What happened to Microsoft Lumia phones? The rise and fall of Windows 10 Mobile

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There is still a sizable community of fans and lovers of Microsoft Lumia phones and Windows Phone devices in general. I am a member of that community and still own a working Lumia 950 smartphone. I have sworn to not sell it, and I have kept to my oath till date. Occasionally, I whip it out to have some fun with it.

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I was thinking of the rich heritage of Windows Phone and Lumia phones, and decided to document some facts and helpful answers to questions being asked by some people. You can read this article as a documentation of history, or you can read it to find answers to the questions you have about Lumia phones. It works both ways.

Vannego Lumia 950 Replacement Back Cover

How do I use WhatsApp on my Nokia Lumia? Can I get WhatsApp on Microsoft Lumia?

WhatsApp was available for Windows Phone devices. I had it and used it on my Lumia 950 for years. However, it was discontinued in December 2019 and is no longer supported on Windows Phone. As a matter of fact, Microsoft stopped providing support for Windows Phone devices, including Lumia phones, since December 2019.

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This means, even if you own or go ahead to buy a Lumia smartphone today, you will be unable to install most 3rd party apps. You are stuck with only apps by Microsoft and pre-installed apps, and not all of them will work.

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Can you still use Windows Phone in 2020? What can I do with my Windows phone 2021?

If you still own a Windows Phone device, or go out to buy one, today, it will work as a mobile phone for calls and SMS. The cameras will work, so you can take photographs. Some pre-installed apps will work too. But the Microsoft Store still works, buy you won’t find too many apps in there.

In addition, there are no more security and software updates available since December 2019, so you are probably at some risk using it (not a lot of risk; just some).

Is Microsoft Lumia 650 an Android phone?

No; Microsoft Lumia phones are not Android phones. They are Windows phones. This means they use the Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile operating system.

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Are Microsoft Lumia phones still available? Is there a current Windows Phone?

Windows 10 Mobile OS, also previously known as Windows Phone OS, has been discontinued by Microsoft since December 2019. As such, Lumia phones have all been discontinued by their manufacturers. Nobody makes phones that run Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile any more.

Sorry, friend, but all Windows Phone devices are outdated by a few years now. There are no current Microsoft Lumia phones or Windows Phones anymore.

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What happened to Lumia phones? Are Microsoft Lumia phones still available?

Microsoft stopped making Lumia phones and also stopped providing support to existing models. That means they cannot connect get software updates any more.

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Of course, other Windows Phone makers have also all stopped making new models. Windows Phone is dead.

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However, you can still find Lumia phones to buy online and offline. A number of stores still sell. Have a look at AliExpress and eBay. Perhaps you will find some on Amazon too.

Is Microsoft Lumia a good phone?

Having owned a few, including the Lumia 950 which I still have with me, my answer is a Yes. Microsoft Lumia phones are good. But they are extremely limited now.

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You can’t use them much as smartphones, because of lack of access to most apps and services. But my Lumia 950 still takes great photographs, and is great for phone calls and SMS. Some apps still work great too.

Why did Nokia Lumia fail?

One major reason for the failure of Nokia Lumia phones and other Windows Phone devices was the non-availability of many apps. App developers did not buy into the Windows Mobile/Phone ecosystem and so didn’t make apps for the platform. Without the apps that people use every day, there was little attraction for most people to buy a Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile device.

Is Nokia dead?

Not at all. Under the 2014 agreement with Microsoft, Nokia handed over its mobile phone business to Microsoft and had to stop making cell phones and smartphones for a while. But with the failure of Microsoft’s mobile business and Microsoft’s exit from the mobile phone market in 2019, Nokia phones are now back in production. The new generation of Nokia phones run Android OS.

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Is Nokia owned by Microsoft?

For about two years, Microsoft owned Nokia’s mobile phone business. This was from 2014 till 2016. The mobile business and use of the Nokia trademark on phones returned to Nokia Corporation in 2016 (see Nokia gets its mobile business back). HMD Global was then formed specifically to design and produce Nokia phones. Nokia Mobile is currently still owned by the Nokia Corporation.

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Can Android apps run on Windows Phone?

Not at all. You will not be able to install and run Android apps on a Windows Phone device.

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In summary, the Windows 10 Mobile ecosystem is dead, having been shut down by Microsoft in 2019. However, you can still find Lumia phones and other Windows 10 Mobile phones to buy here and there. Do note that they will not function much as smartphones, since Microsoft has shut down all services that are relevant to it.

You will be able to continue to use your Lumia phones for photography, video recording, voice calls, SMS, and with a few available apps from the Microsoft Store.

If you have any other question about Microsoft Lumia phones, or other Windows 10 Mobile devices, do ask in the comment section below, and I will do my best to provide a helpful answer.

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2 comments

  1. Hi,

    Does Windows Maps still work great in Lumia 950, can you make a real-life test in the car for it? thanks

  2. Hello Shawn,

    It doesn’t work that well – at least at my end. It has trouble identifying addresses that I enter into it. If this is a general thing, Windows Maps must be frustrating to use on a Lumia right now.

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