Microsoft has ended support for Windows Phone 8.1, which is running on almost three-quarters of Windows Phones.

Windows 8.1 is now three-years-old, and will no longer receive security updates or any form of support. It follows a complicated history for Microsoft in the smartphone sphere.

In 2014, Microsoft bought Nokia's Devices and Services business, which saw Microsoft Mobile Oy become the subsidiary responsible for the Lumia, Asha and Android-based Nokia X phones, as well as other devices.

The Windows Phone brand was then replaced by Windows 10 Mobile, which the company is still supporting.

According to “The purchase of Nokia's phone business, completed in 2014, was meant to catapult Microsoft back into the top echelons of the smartphone market. That didn't happen, and just two years later the company was forced to swallow a $7.6 billion (£5.8 billion) writedown on the acquisition of Nokia's devices and services business, cutting around 20,000 jobs in the process.”

AdDuplex has revealed that 73.9 per cent of Windows Phones run on Windows 8.1, but when 99.6 per cent of all new smartphones are running Android or iOS, according to Gartner, Microsoft was just unable to compete.

Apps like Facebook Messenger and Skype had “abandoned” Windows Phone 8.1, AdDuplex revealed, so it is perhaps unsurprising that support has ended for the operating system.

Gartner revealed that in the last quarter of 2016, Windows Phone held just 0.3 per cent of the smartphone market share.

It is currently thought that Microsoft will be supporting Windows 10 Mobile until 2018, when the company has said it will be ending mainstream support.

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