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The Lumia 532 being 'Windows 10 ready' isn't a surprise, it's a necessity

Microsoft has made lots of mistakes with Windows Phone. Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the biggest screw-ups is the lack of an upgrade path from Windows Phone 7 to the next major installment, Windows Phone 8.

The software giant basically shot itself, and its mobile platform, in the foot there. But let's let bygones be bygones, shall we?

The reason I am bringing this up now is that there's chatter about Lumia 532 being "Windows 10 ready". And it's not just a rumor, no. Microsoft's own landing page for the Windows Phone advertises this, when doing a search for the device.

Strangely enough, some are taking this with a grain of salt, like it isn't obvious. But it is. Lumia 532 will get Windows 10. Microsoft isn't going to make the same mistake twice, otherwise it will kill the platform for good.

I have been critical of Microsoft in the past, and for good reasons. But there is nothing that would suggest that Windows 10 will not be available as an upgrade for Windows Phone 8.x devices. Microsoft has been very clear about this, and of its commitment to existing users, when it extended the support lifecycle for Windows Phone 8 from 18 months to 36 months, or three years.

Support for Windows Phone 8 should, indeed, end in mid-December - December 14, to be exact. However, because virtually all Windows Phone 8 devices are compatible with Windows Phone 8.1 (quite a few have already been upgraded), their support lifecycle will actually be "upgraded" to match that of Windows Phone 8.1, which is June 24, 2014 - July 11, 2017 (it is also getting that three-year support lifecycle).

For this reason I believe that Windows Phone 8 devices could get an upgrade to Windows 10, although this remains to be seen. After all, some of them are not exactly properly-equipped from a hardware standpoint, although, at the same time, there is nothing to suggest that Windows 10 will be any different to Windows Phone 8.1 as far as system requirements go.

That said, Lumia 532 is a Windows Phone 8.1 device, so it is clearly better positioned, compared to older devices, to get Windows 10.

It is also designed for first-time smartphone buyers, and folks in developing and emerging markets, so it is unlikely that Microsoft will want to ruin the experience for consumers who are likely first-time Windows Phone users.

Also, its Windows Phone market share will likely be significant given time, and it would be, again, foolish to abandon it.

Keep in mind that by the time the support lifecycle for Windows Phone 8.1 ends, which is more than two years away, Windows 10 will be ready to be rolled out for Windows Phone 8.1 devices, with more than a year to spare. So time isn't an issue here.

Of course, the fun will have to end at some point, but I do not believe that Microsoft will again design a smartphone operating system with system requirements so high that it cannot run on existing hardware. There's already a name for that mistake, after all, and Microsoft wants to put the Windows Phone 7/8 fiasco behind it.

However, I do have to wonder whether supporting Windows Phone 8.1 for three years is sustainable. Of course that it is awesome for end-users, but for vendors it means that existing users will not upgrade as often.

It's an interesting choice that Microsoft has made, and I would like to see what strategy it has to counter this.

Could some features be disabled for low-spec Windows Phone 8.x devices? We'll just have to wait and see, as tomorrow's when Microsoft will talk about Windows 10 for smartphones. We'll keep you in the loop.