Windows Phone 8.1 dies today, as Microsoft officially ends support three years after the platform's final release. It was replaced by Windows 10 Mobile, shortly before Microsoft decided the end was nigh for its smartphone efforts.
WP8.1 was far and away the most competitive version of Windows on smartphones. It was supported on the best hardware (Lumia 930, 1520 and 1020) as well as some excellent entry level devices, and ran smoothly on whichever hardware you happened to choose.
WP8.1 was also more than capable of facing up to concurrent Android and iOS offerings. With many features which arrived somewhat later on other platforms.
At the point where Windows 10 Mobile was introduced and before Microsoft killed its own platform with tough love, WP8.1 had reached new market penetration highs across the world. Most notably in South America and Europe, where it was the second most popular platform in some territories and had broken through the 10% share barrier for the first time.
Microsoft's inability to market the platform in the US, or to gain any traction in markets like Australia, Japan and, most importantly, China; skewed the global market share and perception to a point where Satya Nadella was able to kill the platform without too much outcry.
Still, Windows Phone fans can remember WP8.1 as the high point for the platform. Remembering will soon be all they will be able to do though.