Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Mar 2018 22:09 UTC

While Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows Phone 8.1 more than six months ago, there are some users that still utilize the platform as their daily driver. Although the company's overall mobile initiative isn't faring too well either, most users on older platforms are still there because they prefer it over the competition or weren't offered an upgrade path to Windows 10 Mobile.

However, it now appears that Windows Phone 8.1 users are facing some unforeseen problems with the Store - and no, it isn't regarding the dearth of apps. According to reports, people on the platform have been unable to download apps from the Store since yesterday.

While I'm sure this particular case is just some weird bug, it does highlight a real problem - what happens to a perfectly fine phone phone running a walled garden platform when its creator ceases to offer application store services? In an ideal world, such a platform would be opened up and set free, but I highly doubt that's going to happen here.

The reality will be that a lot of perfectly fine phones will end up in the trash.

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RE[3]: Perfectly fine?
by Alfman on Tue 6th Mar 2018 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Perfectly fine?"
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Good luck with makers allowing 3rd parties to take over when they've had enough.

Just look at the lenghts the old games makers are going to stop 3rd parties from supporting them into the future. The makers just want to shut down the game and force you to buy the next greatest shootemup rehash they are offering.

This is a part of the reason why I never got into gaming. The games makers have you over a barrel. Even more than the PC software makers with their subscriptions and forced updates...

Of course, that is the very problem we're talking about with "closed & vendor locked".

Obviously phones that are truly deficient should be replaced, but it shouldn't be the case that manufacturers inhibit users from getting support elsewhere. This is not in the interests of consumers, which is why I'd be a proponent of some kind of law that said as soon as manufactures abandon their users, those users would become legally entitled to get their hardware unlocked and get programming specs so that those devices can be supported by 3rd parties in the community.

We have to get rid of the widespread idea that hardware needs to be throw away to replace the software. To maximize resource efficiency, hardware and software lifecycles must get separated as they are with PCs.

We need to recognize that the amount of electronic waste humans produce is awful for the planet and closed/locked devices only exacerbate this problem. If we don't address it, businesses will continue to cause ecological harm unnecessarily for their profit.

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