The latest word from Microsoft is that owners of Windows Phone 8 handsets won't necessarily be able to upgrade to Windows
Phone 10 after all, in an apparent retreat from what the software giant has said previously.
"Our goal is for the majority of the Lumia phones running Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 to join the Windows ecosystem along with an expected hundreds of millions of PCs, tablets and other devices running the next generation of Windows," a post to Redmond's Lumia Conversations blog explained on Thursday.
So what does "joining the Windows ecosystem" mean? And how many phones constitute "the majority"?
"Like any upgrade to a new platform, not every phone will upgrade or support all possible Windows 10 features," Redmond's blog post cautions, "and certain features and experiences will require more advanced future hardware."
Windows Phone customers, of course, have heard all of this before. Inadequate hardware was the reason given why there was no upgrade path from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8. Instead, users of older devices were offered Windows Phone 7.8, which was really just version 7.5 with a coat of version 8 paint slapped on it.
Yet owners of Windows Phone 8 devices had reason to get their hopes up, because the message from Microsoft earlier was that all devices running the current generation of Windows Phone 8.x would be able to upgrade to Windows 10 (now that Microsoft has dropped the "Phone" branding from its mobile OS).
@_Y06_ There will be Windows 10 upgrades for all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices :) And we will release new Windows 10 models in the future!— Lumia (@Lumia) November 11, 2014
Whether that was just an overeager Microsoft marketeer jumping the gun or Redmond has had an honest change of heart regarding its upgrade plans for Windows Phone 8 isn't clear.
Nor is how many Windows 10 features a phone can fail to support and still be considered eligible for the upgrade.
Note, also, that Microsoft is speaking strictly of Lumia handsets, here – the phones that it controls outright. If you're one of those few who bought a Windows Phone 8 device from some other manufacturer, whether you'll be able to upgrade to Windows 10 at all is anyone's guess.
Our best advice, then, is the same as we'd give an owner of any Android phone. If you're wondering whether you'll be able to upgrade your current Windows Phone to the next version of Microsoft's mobile OS, you'll just have to cross your fingers and wait. ®