Windows Phone 8.1 core has finished today

Late breaking story but we have confirmation that Windows Phone 8.1 has finalized today, at least for the Core team. That’s still not technically a 'Release to Manufacturers' (RTM) because the Consumer Experience (​CXE) team still needs to work out a few bugs. That will happen over the next couple of weeks before it is shipped to OEMs to put on new devices.

Microsoft is expected to unveil Windows Phone 8.1 next week during Build, where we will bring you the latest coverage live. The Developer Preview release though has been delayed by about a week from the original plan. Still, developers in attendance are expected to get a surprise or two to take home.

From Windows Phone Central to the Windows Phone team, congratulations!


Reader comments

Windows Phone 8.1 core has finished today



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Its not a touch phone right? It is no touch screen technology what Microsoft had confirmed with fine cutting edge technology

I don't think there are any leaked screenshots, but if I had to guess I'd say on AT&T, unless Microsoft pulled some pseudo-post-deal magic to get it on Verizon and AT&T. Verizon has the Icon though, so having it on only AT&T wouldn't really be that bad.

If it's on AT&T, then it will have half the memory, no wireless charging, no SD card slot, who knows, maybe even half the cores.

I am on unlimited with at&t and I never get throttled to the point of not being able to stream anything. You're exaggerating.

I would have said the same three days ago; I went over the limit and I cannot stream anything without intermittent choppiness as it tries to keep the buffer up.

read what? Settings->Theme->Background

choice 1: Dark also known as black.

choice 2: Light. also known as white.

I know they said WP supports backgrounds on tiles but so far there is no reason to think you will not be staring at 100% contrast everywhere, which BTW, for the record, it's a mode in windows for disabilities which makes your eyes hurt. just saying MSFT. Just saying.

You people complaining about AT&T should try to look at other US carriers. AT&T gets most of Nokia's phones and exclusives including the 1020 and 1520, meanwhile carriers like Verizon have only gotten 3 Nokias since the release of WP8 (822, 928, Icon). All of which are redesigned Lumias that are "hobbled" in their own way, including minimum color choices, i.e., black & white.

I prefer to look abroad, where I always buy my devices; plenty of choices and no carriers interferences.....

I hope for an international version also. I have invested in wireless charging, don't want to return to plug in only or PMA

You people complaining about US carriers should look at your Windows Phone market share and be glad you get anything exclusive at all

Lol !
Daniel i hope you didn't mean "a surprise or two" literally ? You and other attendees would be getting a full fledged show of the changes right ? So we'd have official videos of ie11, cortana and action centre being shown by the ms people on 2 April right ?

Yep, you can tell by the alignment and size of the capacitive buttons and the shadow of the phone (no slope because of a camera module).

That circle is the AT&T (a US carrier) logo. Carriers in the US are so vain that they feel the need to soil devices with their brandings.

Mary Jo Foley of Zdnet fame noted that the HTC 8X would get the 3rd column so I'm guessing that 4.5" and larger will get 3 columns.

I would never enable 3rd column on the 8X. I carry that as my personal but get the latest through work so I'll know if I like it without spending my hard earned cash first. I can honestly tell you that after using the icon, I will never buy a phone with a screen under 5"...my 8X feels & looks so cheap now. It looks petit and the keyboard, text, is so tiny!

Anyway, it surely is on 8.1, though Daniel didn't mention that he's got a running piece ever. Strange..
It has got a cortana tile (seriously ? I though cortana would run by the search button ?), WiFi icon is to the left, and those tiles' backgrounds look...original by ms, not skinnery... Though as someone mentioned here, a parallax option in the tiles would be MIND BLOWING !
And they should've atleast allowed the music tile to take the accent/background image, still green :(

I HAD seen all videos, but i had presumed that those were old builds when they had made a tile for it just for testing convenience.. Just like a tile for action center... which shouldn't be there now because they have made a gesture for that. Maybe this pic is an old build too.

 I see no reason why we should not get the 3rd row of tiles


I see no reason why windows phone has to use freaking 72point fonts in 400dpi screens, and offer anything that is not eye searing black on white or the reverse for text. but MSFT has never let such matters bother it. 

It's a 1520, front camera top left. 1020 has it top right.
And I'm happy my 1020 only has NOKIA top center and no other branding :)

He tweeted that it would be delayed, and says the same thing in the article. Developer preview pushed back by about a week.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Really?!?!?! WPC app for android!?!?! Lol when I had an android device I wouldn't comment so that people here know I wasn't using a WP device. Lol

I have a nexus 5 and a nexus 7 ( which I use at home most of the time ) along with my 1020. I think this the first time anyone has said anything, but I comment most often from the android app.

LOL so true. It's not that the last bug was fixed, but the last stop-ship bug. There will always be other bugs. :)

I once wrote a "Hello world" app in HTML. I found a bug, created a ticket in the tracker, fixed the bug, and closed the ticket to release version 1.0. Never seen a bug after that. It felt awesome!

I feel so nerdy that I'm so excited about next Tuesday. Is it bad that I'm leaning towards using a sick day?

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

After knowing that Developer Preview is delayed, all my excitement seems to have died a rapid death. What is the point of showing me candies and then asking me to sleep without even licking one?

Is that an actual screenshot of WP8.1, a mock-up or some Skinery magic? It looks gorgeous. I just really hope that the background stays static behind the tiles or at least has a parallax effect with the tiles. It would really put the "windows" in "Windows phone."

Is just the Daniel's phone. Didnt you think that Daniel Rubino isnt not using WP8.1 for sometime now?? He and another one key persons...

He isn't, and if he is, I think he is smart enough to not publish pictures of an official Windows Phone 8.1 build, as Microsoft could get very angry. They would have find out how to find Daniel vest enough.

And it has the Cortana tile! Of course it's 8.1. I would guess there's a press embargo on talking about it in detail.

It looks real to me. Notice the new Store tile icon. We haven't seen that before in any of the leaks. It now matches the Windows 8.1 tile :)

It's a mock-up. Look at the bottom of the screen, the tile is cutten but the screen doesn't end (I'm holding a Lumia 1520 in my hands right now.. The screen is larger)

looks like a punch card. Punchcard Phone 8 may resurect sales given as how Azure can't run any faster away from the windows-tanic name.

People said the same thing about the "beta" of Update 3 that was launched through the development preview, that same build, turned out to be a stable one as it was pushed by Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Huawei to their Windows Phone devices.

It is NOT a beta, when will people stop saying false stuff like this. It is the final RTM version that we'll get in a couple weeks. The fact that carriers don't release it OTA yet has nothing to do with the status of this build. Such #ignorance...

And I was the guy who asked Daniel that just yesterday. :)

So, everyone in BUILD will receive a mini W8.1 device (Surface Mini)? and a WP8.1 device (Lumia 630 of course)??

I think it is more like one month now.  At least that was the case with Windows 8.1.

So it's not hard to see them giving out a special dev build WP8.1 phone pre-loaded with beta software and then allows them to download the full RTM a week later.  I mean wasn't this the case with the original dev build 920 given out at events which was shipped with special dev firmware?

Can't be, as UI design would have been finalized months before the actual product RTMs... maybe something about the user experience, kind of like OOBE (out of box experience)?

it's the group of guys that you know, let you pick 20 colors because you can't blend your own, the guys that thought hitting search winting an app means exiting the app and using the cursed bing thing, and the guys that think your finger is transparent when you're trying to highlight text in WP. you know, fine folks who I suspect are just running a big inside joke at MSFT to see if management lets them release such things. Ah and the guys that when the dissapearing keyboard bug and the storage bug happened, basically did nothing for months.

CXE is Customer Experience Engineering. They used to be called Sustained Engineering. Basically it's the team responsible for maintaining Windows Phone 8.1 after it has been released. The development team will move on to the next major version. CXE have to sign off that they are ready to take over the product - they don't have to 'work out a few bugs' as the article says.


I do worry about this handover. Microsoft needs to get into a rhythm of delivering smaller, real features, more regularly. The product development team needs to be far more involved in doing the updates - all the updates to Windows Phone 8 came out of CXE while the WP team were spending ages on WP 8.1 (hence the frequent questions of 'what the heck are the WP team doing? Why does it feel like one intern is working on WP8 updates?' Well, now you know). Of course, that can be handled by a different division of responsibilities: CXE being responsible only for critical fixes, and the WP team to produce new features, delivering maybe two to four times per year.

Fair criticism on "what the heck are the WP tema doing?". However, remember that this is the last remnant of the Synofski era organization where the WP chaps were treated like the bastard child to be ridiculed. Fast forward a year and you find that all those W8 people were kicked out and it's now WP people running all windows versions.

WP people just became the face of Windows, for desktop/tablet/phone. WP8.1 was their last release as the bastardized team that was ignored despite its incredible wins, as a result of them not getting 8.1 bits until very late in the game when it was mostly ready this past October. That, plus the alignment of all windows versions is why WP8.1 was so delayed. From now on, expect Windows releases on ALL platforms to be pretty much in sync: expect Windows 9 in April 2015 and WP9 probably around that time too.

basically that has been the way I've heard it described. but I have two main concerns:

1) the WP team basically have basically proven to be completely unable to produce a competitive mobile OS that can gather marketshare away from android at any singnificant rate. And now they are in charge of windows which is also basically unable to unsteat android. So, color me skeptical but if the WP guys basically lost this fight, nothing they have done so far tells me they stand a chance. WP 8.1 is barrely matching android. Win 8.1 and 8.1u1 are basically backpedaling as Gartner puts win8 tablet share at 2% and WP at what? 3%?

2) WP 8.1 is playing the same tactic as WP 7, WP 7.5, WP8.0. When are they going to really admit they've lost and it is time to change gears? Try some of the crazy ideas like running android apps, giving away the OS, letting OEMs mess with it, heck let users put 3 freaking rows of tiles even if they don't have 1080p screens. At this point they are just going to try again and lose again. I guess no surprise since Terry Mayerson still calling the shots. Doesn't MSFT have a guy to put in place of this character that after 3 years has nevever beaten anybody other than sinking BB?

3)  1 year between update is too slow. Sorry. That is something apple can do. That is something google can do. When you're #3, and #3 by a distance of the size of texas you have to, dare I say, be better? is that a word in MSFT? better as in: we'll beat you not just match you. I suspect not.


Very interesting point of view.  Seems you have some deep knowledge into how things work at MSFT.  I think about this from a customer perspective, but I really like MSFT and want to stick with them. 

I do agree however that the one major advantage they managed to do is to create a system that's more 'fluid' than Android.  But Google doesn't care because 1) OEMs throw hardware and over-buffer their hardware to compete, and 2) users are very content with the customization they can do. 3) They're improving so fast from one realease to the other and Android is becoming more and more fluid.

I wrote something similar to answer the question "will you use Chrome on WP8?".  I wouldn't like to use Chrome until there's support for other apps (that's me being a MSFT fan and trying to lobby on MSFT's behalf, as a tiny little customer) but I also see no alternatives being developed to even match Google's services. Only exception is OneDrive. Everything else, MSFT is having hard time catching up. What happened to Skype? Why can't I drop Google Voice and port my number to Skype? What happened to Outlook? Why can't the email interface be better than Gmail? What happened to letting people customize their experience? Isn't that what PC is all about? I'm Glad Nokia is there to fill some gaps with many of the apps they produce.

I'm really hoping things will change this year and we'll see more user choice and not only better apps, but WOW apps that aren't simply cathing up, but leading.

everything is public record. no insider access needed to know how badly WP has faired in the market and who was in charge: Joe Belfiore and Terry Mayerson. The rest is as you describe. MSFT just moves too slow because it is used to leading not competing. I'm a big fan of the Gates era, you know, when the mere rumor of MSFT entering a market would make competitors pull out. Today, MSFT entering a market is basically signaling it has been saturated and a great chance to mock them. I'm with you in the change part. I'm just not sure leaving Belfiore and Mayerson in charge will lead to different results than Belfiore and Mayerson have delivered so far. Let the numbers do the talking. Those guys need to retire to some lake estate in washington and let people hungry for victory take over.

To answer your points:

1) WP team is not the same now and 2 years ago. Until a few months ago, they were the bastard child, they were given no access to any "big" windows bits until it was RTM. This alone pushed them back months (even years) in development. Also, the WP team has done AMAZING things technically that haven't translated in amazing things for users because they've done what they could facing constant managing dismissal. For example: they released WP7 with all its heavy base of .NET. Then the windows team said, screw it, creates winRT and the WP team is forced to change EVERYTHING. The fact they released WP8 in such a relatively short time and make it such a stable and solid release is impressive. Since the Windows team ignored all the advice from the WP team, for 8.1 the WP team had to fix much of what the Windows team screwed up in Win8. By this time, the WP team was in control of the windows team, they were the ones who basically directed Win8.1 and its future direction. Now, after years of being dismissed, the WP team is in control of all Windows teams, basically running the show. You cannot compare what they were able to achieve when they were laughed at and what they'll achieve now that they have full power. If anything, the fact that they created such a solid system (even if it didn't sell well, cos their marketing money was a joke) despite all the obstacles is admirable. I have full faith that now that they run the show they'll be able to do amazing things. Some of this is already visible, in fact major websites recently have commented how impressive the WP 8.1 leaks have been, saying it's only 8.1 in name for cohesion with Windows 8.1, but it should really be called WP9.

2) WP hasn't lost squat. Is it the market leader? No, but neither is the iPhone and you surely wouldn't suggest they should drop out of the market. WP is #2 in many international markets at this point, so it really depends on what market you're talking about. Yes, they need to do better, but they're certainly not doing so badly that dropping out should be considered. The fact that they are still in the market and they're gaining marketshare continuously should keep you pretty confident, as WP is gaining marketshare while Apple is losing it in some markets. It's not all black or white. Again, you can't blame Myerson for what little he has accomplished while being squashed by a tyrannical Windows team. Judge him for what he is doing now that he's in control: WP8.1 is shaping to be an amazing update and pay special attention to Windows/WP9, that's the release he'll be directing and that's when you'll see what the former WP team can do when given the chance.

3) Absolutely agreed, the big update delay has been really annoying. However, there have been 3 quite marked updates throughout the year, so you can't imply there hasn't been anything. However, this delay was brought, again, because Synofki's Windows team shared nothing with the WP team, so they were pushed back months. Even then, when Microsoft decided to unify all 3 windows versions (x86/ARM/WP) into a single core that's adaptable per device, the WP8.1 that should've been released last fall slipped to this spring to incorporate further changes. So, at least, WP8.1 is now the most advanced windows version, which you can notice because Windows has an Update 1 to bring it up to par with WP8.1. Now they'll be 77% "fused", with Windows 9 being the 100% unification. It has been a messy process, for sure, but all the pieces are now in place. Now they just need to execute: 2014 and specially the path to Windows 9 / WP9 is the most exciting time for Microsoft followers since their inception.

How will all this play out? That's anybody's guess, but you can't blame them for not giving it their best shot. I for one remain confident and if they end up failing, I'll have no problem switching back to Android on a Nexus device.

Awesome take. I don't doubt their engineers. There is a lot of truth to your points that they were marginalized under Steven S. However I'm not sure I can blame Sinofsky for the low OEM adoption. The complains are valid IMO for android OEMs basically want a free OS, and want an OS that lets them make devices that look distinct. Huawei just said so, and we've heard hints of this from many OEMs frustrated with the policies straight from Redmond. MSFT considering free licensing in india and reduced fees elsewhere demonstrates that google, basically ensure no company can ever charge for a mobile OS. WP's leadership should have faced reality sooner. I think they are still on denial with windows 8 even as Gartner says it has reached 2% share in tablets which by all measures, it is a disaster given it was supposed cut android off from repeating history. But that is another story.

I will also point out that the WP team made some stupid decisions. for example, they refused to support C++ from day one meaning a ton of games couldn't possibly get ported for the C#/Silverlight framework they used neither mapped in a friendly way to cpp devs, nor did it offer the performance. They failed to support newer hardware shipping WP with 800x640 resolution as android was shipping 720p and then lacking the support for multi-core processors because they picked, incorrectly the CE core instead of the NT core. And later, even as windows XP could support basically any resolution, WP took all the way to GDR3 to support basically 1080? WTH, it's windows NT under the hood, since when has it been resolution dependent? Did I mention they picked silverlight? This felt like a cheap attempt to take marketshare from flash for silverlight had been flopping for quite sometime. We had WPF and WPF was more developed, I still think it kicks the lights out of winRT in many ways. So when Steven S basically killed SL, I think he was right.

So yeah, they are victims of the Tirant but at the same time, I wouldn't use the WP team as the shining example of MSFT's leadership.  

I think we both can agree all that stuff is in the past and that it is time to sink or swim. While you may not think WP should be discarted, I'm not sure Satya is as protective of windows as Ballmer. After all, tomorrow he is basically sending a message to the win8 team: office will be on the platform that matters most first: not yours. I'm sure if I was the folks in charge of win8, I would see this as the man's patience is running out.

Awesome, and congratulations to the team! Can't wait to see what surprises they have for us BUILD attendees. Hoping to spend the evening playing with WP8.1. :)

If average users aren't on Dev Preview, then yes, it will be 3 years from Oct 2012 before they get this update.

Well, we dont' know that yet, have hope. Also nothing is stopping any average users reading here to enroll in a free dev preview program and get it in april instead of complaining about 20 years

Microsoft releases the update to all people at once. OEMs and carriers delay. You can't blame Microsoft if Nokia takes 5 months to add Glance and Beamer to Lumia 820.

My sister's HTC Windows Phone 8S got the GDR3 update in November. Officially, without developer preview app.

The big difference now is that EVERYBODY can be on the "dev preview" program (aka - we call it dev preview but it's just free for anybody who wants to update early, yet it's the only way for carriers not to be mad at us). So, your 3 year timeline doesn't apply.

It is actually 1.5 years. October 29, 2012 to April/May 2014?

Hopefully there will be no more Nokia to mess with updates after April. That way all Lumias can get the update in May itself, normal channel (not the developer)

Three years a bit harsh, but understandable. I feel the time of 8.1 in alignment with Windows 8.1 is right and will move along at a better pace since this will be a massive overhaul to the OS

I'm assuming they are talking since WP7. That's my take. Which is why I said that was harsh but understandable because this will vastly change WP from its beginning. 7 to 8 had some significant changes but this is massive to the entire core of WP.


Do you even remember WP7.0? Windows Phone 8.1 is no bigger an update than 7.1 was.

Before Windows Phone 7.1 Mango, there was no multitasking - long pressing back didn't do anything, no background agents, no resume support (apps used to restart everytime you press Start and tap again), not even push notifications, it had a custom browser combining Internet Explorer 7 and 8, no Twitter integration, no hardware acceleration, no OTA podcasts, only one tile for every app, no motion sensors or gyroscopes allowed, no custom ringtones, no Battery Saver, apps could not play music in background, no support for hidden Wi-Fi networks, no single track repeat in Music+Videos, no emoticons, no option to "auto-fix" pictures, no full screen scaling of videos, no current tab/new tab setting - always replaced current tab, the shutdown screen was very dumb, no Xbox Live integration properly, no Recent section in games Hub, Pictures app tile was not animated, no threaded messaging or linked email boxes, NFC, Bing services, SmartDJ or even a camera shutter sound, to name a few out of the hundreds.

Windows Phone 7 was not even an OS before WP7.1 (7.5) :P

Implying that huge update thing HAS happened before in WP history.

Lol you typed all this for nothing. What part of significant changes from. 7 to 8 was not understood? I kept it dumb down without needing to type a paragraph. For someone who is talking about about three years in my mind is talking about WP 7. So from THAT to 8.1 is yes massive overhaul to the core. We are not talking about 8 to 8.1. There is a huge change since 7.

That's great news. Lets hope the bugs are resolved as soon as possible. We are just a week away from BUILD 2014. Can't wait for it, 1 week would seem really long from today. :)

Believe me guys, It's better to have a delayed working product than a early released bricking OS. They are just trying to make sure your phones will survive the change from 8.0 to 8.1. By the way 90% of us (me included) are not developers and MS is not asking for proof of that. We should not even have a chance to touch this... but we are so I think a week or two will not be a big deal. Will it?

Right delay happens many times. Even the ios was delayed for about 1 month. Android phones are still waiting for their kitkat update. So its obvious we can wait for better compatibility

OF COURSE we should have every right to have this release. Dev Preview is NOT A DEV PREVIEW! Jeez the ignorance here is rampant. Dev Preview is NOT a preview because it's not unfinished software but finalized RTM builds, the ones that go to consumers. They just call it Dev Preview because otherwise carriers will get mega mad at Microsoft for not letting them control the OTA updates. This way, carriers are happy because it seems like they're in control, while whoever wants timely updates can get a FREE Windows Phone App Studio account (takes 1 minute) and enter the so called "dev preview" program.

Just checked the "dev preview" and corresponding issues that have been logged, seems like installing this can cause some series issues that require expert advice to resolve.


On this basis is it correct to recommend this as an option to Mr Joe Public? Your response would be highly appreciated.

Your question has 2 points that need to be cleared up:

a) ANY product/firmware update is risky. ALL of them. Even the ones that come OTA from your carrier. IT is an inherently risky operation since you basically flash the phone's ROM memory. In principle everything should go fine... but this can't be %100 guaranteed. Because of this...

b)... the dev preview is no better/worse than the carrier OTA. In fact, the dev preview is the EXACT same build you'll get from the carrier. The only difference is the carrier might make some adjustments to their network or add some firmware bits (you don't get firmware bits through the dev preview, just the newest RTM OS version). That said, the dev preview name is very misleading (surely how carriers wanted it) because it suggests some sort of pre-access, as in pre-finished, as in beta. This is %100 NOT the case: the versions you are getting are fully finalized (well, until the next update, no software is ever really final).

Therefore, having those 2 points into account, you can conclude that installing the dev preview builds is no different than waiting for the carrier. Once the carrier decides to push the update OTA (which takes them forever and they claim it's for testing purposes, when most of the time the REAL reason is that they don't want people with updated phones that work better as this can push them to ditch the phone and get a new one with a shiny new 2 year contract plan continuation) the OEM will add firmware to it. Even if you participate in the dev preview program you'll get the firmware updates once the update is "officially" available through carriers. You won't get the OS update (since you're already running it), just whatever else is released that you don't have yet. This is further proof that what the carrier releases OTA isn't any different, otherwise you'd still have to receive such OTA OS update: since you don't, it's clear you have it already from Microsoft (version numbers also confirm this).

Dev Preview is a WIN no matter how you look at it. It's designed to bypass evil carriers. This is the one advantage that Apple has over everybody because they were first to the smartphone market and thus got to dictate many conditions. Dev preview is Microsoft's way of doing the same thing, just like Google does this in their Nexus phones that bypass carriers.

I've done about 4 updates through dev preview by now, never had any problem because it's inherently the exact same process as waiting for the carrier, just earlier (in fact, carriers even block OTA updates to network unlocked phones like mine until they say so, which is crazy infuriating since I owe them NOTHING, but they still have control. Thanks to programs like the dev preview I'm no longer held hostage by a greedy company that wants to control my phone unjustifiably). Do it. You won't regret it and your phone will be more fully featured and, most importantly, more secure against threats.

PS - if your phone were to crash and burn - which can also happen through OTA carrier updates - all you'd have to do is go back to factory settings. No expert advice needed (though it would most likely be helpful since it'll probably be faster/easier to do it yourself than to wait for your carrier's store to help you. Carriers don't care about your phone, they only care about your contract being active and giving them money).

Apple first on the smartphone market?!?!?!? Are you for real?

I bought my first Motorola MPX 200 in 2003 and it was a SMARTPHONE!!!


Dude, chill it. Your MPX200 was not a Smartphone by modern standards. The CURRENT smartphone market was kicked off by Apple's iPhone in 2007: sure there were smartphones before but what we understand today as the smartphone market began in 2007 with Apple. So, again, chill it.

Really? I am sorry for you but my HD2 with WM 6.5 was light years better than the iPhone. Actually still is....