Preview for Developers

So far, the Preview for Developers program with Windows Phone 8.1 is going very well for Microsoft and those interested in getting an early look at the next OS. The preview, however, is not completely optimized for individual devices, and they still need new firmware to be complete. Once “official” updates rollout with OEM firmware, we expect things to be even better for consumers.

Still, Microsoft is in a ‘pay attention to the customer’ mode, reacting very quickly to user feedback. That’s why we’re excited to hear, at least via Microsoft’s Community forums, that an update to the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview will be forthcoming.

The news comes from moderator ‘Eli A.’ who gave a fairly concise response on the matter noting:

“The notification has stopped for all devices that have not yet taken the first update, however, those that have taken the first update and are waiting for the second update to the current 8.1 build will continue to occur.”

“We will continue to work on getting you this update but it will not be as fast as you would like.  I know a lot of you would like a better timeline on when it will be available, and at this time I cannot commit to a date.  I will, however, commit to updating you next Thursday April 24th, 2014 with any additional news.  If I have any news or details before then, I will of course update you at that time.”

We should caution, however, that although Eli speaks for Microsoft in the forums, it’s not necessarily official or guaranteed. The situation is very much in motion, so things are likely to change. However, it is a good sign and we'll revisit the matter next Thursday.

What for?

One error we’ve heard about is ‘80188309’, which prevents a handful of users from actually installing the 8.1 Preview. This error spans over numerous devices, and it has affected only a small handful of users who receive the first update, but not the second OS update for the actual 8.1 OS. (The Preview installs two updates, with the second failing for some users).

The OS is already feature-locked so there will no new additions, just under the hood fixes or tweaks. It's also not clear if this will be a new build of the OS, or just a fix for devices experiencing the 80188309 error.

But when?

If you're experiencing the 80188309 error, you definitely should not start hammering Microsoft’s servers with update requests. As noted in the Microsoft Community forums, this update is not due today, this weekend or probably even next week. Microsoft will likely take some time to amalgamate data and feedback before acting on an OS update to 8.1, prior to commercialization.

As mentioned above, it's also not clear if current users of the 8.1 Preview will get an update.

General availability of Windows Phone 8.1

We’ve heard from a few sources that Windows Phone 8.1 general availability will begin May 31, which is when we expect to see the rollout of the official update commence. It will, however, be the usual weeks to months before carriers approve the update and begin pushing it out. Because of that, we're likely to see official OEM 8.1 updates with new firmware throughout June, July and August.

Source: Microsoft Community Forums; Thanks, Mohammad D., for the tip