Microsoft strengthens its commitment to customers with older devices (*all Lumias, meaning all since 2012's Windows 8 and on)

When Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows 10 comes to smartphones next spring, it's not going to be a repeat of the disastrous mire of controversy that surrounded Windows 8.

I. Windows Phone 8 Devices Will All Get a Free Windows 10 Upgrade

Windows 8, as some might recall, brought an impressive collection of new features.  But it also left most users of older devices behind, only eligible for the inferior Windows Phone 7.8 Update.  WP7.8 brought some, but not all of the features of WP8 to the previous year's batch of devices.

Microsoft's decision to not fully support Windows 8 on older Lumias still stirs resentment among some to this day.  Users were particularly peeved that Microsoft refused to fully upgrade Windows Phone 7.x devices -- many of which had been released only a half year prior and which were still being sold at the time of WP8's release.

Windows 10

With Windows 10, new CEO Satya Nadella's new CEO's ambitious effort to create one contiguous multi-form factor operating system platform, Microsoft has proactively made an announcement to set the record straight.  It wrote on Twitter Inc. (TWTR): This is about the best outcome that be hoped for.  It means that basically all devices in the past two years will receive updates to Windows 10.  For all the flak Microsoft got for stubbornly pulling its Windows 8 shenanigans, it deserves credit for reversing its position so dramatically.

II. New Update Brings Improved Battery Saver App

Microsoft also had some more good news for Windows Phone owners, announcing that a fresh update to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 (8.1.1) devices was rolling out worldwide.  Released as Build 14192 of the Windows Phone Developer Preview program, the update has been being tested in the wild since Oct. 24.  The new update is marked as "critical" and carries the build string version 8.10.14203.306 (note the build number of the final release jumped to 14203).

The new Windows Phone 8.1.1 update brings a new Live Tile for the Battery Saver app that acts as a real time monitor/readout of the battery life.  It also adds Battery Savers and its basic menus to the Quick Settings panel.

Battery Saver
Battery Saver gets an impressive Live Tile in the new release. [Image Source: WP Central]

It also shows per app usage, both in terms of what every active app consumes when running in the foreground, and what it consumes when running in the background.  Apps with just a little power usage are shown in a logarithmic scale to more clearly show their impact.  Microsoft also added new time filters and the option to enable Battery Saver nonstop until you plug in.

The update will soon be available on your carry if it isn't already.  You'll be able to get it immediately if you check for updates.  Or if you do nothing, it should be pushed to your phone on Nov. 17 for automatic installation.

Sources: Lumia [Microsoft on Twitter], Windows Phone Market, via WPCentral

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