Microsoft delays Windows 10 Mobile upgrade for older Lumias

If you’ve been itching to try Windows 10 Mobile on your Windows Phone 8.1 device, we’ve got some bad news. Microsoft says older Lumias won’t be upgraded until “early 2016,” which is a slight delay from the “December” timeline it had offered before. For the time being, that means the only way to try the new OS is to buy the Lumia 950 or the 950 XL, the former of which received a lukewarm review from our own Chris Velazco. (Well, unless you want to dive in with theInsider Preview, that is.)

Microsoft hasn’t explained the reasons behind the postponement, although we suspect it’s to give its new software some much-needed polish. While testing the Lumia 950, we noticed a number of bugs and performance hiccups that could and should be ironed out. Windows 10 is an important play for Microsoft — it’s now or never if the company wants to gain some mobile market share — and the first step is to get longtime Windows Phone users on side. That first impression is going to count.

In a statement to ZDNet, a Microsoft spokesperson said:

“This November we introduced Windows 10 to phones including brand new features such as Continuum and Universal Windows Apps with the introduction of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will begin rolling out early next year to select existing Windows 8 and 8.1 phones.”

It’s also unclear exactly which devices will be eligible for the upgrade next year. Microsoft has confirmed that handsets will need at least 8GB of internal storage, but that’s about it. The launch and support for older hardware has been a far cry from the desktop version of Windows 10, which is an indication perhaps of where Microsoft’s priorities lie.