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Microsoft hints at Windows Phone 8.1 on their main website

In less than two weeks, Microsoft is expected to pull the cover off of Windows Phone 8.1. Granted, a lot about the OS update has leaked out in either screenshots, the SDK or even video. Still, there are plenty of little details that need to be filled in, which is why we’re headed to Build on April 2.

Tonight, Microsoft, appears to be testing the announcement. Microsoft’s main Windows Phone site, www.windowsphone.com, has a new Windows Phone 8.1 category near the top. Of course, when you click it you will get an error about the page not being found, so don’t look for any new scoops there.

While this is hardly breaking news, for you Windows Phone fans, this will be that little bit to hold you over until April 2. We’re expecting the Developer Preview to be announced that day too, meaning if you want the beta build of the OS, you can get it that day (later in early summer, we’re expecting the official update with accompanying firmware to be rolled out).

Filed under: interesting, late at night and ‘Is it Christmas yet?’

(Need to know more about Windows Phone 8.1? Check out our comprehensive feature list).

Thanks, Islambek U., for the tip!

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Reader comments

Microsoft hints at Windows Phone 8.1 on their main website

270 Comments

If they wanted to be REALLY impressive, they'd use 8.1 as their opportunity to kill the fragmented release schedule so that ALL Windows Phone 8 devices got 8.1 on the same day. Being on AT&T in the US with a Lumia 1020, I've been blessed to have speedy firmware updates... but imagine how nice it'd be if the type of phone we use and the carrier we're on just didn't matter?

Seeing as we've had months of cock-teasing for an update that is likely even more months away, I feel like they have ample time to organize this.

That would be nice but you have to blame the carriers for that one. Remember that their goal is to make money and if they can do that by holding back updates or removing features from updates (looking at you Aio and internet sharing on the 620) they will. Be glad MS offered us nerds the ability to bypass them somewhat with the developer preview. They clearly want us to have the update but in this case we have a perpetual middleman named ATT, Verizon, and Sprint.

I'm sure MS would LOVE to do that.  In fact, I'd wager they'd love to have a patch Tuesday thing going on with WP, but the carriers and the OEMs are not helps here.  If WP continues to grow, they may be able to begin doing that, but only at a time when carriers NEED WP, not before.  Apple gets away with it because they need Apple.

We also have to realize that the carriers are the ones who will field customer complaints, return issues, etc., if the update goes wrong.  They need time to test the updates on their networks to make sure that customers won't be bombarding their stores with complaints and problems.
 

This is purely a manufactured problem.  I've taken every opportunity to load updates in advanced (e.g., developer program) and I have yet to see an update that had carrier-related problems. 

That's because you installed the beta update man. You're not installing the final one before it's released by the carrier. It's not a Manufacture problem. It's a carrier problem. If it were a manufacture problem then carriers would not have different release dates. In other words. They would all get the release and let it out at the same time. Not Verizon releasing an update,then 3 months later AT&T. They all get the update at the same time. It's up to them to release it to the public.

I believe when he says "purely manufactured problem" he means made up problem and not a problem created by manufacturer.

how do you get it for free - i just got the Lumia Icon, and dont want to wait for Verizon to get the update.

Sign up for MS app studio account (free), install 'Preview for Developers' app and voila! You will have the updates ASAP! But you'd sacrifice your warranty in the process.

You could have got it free by signing into Microsoft app studio with you ms account, it would make it a developer account, or you could have developer unlocked your phone with the windows 8.0 SDK on windows 8 and 7 computers (if you have a windows 7 computer you need to download the iso file of the sdk which microsoft provides, then go through the files in a certain order (open around 4 specific files) and it will be downloaded, look on youtube for instructions on how to do it)

I thought only Facebook got faster? Anyway, I'm still annoyed that Microsoft actually went through with taking out the requirement for the dedicated camera button. iPhone and some Android users will never understand, but once you have the camera button, you can't go back.

These requirements are only really for the low end phones that need to keep costs down as much as possible. I doubt it will affect any high end Lumia.

Which is why I won't be buying it. I love my Ativ S, buy no camera button=no buy for the SE. I have a feeling Nokia/MS will be the only OEM that keeps it, since the don't make Androids as well.

And Samsung doesn't care about it's WP offerings. What have they contributed to the effort to get apps on wp? Nothing, and among current WP OEM's, they honestly should have the most influence on developers due to their huge Android following with the Galaxy line, yet no major contribution has been made from a device perspective (Low-Level only) or developer influencing either.

April 2nd may come soon enough, its the providers like Orange UK that will slow this down till about October. Till then I will just be reading about it, hearing about who hasn't got it yet, and then totally uninterested by the time I get it on my 920 due to having read about the new features a thousand times.
Never mind

Microsoft says you "may lose your warranty untill the next main update is released" so you will only have no warranty when you have updated to a pre release update, but when the carriers release it to everyone else the warranty should come back

As long as you're paying your carrier extra, they could care less as they continue to collect , "Green Backs"

Posted via the WPC app for Windows Phone!

Probably they won't, the Windows Phone Store is labeling apps as compatible with WP8.1 for a while now and they didn't change that, while it's widly known...

I like turtles too! That kid is my hero! It's too bad none of these nerd geeks watch youtube now days. They probably don't know what youtube does now since google blocked the official youtube version in this windows world.

The official YouTube app is irrelevant when WP has amazing alternatives. And, you can also download videos, which official app would not do!

What?? I think it's safe to say most if not all nerds/geeks watch YouTube.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

I always enjoy it cuz I am very attentive when im reading the article, so when I look at the comments, it always surprises me and makes me laugh again. #shamelessconfession #ihatehashtagsbutistilldoit

One hour from now: "oh we're sorry, windows phone 8.1 doesn't exist" --- It will be taken down faster that a cow can moo"

Not surprising. All WP8 Apps on the Windows Phone store are now marked as "works with Windows Phone 8.1" too.

If I get the beta build via the developer app...... will it auto update when the final version is released?

Yes. And judging by the Beta of GDR3, you're not really getting a Beta but the final version. We only got one small update to the Beta of GDR3 which means what they released was pretty much the finished product.

Once they release the "final version" you'll also get it if there's anything different from the "Beta" version. If, like GDR3, there isn't any change, you get only Nokia's firmware update (if there's one this time).

This update is much bigger though obviously, I really wouldn't be surprised if the preview wasn't full featured... But I hope it is.

Not a beta build. This is the exact build they send to the carriers so that the carriers can make useless crippling changes.

Thank you. You seem the only rational person here. I'm surprised Rubino missed this detail. This will be no beta, but the final version released to carriers (in fact they will get it at the same time, the only reason it'll take months to release OTA is due to all their bogus testing n stuff).

Will this update depend on carrier to be instaled or will it be mandatory? I ask this because Iusacell in mexico has not yet approved Amber for crying out loud !

Si usas la aplicación de Preview for Developers, según se rumora, Microsoft liberará la versión 8.1 a los pocos días/semanas después de //BUILD/ :-)

La liberación pública no ocurrirá hasta dentro de meses

---

If you download the Preview for Developers app, it's rumored, Microsoft will release 8.1 a few days/weeks after //BUILD/ :-)

Public release won't happen after several months

Even if you live in Mexico you can still buy American or unlocked. It will save you a lot of money and you will get updates sooner. Mexican prices are outrageous.

Not everybody has access to unlocked devices here in Mexico, let alone have enough knowledge to patch another rom into their cellphone.

I don't think an RT will work. Preferably a PC running 64bit Win8. I did it using 32bit Win7, it was just a bit more of a process.

I don't think that's a very serious answer. Not everyone in the world has access to buying imported, region-specific phones.

Atheists believe relgion DOES not exist. so .. there are others than simply dont care if or if not he exists - those are the ones not be bundled here

Hey, just wanted to know, that even if the preview for developers is out, and we update our phones with Windows 8.1, its not sure that it will work properly, right? The phone may hang and all, right? So what do u think? Its better to wait and let people review the preview, or just go for it?

Haha..
Man, I can't wait to get my hands on 8.1. Will start promoting WP as soon it comes out.. Right now our hardware isn't good enough. Asking someone to go for 720 over Moto g is unethical. 720 is about $50-60 more than the Moto g.. Waiting for some new battery efficient hardware.

But whatever you say, windows is awesome. It has got everything. Almost.
And android sucks now. Its boring. The windows interface is awesome. ;)

Funny thing about this moto g because you, and people like you, hold it up as some kind of shining example and yet it couldn't even rekindle the dying embers that was Motorola.

Quite frankly it is.. Superior h/w at $50 cheaper. I would prefer 720 if its the same price, love SD card and a better camera.. But 720 doesn't deserve $50-60 higher..

Tell me when, I'll hold the door out wide for you. I could even help out by kicking your butt out the door.

You can also see windows phone 8.1 mentioned on store if you check an app. Says works with windows phone 8 and windows phone 8.1

When you submit a app, it now says "Works with Windows Phone 8.1 and 8.0" in the developers hub instead of just 8.0 and/or 7.1 (mango)

Hope it fixes my continuous camera snapshot bug and the lengthy time it takes to open my camera on my 925 I either get too many photo's or lost the moment by the time the camera actually starts

 

This is all very interesting and exciting but as a Vodafone UK customer I know how this song goes.........Microsoft release the update and my useless provider holds it back for weeks, if not months, on the pretence that there internal tech-heads are somehow infinitely better equipped to test, check and alter the OS before us widdle minions get to give it a go......

Lol....good luck with the exam results and make sure you record GOT..........I'm told the next series is going to make the red wedding look tame :-)

Damn I just can't wait for all the WP8.1 features to be officially announced. I hope June comes soon though as that is when it will be released for the general public.

Hey guys, recently few weeks back, I unlocked my Lumia 625 as preview developer unlocked phone. After half an hour it says a new software is ready to get downloaded, can anyone say is it the 8.1 for preview developer? N even if i install it, can i b able to do it when Microsoft releases it officially later on??

Hey, that's GDR3 update. That will give u Lumia black update. But it available officially now. And as said above, the preview for developers for windows 8.1 may launch on 2nd April. (MAY launch. Not confirmed.) but whatever ur update is, its anything but windows 8.1.

One thing is missing,if you have your phone with screenlock on it would be nice to get it of in selected wlan inviroments such as lock of when you are at home work and lock on when it leaves the selected areas ;)

I'm going to do my best to wait for the official update (920 on AT&T).   We will see if I can make it or not.....

I agree with you there Andy.
Though, there is way. You can play other videos or music to remove them from the list. ;)
And i dont remember, but there is a way to clear the playlists. I have done it myself thrice. I will tell u as soon as i remember it.

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