Finally, Microsoft's experiment with mobile operating systems is over. Support for the latest version of Windows 10 Mobile died on December 10.
Windows phones will still work, but the latest wave of Windows Mobile devices running the latest officially supported version of Windows 10 Mobile (version 1709, Windows 10 Fall Creators Update) will no longer receive updates or patches for Windows 10 Mobile. Officially, cease to exist.
If you own the Lumia 640 or 640XL, you have already felt the touch of death: support for these devices ended in June. But for the latest wave of Windows devices, including the HP Elite x3, the Microsoft Lumia 550, 650, and the Lumia 950/950 XL; Alcatel IDOL 4S and 4S Pro; and the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL – it's time for you to retire these devices and move on.
The Microsoft Store app can work or on. Applications may be supported, Microsoft says, but how long support continues depends on the developer.
The only practical solution – and Microsoft's recommendation – is to manually back up your data by December 10 or earlier if something goes wrong. Settings> Update & Security> Backup> More Options> Backup Now. “Automatic or manual backups of new devices for configurations and some applications will continue for three months, ending March 10, 2020,” Microsoft adds, but it is not clear which applications will receive these backups.
Moving from Windows Phone to Android
Both Apple iPhones and phones running the Google Android operating system have access to Microsoft-created applications that replicate some of the functionality of Windows 10 Mobile phones. But the more open nature of Android has traditionally allowed more freedom in connecting these phones to Microsoft services.
Back up your Windows Phone
If you're finally convinced to switch to an Android phone, check your current Windows phone backup: synced photos, saved email, etc. And hold on to the phone! If there are random documents or attachments that you are not sure have been saved, use the OneDrive app to back them up to cloud storage or elsewhere. The same goes for any old MP3 or video you have on it.
Sign up for a Google Account
You may need to sign up for a Google Account if you don't already have one, as it is an integral part of the Android experience. Google will encourage you to use your Android / Gmail account as your primary email client, but you don't have to.
Microsoft Apps on Android
Download the great Outlook Outlook app for Android whose calendar is much more practical and straightforward than the native Android calendar app. Other recommended applications include OneDrive for backing up photos in the Microsoft cloud, and Your Phone, designed to connect your Android phone and PC.
Export contacts and messages
Be sure to export contacts and SMS messages from your phone. Exporting Windows contacts to Android is easy: Go to Outlook on the web, then the People tab, and select the Manage drop-down menu in the upper right corner. Export the contacts to a .CSV file.
Continue on the web to contacts.gmail, which can also be accessed from the “Google Apps” menu next to your profile picture in the upper right corner.
Here where you need to use the Google account you signed up for. After accessing the Contacts app, there is an Import option on the left rail that you can use to open this CSV file on Google and import your contacts. They will be synchronized with your phone.
Exporting SMS text messages from Windows to Android a bit more complicated. When I migrated my wife's Windows Phone to an Android phone, I used WP Message Backup, a “freemium” application that lets you export SMS text, photos, group messages, and the like to an XML file. Unfortunately, the free version only exports 100 messages at a time, which can age quickly. This XML file can be uploaded to the cloud and downloaded to an Android phone or downloaded wirelessly or via USB. You need to restore SMS files on your Android phone through one of several Android SMS restore apps in the Google Play Store.
If you prefer, you can access Microsoft and install the Microsoft Launcher app, which can sync with Bing's image of the day and serve as a gateway to other Microsoft apps and services available on your Android phone.
Remember, even if Microsoft announced a new phone from Microsoft – the Surface Duo – it only runs Android. Since the Duo is slated to be released a year from now, on holiday 2020, you will have a future opportunity to buy a phone from Microsoft. But what about Windows Mobile? It's as dead as the Ghost of Last Christmas.