WhatsApp will stop working on all phones running Microsoft’s Windows Phone or Windows Mobile software from TODAY 31st December, the company has confirmed.

Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, said this is because it no longer actively develops for Windows mobile platforms. 

Users of these Microsoft operating systems have not been able to create new WhatsApp accounts since earlier this year.

The move comes after Microsoft announced plans to finally kill off its phone software and urged customers to switch to an iPhone or Android phone in January. 

Every year the messaging app, which launched in 2009, removes support for devices that ‘don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future’. 

It removed support for older Windows-based phones at the beginning of 2018, at the same time as it stopped supporting all BlackBerry OS devices. 

In 2020, WhatsApp will remove support for some older Apple and Android devices.

Android versions 2.3.7 and older, as well as iOS 8 and older will lose support for the messaging service on February 1, 2020. 

Android 2.3.7 was known as Gingerbread and launched in 2010. It is only running on about 0.3 per cent of Android devices, according to Google. 

According to Apple only 7 per cent of devices are running a version of its mobile operating system older than iOS 12 – which was released in 2018.

The Facebook-owned messenger service will continue to provide support for devices running Android 4.0.3 onwards and iPhones running iOS 9 and onwards. 

WhatsApp said: ‘This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones.’

This is the latest casualty of Microsoft’s defunct Windows mobile OS.

Earlier this year, Microsoft itself suggested that Windows 10 Mobile users should switch to Android or iOS devices because of its lack of app support.

Windows Phone operating system was launched in October 2010 and then succeeded by Windows 10 Mobile in 2015.

In 2017, Microsoft announced that work on Windows 10 Mobile would stop due to lack of market penetration and a dearth of interest from app developers.

It officially stopped supporting Windows 10 Mobile, previously referred to as Windows Phone, on December 10, 2019.

Facebook withdrew its Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps from Windows phones back in April.

Despite the lack of success with Windows Phone, Microsoft surprised the industry with plans to make a return in 2020. 

In October, the firm revealed a new foldable device known as the Surface Duo – though it’s expected to run on Android instead of a Microsoft operating system. 

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