Microsoft testing Windows Phone 8.1 internally

A Chinese developer just caught an interesting record in its server log, saying that a mysterious running Windows Phone OS version 8.10.12166 has downloaded his app. Considering the latest version of Windows Phone that we consumers have direct access to is 8.0.10328.78, the higher version in question has to be Windows Phone 8.1 being tested somewhere inside Microsoft.

Back in June, WMpoweruser reported sighting of Windows Phone version 8.10.12076.0, it's only natural that version number goes up in the past two months. Over the course, the developer of Chinese app Love Wallpaper HD has also caught glimpses of version number 8.10.12073.0, 8.10.12086.0, 8.10.12100.0 and 8.10.12102.0.

It's good to find Redmond hard at work polishing the next major system update. However, there's no word on when the update will come yet. It's widely believed that Windows Phone 8.1 has be postponed to early 2014. And by the pace of things (we are just beginning to get the GDR2 update), that expectation looks very true.

Source: WPDang


Reader comments

Microsoft testing Windows Phone 8.1 internally


If GDR3 is ready to go for phones next month, I would hope they are already working on 8.1. That gives them about a 6 month dev cycle to be announced/released around February 2014, so I'd expect then to show up to MWC 2014 in a big way.

I would assume they have been working on 8.1 since release, most likely different teams within the WP-team working on different parts of the OS. Much of the early work would have been design work together with the W8 team, I assume.

Working at a pharmacy company, I can tell you with out a shadow of a doubt that the company is polishing up the next release now and already began some sort of out look for Windows phone 9. Our customers are using version 11 of our software and I am already hearing buzz about what 13 will have. Our versions change about every 10 months.

Anyone else listened to the X-Files theme song on youtube after reading IceDree's comment, and then read the article again with the song playing on the background? Probably just me..

same on me, I'm from Indonesia, still waiting for it, especially for Lumia 620. While it's quite slow, but I believe it will bring much better update for mine.

The few, the proud, the updated.
Can't believe Verizon of all carriers pushed out my update before so many.
I had already settled on waiting until the last few days of August. Then when I read Nokia saying that they expected everyone to have it by the end of September, I pushed back my expectations even further.
Not to rub it in, but glance and tap to wake is awesome. Its almost like a completely new phone.

Glance is a great new feature but tap to wake has been performing poorly for me on my 822. It's faster to pick the phone up and hit the button than get the double tap right

Glance on my 928 doesn't seem to work well. Sometimes it's extremely sensitive in that I can approach it from directly to the side of it and it will activate and other times it just won't work. And then sometimes when it is activated it will not turn off at all despite my timing settings. I end up having to press the power button to get it off the screen.

What can I say, it was preinstalled on my 925. Made the sacrifice of sticking with my launch-week HD7 worth it.

Depending on your handset, you may get is sooner than the rest of us Pinoys. Unbranded Lumias are still tagged as Coming soon. Consider me annoyed and impatient

I am from the Philippines and I have GDR2 +Lumia Black. Oh, I have updated my phone when I visited Dubai last week.


I see Mr BlurryCam still buys his cameras from the same place bank video get their equipment. lol

Scrolled until I found your comment. Pretty obvious to me. I like seeing version numbers trickle out, but they are commonly faked.

Yup. I guess this kind of news is for normal readers. For software developer like me, it is very obvious MS must have been working on the next version of WP right after 8.0 was out and they may be testing nightly builds every day.

Shouldn't even be news for the normal readers. Anyone remembers the developer device sold with a test-build? This was already few months back. And since I doubt they stopped developing since then... obvious news is obvious.

All you can infer from this is that they have a branch of code under 8.1. This code is practically the same as wp8 and im sure any new projects for wp8.1 are just beginning on the new branch given that gdr3 itself hasn't rtm.

What makes you think work isn't happening on both 8.1 and GDR3 at the same time?  Product teams often have multiple branches with people working on each, especially if one is "sustained engineering" and another is "next release."  The code in an 8.1 branch could have quite a few differences without any impact on GDR3 work.  I'd bet money that this is the case and 8.1's moving right along.  We've previously seen leaks that would indicate it has been in progress for some time.

Ehm, no, you couldn't be more wrong. WP8.1 has been under development since last year. The 8.0 and 8.1 branches are very different at this point, partially incompatible even. WP8.1 will also ship with a new and revised SDK.

Cool....test it....roll it out...oh yeah, NOKIA STOP PUTTING ALL YOUR GOOD PHONES ON AT&T EXCLUSIVELY....THAT SUX FOR EVERYONE ELSE. thank you =)

Is there a wish list of features people want for the 8.1 update- besides notification center? I'd like to hear what people want/think is missing.

Same here. When I found out that I could sign up for the developer program and get the early release of the GDR 3 update, I jumped right on it. I had just upgraded to GDR 2 on ATT (L920). I hope they do the same with WP8.1 I am really curious to see what other features they add.

Check the uservoice page for WP, it's full of wishes/demands.
Really, notification center and general fixes & improvements are all I'm asking for. Maybe some news tile sizes (2x1; 4x1 and 3x2) and theme colors.

3x2? Or maybe the blocks of teris! :) Not bad idea! It will renamed then to metris UI or tetro UI... :D
Btw no gdr2 at greece too... :(

Yup. The basic design and idea behind the OS is great, and doesn't need much in the way of changes. At this point, the main thing is that they need a better way to handle notifications for apps that are not pinned to the start screen and notification history, and a ton of smaller improvements for added usability (such as how NFC works etc).

I just want the notification center. Tiles are good for quick peak but not a replacement for it. I also want some of the voice Bluetooth features that were present in wp7 but missing in wp8! Wtf

Just got GDR2 and it's through Nokia NSU not OAT, GDR2 been talked about for nearly half a year, so 8.1 sth that big probably takes years to come...I guess

Oh word? It is a pretty smart look, good job...better than some other mockups out there, this would look pretty awesome. ;)

You spent a lot of time on that.
Some of it seems a little too "busy", but you can't implement all those features without it either being a little jumbled or so spread out that its hard to find/use stuff.
Very impressive.

I really like the concept because it adds a lot of features which I personally think are needed in Windows Phone but it is still simple and easy to grasp and use. Unlike a lot of other concepts where a lot of desirable features are added but in a way that adds loads of gestures and other things that complicate the OS. It would be awesome if Microsoft implemented some of the features in that way. For example I liked the way there were switches for different things in the notification centre, something which I found extremely useful In my old N8. Keep up the good work!

Yes, there will be a notification center.
No widgets (this isn't Android, that's what live tiles are for).
No 3D tiles (that completely goes against the modern UI).

I just hope the notification center doesn't make you clear everything twice, since it's largely redundant with live tiles. I don't want to read a RSS item so the live tile clears, and still have a notification in the notification center. But I would like to clear the notification center without erasing all the live tile notifications. I also hope it's not an annoying thing you have to keep clearing to not have a cluttered screen like Android's.

Live tiles are not convenient compared to widgets in some cases. Say I want to turn on/off my bluetooth, data, wifi, gps, nfc, etc.
who would want to pin all those settings to your screen? Definitely not me. Widgets are best for these things and that's why we, WP users need it.

Im truly sorry. I shouldn't have said that. I apologize. I removed my comment. Again...im sorry.

So all the devices will be able to get 8.1 or not? As it happens,5,6,7(20) are all having the same specs and 8,9(20,25,28) spec a little higher. What's the word

They need to hurry the fuck up and offer something more than what they offer now. Come on!! It's 2013 going on 2014 and still no new tile colors or freaking custom sms\mms tones... WTH? are we in 2005?

this update is the most awaiting update for more than two years i hope they add as many features as possible


What is that? Notification center? It has been mentioned already that that feature WILL be included...

Microsoft needs to be ahead of the curve in developing Windows features.  It now behind both Android and Apple's iOS7!  The developers need to get loose and management needs to take a break; so that the developers can built instead of going to meetings to decide stuff that takes months to okay!
Hopefully, they will have the ability to save Apps on the micro SD card.  That been a big deal with me!

Wtf is up with this GDR2 update! It is slow as hell and here end of September we'll see the arrival of a 1080p screen phablet? What is it suppose to mean, GDR3 is here?

Yes, but they usually don't come out before the previous update is available for existing (non-abandoned) devices.

Version numbers don't say anything. We had this with webOS too. Someone caught 2.2.6 and 3.0.6 in the server log of his app (after Leo pulled the plug on webOS) but a few months later internal team members of webOS said they weren't testing anything since Leo pulled the plug and we even got real evidence of the fact that 2.2.6/3.0.6 didn't exist.
So I don't trust these kind of OS version numbers anymore. You'll never know if they are fake or not.

I still haven't got gdr2 or amber on my lumia 920 tmobile uk so I'm not going to hold my breath for this.

Ummm didn't we know this when the one guy bought a lost 8.1 phone on eBay and posted pics on reddit?

My lumia 820 vodadone whith GDR2 and amber update. Its fine.
I want big lumia whith 5inch full hd. Im from Portugal.

Yawn, till we know the feature set or when it will be released, it's just a number (that is all you know, a posable build number).
Cool MS is testing but, if they are all in with Windows Phone (as they seem to be) people would be dumb thinking that they are not trying new features and testing the update already in a closed ahpha beta.
Seriously, I wish I could get into that beta program....

i wouldn't be surprised if they axed the GDR3 and replace it with 8.1 by the end of the year (if it passes its testing phase that is).  

Too slow of a release schedule. The competition is not only more established, but their OS update schedule is significantly faster. Both in major and minor updates.

I am noticing that the GDR2 rollout is being hampered by some really lame telcos. This doesn't happen to iOS and even Android seems to be more delayed by manufacturers than telcos on releases.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn there was a backroom deal to delay WP8 updates just to frustrate MS,users.

I don't see how Windows Phone will survive with wore polish, slower updates and the lack of developers.

They're probably going to release it around the same time android releases key lime pie.

Seems like WP8.1 will have major UI changes - if the new Bing apps, Facebook app etc are any indication. The oversized headers that took up 1/3rd of screen will be gone, replaced by the much smaller bars like the bing apps. It is simple and I like it better, plus it utilizes screen space much better. can't wait.

Microsoft testing WP8.1 is not a surprise news here.  For sure they are testing it, they are the one developing it.  I guess there are already starting to develope for 8.2 or 8.3.  Maybe there already some brainstorming sessions for WP9.