices on build 10080 be reverted to Windows Phone 8.1 using the Recovery Tool before the installation of 10136 could proceed.[51] This migration bug was fixed a week later with the release of build 10149.[52]


As with Windows Phone, Windows 10 Mobile supports ARM system-on-chips from Qualcomm's Snapdragon line, adding support for the 208, 210, 615, 808, and 810. The operating system will also introduce support for IA-32 system-on-chips from Intel and AMD, including Intel's Atom x3 and Cherry Trail Atom x5 and x7, and AMD's Carrizo. Although some of these supported chips are 64-bit, Windows 10 Mobile will only support 32-bit operation.[53] Minimum specifications for Windows 10 Mobile devices are similar to those of Windows Phone 8, with a minimum screen resolution of 800x480 (854x480 if software buttons are in use) and 512 MB of RAM. Owing to hardware advancements and the operating system's support for tablets, screen resolutions can now reach as high as QSXGA resolution (2560×2048) and further, as opposed to the 1080p cap of Windows Phone 8. The minimum amount of RAM required is dictated by the screen's resolution; screens with a resolution higher than 960×540 require 1 GB of RAM, screens of 1440×900 and higher require 2 GB, 2048×1152 and higher require 3 GB, and 2560×2048 and higher require 4 GB.[53]

Microsoft unveiled flagship Microsoft Lumia smartphones during a media event on 6 October 2015, including Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL, and the low-end Lumia 550.[45]

Version history

Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release
Table of versions: Windows 10 Mobile
Version Release date Notes
Old version, no longer supported: 9941.12498[54][55] 12 February 2015
User interface
  • Home screen wallpaper displayed behind translucent tiles rather than within them[37]
  • Live tiles can be tall in size[26]
  • Updated design for context menus
General user experience
  • Ability to expand notifications[56]
  • Actionable notifications[35]
  • Action Center with additional settings toggles and same design across Windows 10 devices[35]
  • App list redesigned with wallpaper as background, recent installed apps at top and ability to search for apps[26][35]
  • Keyboard contains virtual pointing stick for text selection and a voice input button[35]
  • Notifications can be synchronized between other Windows 10 devices[37]
  • Press and hold on any toggle in Action Center takes you to respective settings of that option[57]
  • Reminder of coming calendar events when turning the device off[58]
Security features
  • Device encryption option
"Universal" apps
  • Alarms app, adding world clock, timer, and stopwatch modes[61]
  • Calculator app with a built in unit converter[62]
  • Photos app with OneDrive synchronization, collections and automatic photo enhancements[35]
  • Settings app with the same categorization and layout on Windows 10 devices[26][35]
  • Sound recording app added[26]
Old version, no longer supported: 10.0.12534.56[63]
(Build 10051)[64]
10 April 2015
General user experience
  • Keyboard can be made smaller and shifted to the left or right of the screen for one-handed use on large-screen devices[26]
  • LED notification support for individual apps[65]
  • Pen and inking support[66]
  • Possibility for speech input in virtually any data field one can type.[67][68]
  • Possibility to delete the primary Microsoft account without resetting the device[65]
  • Possibility to set battery saver threshold anywhere from 60% to 5% battery[69]
  • Smart dialing[70]
  • Updated app switcher that moves from left to right, up to 15 recently used apps and new grid layout for large-screen devices[71]
Security features
  • App permissions for location[65]
Windows apps
Old version, no longer supported: 10.0.12534.59[74]
(Build 10052)[75][76]
21 April 2015
Bug fixes
  • Camera's viewfinder application
  • Disable data connections
  • Downloading keyboards in additional languages
  • Entering the correct PIN code would freeze some phones
  • Flight mode
  • MMS settings being lost while installing the preview
Old version, no longer supported: 10.0.12562.84[77]
(Build 10080)[78]
14 May 2015
User interface
  • New accent colors[79]
  • New live tile animation
  • Setting for background transparency[79]
  • Transparent tiles with background within as in Windows Phone 8.1[80]
General user experience
  • Change keyboard language by swiping space bar[81]
  • Long press on QWERTZUIOP letters for number access[82]
New technology support
  • Mouse pointing devices[83]
Windows apps
Old version, no longer supported: 10.0.12634.131[84]
(Build 10136)[85]
16 June 2015
User interface
  • All apps letter 'jump' buttons are ALL CAPS instead of lower case
  • Many UI refinements
  • Split-view settings in landscape mode on higher-res displays[86]
General user experience
  • 3G only setting for highest connection speed
  • Cortana improvements
  • Reachability feature for 5" devices and above, press and hold Windows button for screen to slide down
  • Search box replacing the search button at the top of the all apps list
  • Battery Saver now displays detailed information on an application's battery usage concerning lighting up the screen, running the processor or transferring data[87]
  • The ability enable and disable OneDrive backups for individual applications.
"Project Spartan"[88] (in later later betas, and released Windows 10, branded as Microsoft Edge)
  • Internet Explorer Mobile – removed
  • InPrivate mode
  • Secure sites – marked with a badge
  • Full-screen videos
  • A "Save as" option for web images to convert files into .png or .jpg images
New technology support
Old version, no longer supported: 10.0.12648.133[89]
(Build 10149)[90]
25 June 2015
User interface
  • Updated icons and visuals (including visual controls)
General user experience
  • Flashlight toggle in notification center[91]
  • Quiet hours enabled from Cortana's notebook
  • Option for showing notification panes on the lockscreen
  • Download limit on 3G networks removed
Windows apps
  • "Project Spartan" branded as Microsoft Edge
  • Microsoft Edge gained option to view a website as "desktop" or "mobile"
  • Microsoft Edge's address bar moved to bottom of the screen
  • Automatic camera roll back up is now enabled from the OneDrive application
  • Photos now supports .gif files
  • Photos now shows albums (Camera roll, screenshots, saved photos)
New technology support
Old version, no longer supported: 10.0.10166.0[93][94] 10 July 2015
General user experience
  • Removal of the Windows Phone Store
  • "Universal" Windows Store is out of beta
  • Battery icon in Action Center is now larger
  • Users who forgot their PIN are now prompted to enter "A1B2C3" as opposed to being locked out of their mobile telephones requiring a hard reset
  • Ability to change PIN with Microsoft accounts after 5 failed attempts[95]
Bug fixes
  • Compatibility for apps has been improved
  • Improved reliability of app downloads and updates from the Store
  • Missing migration screen post-reboot when updating has been re-implemented
Old version, no longer supported: 10.0.10512.1000[96][97] 12 August 2015
General user experience
  • Users can now set the Lock screen and background image from within the Photos app
  • Improvements to the Kid's Corner tile layout
  • Improved reliability of Data Sense notifications
Bug fixes
  • General improvement in overall stability and performance
  • Fixed an issue where apps installed on SD cards weren't working after a reboot
  • Improved Latvian and Chinese inputs
  • Modified Shape Writing algorithm to be less aggressive in suggesting contact names over common words
  • Resolved an issue where Camera would not launch when the phone was locked
  • Fixed an issue where notifications for incoming text messages weren't appearing
  • Fixed an issue where the touch screen wouldn't be responsive after ending a phone call on some devices
  • Fixed an issue where folder tiles have obviously overlapping text
  • Over 2,000 other bug fixes[98]
Old version, no longer supported: 10.0.10536.1004[99][100] 14 September 2015
General user experience
Bug fixes
  • Loading loop of start screen fixed
  • Lock screen delay of date and time fixed
  • Mobile hotspot functionality restored
  • Pinch and zoom in Maps app
  • Quiet Hours fixed
  • Single update from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview for all devices
  • Two-factor authentication is fixed when setting up a device for both text and phone authentication[101][102]
Old version, no longer supported: 10.0.10549.4[103][104] 14 October 2015
General user experience
  • Cortana enabled for Japan and English speakers in Australia and Canada
  • Diverse Emoji characters
  • Lumia Camera is now enabled for Nokia Lumia 1020 devices[105]
  • Phone vibrates when an outgoing call is answered
  • Text box in the Messaging application can now be expanded
New technology support
Old version, no longer supported: 10.0.10572.0[107][108] 20 October 2015
General user experience
  • Cortana can now order automobiles via the Uber service
  • Email accounts are now placed under general account settings[109]
  • Support for sending SMS from a Windows 10 PC logged in to same Microsoft Account
  • Support for notification of missed calls on a Windows 10 PC logged in to same Microsoft account[110]
  • The transparency slider for live tiles now controls more than just opacity
  • VPN quick setting removed from the Action Centre
  • Skype integration for the Microsoft Messaging and Microsoft Phone apps. Conversations and contacts can be synced with Cortana on a Windows 10 PC[35][37][111][112]
  • Support added for Indian English in the Cortana service[113]
  • Block and filter calls and texts[114]
User interface
  • The introductory text no longer states "Windows Phone" or "Windows 10 Mobile" but instead "Windows 10"[109]
  • Bing Maps now supports offline maps stored on an SD card[115]
  • Messaging app supports .gif pictures, provides search functionality in messages and lets users toggle message synchronisation across devices
  • Phone app can search contacts displayed in the call history,[116] and shows how many rings a missed caller has waited[117]
Latest preview version of a future release: 10.0.10581.0
29 October 2015
Bug fixes
  • Dual-SIM issues in build 10572 fixed
  • Fixed bugs that affected battery life
  • Fixed issue in Build 10572 where the Chinese Pinyin QWERTY keyboard stopped working after upgrading from Windows Phone 8.1
  • Fixed issue where user couldn’t choose some apps to show quick status on the Lock screen
  • Hey Cortana functionality restored for some devices that upgraded from Windows Phone 8.1
  • Improvements to text prediction and auto-correction
  • Possible to select photos for sharing through third party apps
  • Video recording functionality has been improved
  • Visual Voicemail sync should now work properly[119]
Future release: Announced features TBA
User interface
  • Spotlight lockscreen
General user experience
  • Charging while device is off[120]
New technology support
Windows Camera[79][122]
  • Extended variable photo sequence
  • Independent flash control
  • Profile
  • Square aspect ratio resolutions
  • Variable frame rate (slow motion)
  • Video HDR


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