We are announcing that as of November 17, 2022, Windows Phone SE has been archived.

Why now?

The Stack Exchange network is a lot like a neighborhood. Each individual site makes up a house in that neighborhood. Some houses are quite large, and others are a bit smaller. Each house has different kinds of people in them, doing their best to keep things running smoothly.

As we all know, neighborhoods change. After a discussion between the Community team and the last elected mods, it was clear that the Stack Exchange Neighborhood would change. In other words, we jointly decided to archive the site. This decision was made because the last security update to the Windows Phone OS was in January 2020, and it's been some time since a Windows phone was manufactured. In addition, Microsoft made it clear that they would no longer support the technology and that no effort to open-source it would be made. Naturally, user activity on the site has declined as a result. With all the above in mind, it became clear that this decision was needed.

What about the content?

Earlier this year, we were approached by the moderators from the site, who pointed out that we needed to figure out what to do with the content on the Windows Phone Stack Exchange site. So we were left to either migrate the content to a different site – if one felt like a natural fit and there was consensus between both communities – or archive it on Area51. Either of these options would ensure that the content still remained accessible to anyone interested.

Much of the content fell under general troubleshooting, rather than meaningful content about the phone or its operating system. With that in mind, it didn’t make sense to us to push it to a different site for them to handle, especially for content that wouldn’t get much interaction.

If you are interested in viewing the content, you can find the Archive link on Area 51 here.

Final Thoughts

We want to thank everyone who participated on the Windows Phone site for your contribution to the superb 10-year history of the site. Special thanks to the last elected moderators, Indrek and Rowland Shaw, for their input in helping us make this decision.

If you have a memory about your experience with Windows Phone that you would like to share or a great Windows Phone meme, this is the place to share it.

  • 61
    You could merge it with the Zune SE. Wait…
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 15:51
  • 26
    @JonCuster I had a Zune! Loved that thing. Preferred its UI to the iPod at the time.
    – SpencerG StaffMod
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 15:57
  • 4
    Spring cleaning! (In the Southern Hemisphere.). Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 15:58
  • 17
    Is this the first SE site to... run out? expire? Graduate-for-the-second-time? go-obsolete? "be archived" doesn't feel like the right phrase, that's what happened to the content. At the risk of sounding harsh, is "the site died of old age" acceptable?
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 0:14
  • 36
    Can you elaborate on why it's only available on Area 51? Wouldn't it be more useful to have left the site up on its current domain, just restricted the ability to post new content, edit existing content, sign up - effectively put the whole site into a readonly mode? It seems like that would make the content discoverable to anyone still interested in it. This seems like a poor precedent for future sites that may close if they are relegated to an archive on Area 51. Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 3:10
  • 7
    @ThomasOwens meta.stackexchange.com/a/359700/377214 Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 5:38
  • 17
    Windows Phoned Home
    – Luuklag
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 5:51
  • 35
    I have buried all my Windows Phones in a waterproof box for archeologists to discover in a thousand years. They all still work, so I've also included a parchment map leading to an additional buried box containing a great secret treasure... the power cords. Now, if they happen to discover the box with the power cords first, a great mystery will begin to unfold... Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 7:09
  • 4
  • 5
    @Criggie Yes, this is the first site that has graduated to be shut down. Dying of old age would be one way to frame it.
    – SpencerG StaffMod
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 13:43
  • 8
    @ThomasOwens A read-only state was something we considered, but Animusion's answer still applies. That being said, I would not say that Windows Phone's fate will be shared by any other site as a guarantee. Question migration is always a possibility, which was considered in this case.
    – SpencerG StaffMod
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 13:48
  • 13
    Wait, there was a Windows Phone SE?
    – CodeCaster
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 22:21
  • 3
    @CodeCaster Scroll to the bottom of this list and you might find several that most SE-ers haven't heard of. Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 12:25
  • 4
    @SpencerG can the Windows Phone SE be made into an static site? I mean just pure HTML. If so I think I may be able to host it away from other SE sites. freeing resources to more active sites. Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 13:15
  • 3
    The data dump is now available on the proposal page as well as through this link: cdn.sstatic.net/area51/datadumps/112022%20Windows%20Phone.zip
    – Kyle Pollard StaffMod
    Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 23:16

8 Answers 8


I felt a great disturbance on the network, as if millions of smartphones suddenly rang out and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

  • 28
    Meta. Meta has awaken. Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 14:37
  • 61
    Millions = Actually nobody. Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 16:16
  • 15
    Millions? Maybe 2. Am tempted to edit :D Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 0:08
  • 7
    It is bad to having to explain the reference, but it seems that a few people here don't know who was Obi-Wan Kenobi. Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 4:11
  • 7
    "great disturbance in the network"
    – DialFrost
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 4:12
  • 35
    @VictorStafusa-FORABOZO well, that's a name some people have not heard in a very long time... Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 4:44
  • 3
    For zoomers, here's the origin: youtube.com/watch?v=EKu7TYWNxqA Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 9:17
  • That.. is why you fail
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 12:43
  • 3
    @JourneymanGeek Smartphones is also questionable. Should probably be edited to just "phones" :p Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 15:42


If you ever feel stupid just remember in 2010 Microsoft held a funeral for the iPhone after launching the windows phone 7


  • 62
    Well, now that didn't age well. Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 7:10
  • 12
    I had a Windows phone in maybe 2013 or so - company bought them for everyone at £650 each. Mainly what it did was mean everyone had to carry two phones, one for the single company app & a 'proper' one. A year later they'd got the app on iOS & Droid. They said do what you like with the Win phone. I sold mine for… £24.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 9:04
  • 1
    @Tetsujin I'm curious... if you sold that same Windows Phone now, how much would you get for it (assuming you could find a buyer)? Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 20:33
  • 2
    Ballmer era MS was something else.
    – user
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 21:20
  • @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket How would the guy selling scrap metal in the junk yard would pay for that? Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 19:16
  • 11
    Here's the actual original tweet this iFunny post was a screenshot of. And here's an article from 2010 with more photos and context about it: Microsoft workers celebrated Windows Phone 7 RTM with iPhone hearses.
    – V2Blast
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 22:06

The Area 51 (Stack Exchange site) site says:

closed after 3857 days in beta

But Windows Phone was not in beta. It was a graduated site.

  • 38
    This is correct, it's not ideal. We are looking to create an "Archived" state that better reflects its tenure as a site.
    – SpencerG StaffMod
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 13:29
  • 5
    @SpencerG How about calling as "Dead"? Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 19:20
  • 2
    @VictorStafusa-FORABOZO not unless you want to be stapled with an "M" ESRB rating :) Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 9:22
  • 1
    @SpencerG any updates on this?
    – M--
    Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 17:55

It wasn't all about failure...

Police officer avoids bullet thanks to the Nokia Lumia 520 in his pocket. (Link goes to PCMag article.)


A huge thanks to the contributors and the moderators who kept this site going this long.

The site did help me a lot during my Windows Phone days particularly towards the last years where there were not many places where you could get help on Windows mobile.


Well - In the case of windows phone I suspect no one particularly cared but couple of things for the (hopefully rare!) future instances of this happening:

  • Could we have one last spam cleanup before the site is archived? While SE has very robust systems for this, some slips through

  • In addition to the A51 archives, would a archive.org or similar copy of the site when it was in operation be possible?

  • What's the status of the site in data dumps and SEDE ? - will it simply cease to be and what's the period between sunsetting the site proper and removal from data query tools?

  • 9
    Yep, I wish they would simply move the archived sites to a static copy on a non-SE domain, but still keep them live. I've read the whole meta.stackexchange.com/a/359700 thing and I understand concerns for the SE brand reputation, but I think those can be solved by a non-SE domain, so windowsphone.stackexchange.comwindowsphone.archivedexchange.com and that's it Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 8:16
  • 2
    SEDE refreshed today and Windows Phone is still there.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 12:46
  • Closed sites have always had to be manually removed from SEDE in a separate process. (cc @Glorfindel) Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 22:25

It would be preferable to freeze the website (= keep it online but make it read-only) instead of only archiving it. Upsides of freezing the website:

  1. Much easier to browse than the archive.

  2. Avoid dead links.

  • 2
    Well one major issue I can predict is people complaining about wrong/outdated posts and asking to edit them. Another issue is spam users being created just to flood Users page with spam. And surely more things. Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 5:27
  • 4
    @ShadowTheKidWizard how do you spam a read-only website? For the outdated issue, just add a warning. Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 5:28
  • I mean only the users page, so people going to see the users are greeted with spam/NSFW even in the names. For example here they already have couple of spammers called spammers (result of mods renaming spammers), few Chinese spam, and plumber. So imagine that page, full with NSFW names instead, and there's no mod to handle it. Nothing major, that's why I brought it as the second example, but still - a problem that will eventually require staff time to solve. Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 5:45
  • @ShadowTheKidWizard I see. Maybe user pages could be frozen as well? Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 6:27
  • Maybe, but again, this means extra time from developers. Anyhow, this is something worthy of actual feature request, where it might get better feedback. Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 6:51
  • 4
    @ShadowTheKidWizard When a site is placed in read-only mode during periods of maintenance, it becomes impossible to create a new profile on them (or sign into an existing profile), so your issue is moot. Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 9:37
  • @Sonic huh, that's good to know. But my main concern is still valid, people will complain about outdated info. Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 10:22
  • 1
    @ShadowTheKidWizard just add a warning. Better than removing all the info created by years of human time. Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 4:50
  • 1
    The info is still there, archived, but yeah, needs non trivial efforts to actually read. Essentially I agree with you here and upvoted, but playing devil's advocate to explain why it's not going to happen. Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 6:28
  • That said, a solid feature request might be for SE to add "Archive Reader" on Area51, some external tool that will make reading archives easier, e.g. you upload an archive and get the posts in a table, or something like SEDE. Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 6:30

In a past life, I was a Microsoft MVP for Windows Phone.

I still admire the strengths of the OS and the Nokia designed hardware even now - iris recognition, live tiles.

I remember, with a bit of a shudder, Windows Phones being prominently used in Hawaii Five-O, where the actors would pause mid-chase to share plot-related hints and tips about the OS before continuing to chase down the bad guys.

  • 2
    I've seen some clips of the very blatant Subway promotions in Hawaii Five-O (in fact, that's all I've seen of the show)... so that sounds about right.
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 16:56

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