In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Microsoft announced today via an email sent out to registered Windows developers that as of October 31, 2018, which is just over two months as of this writing, it will no longer accept submissions of new apps for listing in the Windows Store for the Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and the Windows Phone 8.1 operating systems.

According to the email, which was sent out to developers from Microsoft Dev Center, developers can continue to push updates to Windows Phone 8.x and Windows 8.x users via the Store for apps and games that were submitted to the store prior to October 31st of this year until July 1st, 2019, and July 21st, 2023 respectively. According to Microsoft, these dates are based on when their extended support for the respective OSes and mobile devices end.

Here’s what the email sayd:

Important dates regarding apps with Windows Phone 8.x and earlier and Windows 8/8.1 packages submitted to Microsoft Store

As a part of our Windows device life cycle, Microsoft Store will soon stop accepting new apps with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier or Windows 8/8.1 packages (XAP and APPX).  Soon after that date, we will stop distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier and Windows 8/8.1 devices; at that time, updates will only be made available to customers using Windows 10 devices.
Take note of the following dates so you can effectively plan your development cycles:
  • October 31st, 2018 – Microsoft will stop accepting new app submissions with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier or Windows 8/8.1 packages (XAP or APPX)
    • This will not affect existing apps with packages targeting Windows Phone 8.x or earlier and/or Windows 8/8.1. You can continue to submit updates to these apps as described below.
  • July 1st, 2019 – Microsoft will stop distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier devices.
    • You’ll still be able to publish updates to all apps (including those with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier packages). However, these updates will only be made available to Windows 10 devices.
  • July 1st, 2023 – Microsoft will stop distributing app updates to Windows 8/8.1 devices.
    • You’ll still be able to publish updates to all apps (including those with Windows 8/8.1 packages). However, these updates will only be made available to Windows 10 devices.

As you may have noticed, after the dates on which Windows 8.x and Windows app updates cease, developers can still continue submitting updates to their existing Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x (Silverlight and WinRT) packages. However, these updates would only be offered to users running Windows 10 or Windows 10 Mobile, even if the apps would technically run on Windows 8.x or Windows Phone 8.x devices.

It is important to point out that Microsoft did not announce, with this email, if and when the Windows Store itself for Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.1 operating systems will be completely shut down. As of now, our understanding is that even after all these deadlines, Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x users would continue to be able to browse and download applications from the Windows Store. However, it is certainly within the realm of possibility that Microsoft may eventually shut down the Windows Store service completely for these operating systems, but no such announcements have yet been made. We will keep you posted regarding this matter, Insha’Allah!

Update: A copy of the information found on the email is now available to read on this article from the official Windows Blogs.

Let us know your thoughts on this new development.

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