Date
18 October 2018
WhatsApp said the old operating systems don't offer the kind of capabilities it needs to expand the app's features. Photo: Bloomberg
WhatsApp said the old operating systems don't offer the kind of capabilities it needs to expand the app's features. Photo: Bloomberg

WhatsApp ends support for old operating systems

Instant messaging service WhatsApp said it has ended support for older operating systems including Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10.

It will also stop support for Nokia S40 by the end of this year and for Android OS 2.3.7 or older systems by the end of February 2020.

The company had previously said it would end support for these operating systems by 2016, but the deadline has been pushed further and further. The app, launched seven years ago, now has over 1.3 billion users.

Many of these operating systems are quite old, and some smartphones running these systems are no longer available in the market.

As such, the development team of WhatsApp may struggle to cope with these older systems, and “these platforms don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future”, it said.

Also, these older operating systems may create some safety issues if their security loopholes are not fixed.

Many handset manufacturers have given up upgrading these systems, and that being the case, it does not make much sense for software developers to continue support for these systems.

I believe other popular software like Facebook and YouTube may take a similar action in the future.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan 3

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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BN/CG

Hong Kong Information Technology Federation honorary chairman

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