First OS update for Windows Phone 8 codenamed ‘Portico’

por·ti·co  (pawr-ti-koh, pohr-)n.  An elaborate or at least covered porch area adjacent to a main entrance, generally in a classical building. The portico functions as a means to protect visitors from the elements as well as emphasizing the taste and wealth of the owner.

Even though Windows Phone 8 has just launched across the world, information on the first OS update was revealed just a week ago. The OS update is rumored to be announced this February during the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and it will reportedly consist of various small patches, fixes and additions to Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone Central has now learned from a known and trusted source that this update is being referred to not as Apollo+ but ‘Portico’.

Update 12/10/12: Turns out Portico and Apollo+ may be different updates as the former began rolling out today.

The label is evidently keeping in the Microsoft tradition of Windows Phone OS codenames ending in -o, including NoDo (7.x), Mango (7.5), Tango (7.5 Refresh) and Apollo (8.0). We’re unsure if the name was chosen for its meaning, although the concept of a portico being an extension on a house certainly fits the idea behind the update, which is thought to augment the capabilities of Windows Phone 8.

Our confidence in this information

Unfortunately not too much is currently known about Portico, potentially due to the flux of changing priorities with the development team as well as secrecy. The Verge recently stated that the update would include VPN support as well as enhancing Wi-Fi so that it can remain connected when the phone is in standby. 

The update is not to be considered a milestone upgrade like Mango (Windows Phone 7.5) but rather more along the lines of NoDo, released back in March 2011, which brought minor but much needed fixes like copy/paste and speed enhancements.

The only thing we do know is that there may be “a few surprises” but that is all we can share.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Hey, any improvement is welcome.
  • But will it protect me from the elements and make me appear wealthy?
  • Why do I get the feeling the "known and trusted source" is Rafael Rivera? LOL
  • So a Latino can't be trusted?
  • I seriously doubt that was the implication.
  • Thanks, wpguy. It definitely wasn't what I was implying.
  • It is certainly was not Rafael...this was news to him as well.
  • Awesome.
  • Without knowing anything about what the update entails, this information is borderline useless. "An update is coming, and we are pretty sure the timeline is accurate!" That's cool. I think we all knew we would eventually get an update. The question is WHAT are we getting?
  • Thanks for your input, next time I'll keep this info to myself.
  • This is why I love this site...
  • This is why I hate this site.
  • Well, you're more than welcome to take a gander at or More than one way to get your Windows Phone fill.
  • I follow a few sites, but in my opinion WPCentral and Mobile Nations stand out above the rest. I'm not sure exactly why that is, Mobile Nations is perhaps more professional, and I think the interaction between the different mobile nations (communities) fosters a more objective and a more helpful perspective from the staff/writers.
  • Wpcentral has more integrity than BGR, Pocketnow, Gizmodo. Pocketnow has gone down hill.
  • Use to love pocketnow but since moving to WP, have come to hate it with a passion. But I still go there to check up what negative spins they do on positive WP news.
  • This is why I Love and Hte this site..
  • Well sometimes the info is useless unless it is directly from the  Enough could be argued about the windows phone 7.8 update doing this and that and date here and there, but only microsoft can announce the offical word, opposite to all rumors.  So speculation even from a "reliable" source is still speculation.  I could say the next windows phone update will make my toast for me and I am sure some people will believe it.  So yes sometimes keeping useless information like this...complete utter speculation should be kept to yourself.
  • It was some pretty awesome input.
  • Mr. Daniel, don't let some trolls let you down. We really appreciate your articles. Very valuable information ALWAYS.
    Please, keep posting what you know/think/believe/guess/etc/
    we need to be informed in order to buy stuff. thanks
  • Here, here Daniel. Thank you.
  • I see both sides of this. Yes everyone wants as much info as they can get but also saying an update is coming is like saying another android phone is coming... You can literally bet the farm on it. I dont get why they just don't release the details. It won't hurt anything.
  • Thanks. Someone actually gets it. Apparently I am a troll though because I don't think the writers fart puppy dogs and rainbows. Some people here seriously need to relax. Mu statement was pretty mild. Can't say the same for most of the responses.
  • You don't need to keep any info to yourself, if there is any info st all, that is. "an update is coming" I'd hardly news, my friend. Based on your quick come backs in posts you seem to be an easily butthurt writer. You have a way with your readers, I must say. Keep it up. I'm sure you will attract quite the crowd.
  • FWIW, the news here is that the name of the update is "Portico." That had never been revealed before and it's worth a blog post, IMO.
  • Based on your multiple replies you seem to be easily butthurt too..  It's ok.  You'll get over it.  :)
  • Haha! Well played, Mr. Rubino... :)
  • One thing at a time, man. This is good information.
  • Ok, you're a certified grade A ungrateful jerk
  • +1
  • +1
  • Way to be a douche.
  • WHAT is your question. I think most of us, knowing "what" isn't known yet, are still open to hearing it has a name (so, while still a rumor, it's a rumor with a little more legs), has "a few surprises", and is expected to be announced in February (more info than "eventually").
    Sure, there are a lot of useless article, blog, or commentary pieces on the internet, but calling this one useless is a little harsh.
  • Christ, nothing is ever enough for some people. Your comment tells us nothing, but you offer it anyway. Be appreciative that The Verge isn't your only option for WP news.
  • Not really. I try to follow Microsoft pretty closely and now I know to look for events scheduled in February, as well as to look for that codename in various leaked documents.
  • @reef,
    Getting the update?  Yes, we knew we would eventually receive an update.  Sometime in Q1 2013?  Yes, that was speculated a bit as well.  Oh, it sounds like it will be announced during the Mobile World Congress in February.  It's going to be called Portico.  To get a confirmation on anything these days that isn't sandwiched with a significant amount of FUD is impressive.  WPC didn't try to embelish the facts or sensationalize the story to the point that we thought it was going to be the update to end all updates.  
    If you feel that you are a more capable reporter, by all means submit your resume along with references and a portfolio of your work to the editors.  Otherwise, promptly return your commentary back up the orifice from whence it came.  
    Richard M. Nixon
  • LMAO
  • NICE!!!!
  • Orifice, I like that!
  • A-freaking-men!! Hallelujah! Pass the tylenol!
  • I believe the words are "ungrateful jerk". Also "Piehole, your, shut, keep". Not necessarily in that order.
  • Just when you thought the internets was boring you see this comment lol! I found this article intriguing i.e. is the codename a clue to what is coming? "Elaborate Entrance" = Enhanced security features, lock screen updates, new way to activate features a'la Siri??? Oh boy, can't wait.
  • Zomg I wanna comment too!
  • Reefer's comment is why I could never sign up as a writer here and can never step up as a moderator or site admin. I'd ban so many people for being MORONS, there would only be a handful of people left on the site... not a good business model, lol.
  • You're on a free website giving you every WP information possible at a very fast pace. 
    Is there anything you don't whine about. Daniel answered the WHEN. The WHAT can come a bit later no?
  • one can only hope it fixes xbox video support
  • ^^^^^^
  • What is wrong with it? I've briefly used it to watch videos I put on form my computer, but not for more than abotu 10 minutes.
  • I think what he is referring to is the current limitation where movies bought from your Xbox console are not viewable on your WP8.
  • I am hoping for a fix too. Bought a lot of TV( Meet the brown) and I cannot even enjoy them on the go. Not very happy about it and patient because I know that a fix will come soon or later...
  • One glitch that plagues me is when I try to delete albums/songs in Xbox Music the app crashes. Really hoping this gets fixed. Fingers Crossed!
  • Its not a glitch, you can't do it with wp8 when Xbox music cloud enabled, you have to delete with win8, only then it'll be deleted from all devices
  • Crashing music+video app is not part of the feature
  • I do not have cloud enabled. I download an album, listen to it, decide I wanna delete it... oops, can't because Xbox Music crashes... everytime. :(
  • Fix Lumia 920 camera please.
  • Those type fixes are sent out by Nokia
  • Yup. My bet is Nokia will deliver a firmware update sometime to fix and enhance aspects of the phone. They're actually really good about doing those things. First they want to collect info and learn what needs to be addressed--they don't get many "do overs" with firmware updates, so they have to make it count.
  • WP8 updates will bypass carrier approval, correct? Or those people stuck on AT&T and Big Red have no hope?
  • I have a feeling that carriers still get a say. But that won't affect me anymore given I have the 920 from Build :)
  • What? Theverge is spreading bullshit and speculating like they did with amazon 100% confirmed phone reveal and other bs?
    No way, no one should ever quote verge, ms nerd and other traffic hungry sources
  • Or ZDNet they are on some anti-Microsoft rant lately.
  • I only read Ed Bott and Mary Jo Foley... I've been reading, trusting, and agreeing with them for over 20 years. Pretty much everyone else at ZDNet can suck it... I'm sure there may be other exceptions, but I don't know them.
  • Hear! Hear!
  • I agree. You can rely on those two.
  • Agree.  I use to follow Tom Warren at WinRumors when I was hungry for the latest rumors and tidbits.  But I grew tired of baseless rumors and missleading/exageratted headlines.  I can only assume he hasn't changed much after moving to the Verge.  Thats why I like this site and its "Rumometer".  The authors here take responsibility for the articles and headlines they post.
  • Yeah at this point I can say fuck zdnet and their ms hating website.
  • I would really like a WP8 device, can anyone help a ginger haired lad out
  • First time ever I read "ginger haired lad", LOL.
  • No!  Because you have no soul.
  • Daniel,
    Any word on how these updates will work?  There was mention of a Push/Pull system.  Where you could pull it from Microsoft or wait for the carriers to push it out.  Is that still going to be in place?  Could we expect a HTC 8X on T-Mobile to be able to update the same day as an AT&T HTC 8X?
    Also any word on the Dec. patch?  Any eta?
  • Sorry, still no info on Microsoft has planned here. They do have a highly regimented OTA update system in place for WP8 for a reason though, so hopefully they will use it.
  • I hope it fixes battery issues, random reboots (never experienced them), bluetooth restarts (if it's a soft-ware bug)
  • There are definitely some kinks that need to be worked out, so It's good to see they are moving forward on updates. Have you heard what the problem was with the preliminary\test OTA update? Btw, display and touch was updated today.
  • defintely like the timing of the release as it shows that MS might be serious about running at a faster pace to catchup with android / iOS what about that enthusiast program that Terry Meyerson talked about in June 2012
  • Important thing to remember. With Windows Phone, you WILL get an update. On Android you will never know for sure if you are going to get an update. (Fragmentation it is called, even if its not a great word)
    iOS is a little better than Android, and probably on a par with WP.
  • Is this in addition to the reported fixes that were supposed to show up in December? Or is that no longer happening?
  • I'd be happy to jump from WP7.5 if only FM radio comes with this update.
  • +1 on the FM Radio. It was a nice feature on the Lumia 900 that my daughter is now using.
  • I don't know how this works, but could it be a hardware limitation? Do they need to build FM antennae into the phones?
  • Just add HD radio. The Zune HD had it. That would be a very nice Easter egg.
  • Most phones just use the earbuds supplied with the phone as the antennae.
  • FM radio? Seriously just goto a Walgreens and buy one for $3 if you want one so badly. Oh wait I forgot people don't like spending money and just want everything free.
  • Nice. A surprising number of us actually used the FM radio on our Zunes and WP7s, and we would like to keep the feature.
  • "Surprising number of us" is pretty much what I thought too, considering that I thought the number would be at or around zero.
  • LOL agreed. FM radios on phones tend to HISSSSss and suck.
    I just use TUNEIN radio and get better hiss free quality than FM.
  • Um, doesn't adding FM radio require a hardware tuner? How do you get that with an OS update?
  • Who listens to Radio? Ads out the wazoo, and the same 5 songs all day. Music Pass FTW.
  • Oh, I agree. My point is some people want an OS update to somehow deliver something that can only be achieved by adding hardware.
  • The FM radio is a nice feature but I like the Tune In Radio app much better.  I can listen local or I can listen whereever (which is better than local anyway).
  • Except that all the alternatives rely on a data connection. It might be nothing to you but if you have a limited data plan or cannot connect using WiFi, you're stuck.  At least with FM it is free and pretty much covers everywhere.  Sadly WP8 has now lost that hardware choice.
  • Meanwhile, I can listen to the FM on my Zune or WP7 even when I can't get data. People don't see it that way, but the two features are complementary.
  • +1 on the FM Radio. I miss this feature. It is nice to tune in to video that broadcast their sound via unused FM channels.
  • I dont care about wp8 updates. FIRST update all our devices to wp7.8 and then talk about wp8! We, wp7 users have been the true supporters for the new ecosystem. Who will support us?
  • Cant agree more :P
  • Dude, MS doesn't care about WP7. Let's move on.
  • Saying MS doesn't care about WP7 is like saying George Bush doesn't care about black people, except the latter is true
  • Hahaha so what I said it's true, Kanye.
  • No it's not
  • So just to confirm with WP8 we will get regular ota updates for small fixes like the one coming this month as well as the bigger incremental updates too? I'm hoping for much more consistent updates than WP7 ever got.
  • That sounds like the plan from Microsoft--let's just hope they can execute.
  • It would be nice. But I highly doubt it.  Theyve had the ability to update the Xbox whenever they wanted. Yet always wait until specified times of year. I find it annoying.  Push things out as you can.  Dont wait.
    So Ill believe it when I see it but Im not counting on it. 
  • Portico will allow filtering of trolls ;)
  • Hahaha!
  • Any updates are always welcome. HOWEVER, what is the need to wait and have to "announce" it here or there at some stupid conference?  Just work on it, and push it out when its ready.  Better yet, work on updates constantly, and push them out as frequently as you can.
  • The way I see it, it's likely more of a deadline deal. The team is given X amount of time, and all the time between v1 and release is alpha and beta testing. The longer the wait, the more tweaks, bonuses, and the smoother the ride.
  • They always push out minor updates, stop spreading nonsense
  • I just hope Screen Orientation Lock is part of update, this is my only true complaint about Windows Phone OS. Yes I use my phone sideways while in bed, its more comfortable for me to hold it in portrait mode. Just in case I get questions as to "why screen lock is even needed?". Everyone has different needs, this should be a simple add on.
  • Some apps already have that
  • An immediate update for WiFi issue + battery drain + skype would be nice. Than I'll worry about extra features!
  • Will this include ms "ran out of time" notification do U tthink?
  • I doubt it. I bet notifications will be part of a bigger update like 8.5.
  • Wonders how long until we get Tampico.
  • I really hope this update includes custom notifications :-/
  • Jajaja what's next, bathroom?
  • Just a hypothesis,but what if the code name had something to do with the lock screen and making it truly live. Since the lock screen could be considered the main entrance to our "home" screen. There was a article a while back that showed USA Today and Espn on the lock screen with live updates. This is what I want.
  • I think it will also include custon notifications within our ME tile. But good news forl all WP8 and Lumia fans 
  • Actually you got it backwards, it was initially codenamed 'Portico' and now it's just called 'Apollo+'
  • From a platform health perspective i'd like to see all the bugs fixed and a couple business security enhancements added. Its going to be really important going forward to keep BlackBerry from gaining traction in the enterprise.
  • I think the update creates a virtual shield around the phone that makes it impenetrable by an AK47 or baseball bat.
  • I can't wait for this update
  • Which comes first Portico or Betterlatethannevero (aka WP7.8)?
  • "a few surprises"... Notification Center, I cannn hear you!!!!!! :)
  • Three things I would love to see...
    - Bluetooth fix - I would love to see the issue where my bluetooth only connects to my car 50% of the time fixed in this update.
    - Xbox Music Usage Rights - I would also like to see a fix with Xbox Music for the issue where it claims that I do not have the rights to listen to songs that I either own outright or have downloaded through Xbox Music (though it seems to happen on my Windows 8 PC too, so it probably is not something that would be fixed through a phone update). 
    - Allow Wi-fi to stay connected at all times - My wife's phone does not have unlimited data like mine and her data has been connecting and transmitting data over cellular at times when we are asleep and when she is at home where she should be covered by wifi.  Her data usage has increased, without her doing anything different than she used to on her Lumia 900, to the point that we had to pay overages (waived by AT&T though).
  • Check with your auto dealer. A Bluetooth update was just pushed out to my Microsoft UVO system in my new car. Made a huge difference on connectivity.
  • Nothing wrong with Bluetooth, and the overages were your fault. Plugging in phone keeps WiFi on and push notifications and the like do not use alot of data
  • @Round and Round -
    Sorry, but you are wrong.  There are Bluetooth problems, as can be seen on Nokia's support site:
    The Bluetooth on my phone only connects to my Jeep's MyGig Bluetooth system about 50% of the time.  It will always reconnect if I turn Bluetooth off and then back on again, but that is not something that should need to be done.
    Also, as AT&T confirmed through numerous support conversations with me and through combing through the data charges in my wife's bill, the data was transmitting a great deal of data over cellular at times that her phone is plugged in, namely every single night of the two weeks that she has had it.  Her phone transmits between 2MB and 25MB every single night of the 2 weeks that we have had it over cellular data, even though it is plugged in.  AT&T has credited us for the overages and has scheduled calls to check back with us every two weeks through our next two billing cycles to make sure that the data consumption issue gets itself under control.  They had no idea what the problem would be, but they are guaranteeing us that we will not be charged for data overages in the meantime, until they get this figured out.  There is certainly a problem if AT&T is willing to go to those lengths for us.
  • If it is anong the lines of NoDo, sounds like there could be changes to the way CDMA2000 is coded (more likely to bring more US carriers into the WP8 world by using 512bit encryption which is a requirement by most CDMA carriers, and not Just Sprint and Verizon).  SVDO support comes along the higher encryption.
  • Hopefully this will bring WP8 to parity with 7.8. In some ways my 920 is a downgrade to my Focus with the 7.8 "beta" rom.
  • How can I put the 7.8 beta ROM on my Focus?
  • Unable to play .wav voicemail message from email on your phone? I just discovered that today.  That has to be fixed if they want to be able to sell in the corporate environment.
  • Those could probably be converted, no? =/
  • My WP7.5 HTC Radar plays .wav files in my voicemail email messages.
  • Not working with Windows Phone 8. I don't recall having an issue with my Lumia 900.
  • I'm new to the phone and the OS and have had zero
    problems with either. Any updates that make an already excellent platform even better are fine with me! Thanks MS, Nokia and wpcentral!
  • and this update will arrive before 7.8 no doubt.
  • Says who?
  • Third tap for silent ringtone and toast notification logged somewhere maybe? :)
  • Orientation lock, pdf support, among other things.
  • I hope they allow apps to turn off the capacitive button lights!  It's *really* annoying trying to read a book at night.  Even with brightness set to low or auto-low, the Lumia 920's button lights are painfully bright when reading text in a dark room.
  • "A few surprises" Sometimes I feel as though you guys here at wpc know more then lead to believe but are probably bound to secrecy by contract.
  • "A few surprises".... I hear "Notification Center"?? :)
    Please MS, make Me Tile with custon notification and this will be awesome!!  
  • I still don't get it... #nojudgements =[
  • New to wpcentral, got my htc 8x recently and I love it! The wpc app is superb guys. Keep those articles coming. I do hope the reboot fix comes out soon, phone seems to to reboot mostly when I listen to music...
  • Awesome to see new user! Both to WPC AND Windows Phone... =D
    I don't work for these guys but I can't ever hide my enthusiasm either, lol =P
  • Announced in February = Released in May.
    Good god, these bug fixes need to come faster than that. This stupid thing will be out 6 months after initial release, is the next milestone upgrade coming in 2015 or something? 
  • As an ATT customer this hurts... This will be another unicorn for us. Where the hell is tango!
  • Now THAT. Is an awesome name! #Neverwhere =P
  • Awesome info thanks keep them coming
  • Sweet! Thanks to all you early adopters for helping identify all the bugs. I'm looking forward to a stable new device in April!
  • I know this has already been said, but I'm grateful for this kind of news. As I'm currently on Android, but looking to move to WP8 as soon as I can actually get my ordered Lumia 920 delivered, updates are important. I wish the updates that were promised on Android had been delivered, but despite Google developing, they never trickle down to even the more "premium" phones. My HTC Inspire 4g is barely 1.5 years old, and I'm still on the same OS as when I bought it. 
    Thank you WPCentral for this info, and thank you MS for keeping updates coming to make for a better experience!!!
    My 2 cents!
  • There are many Android phones out there. Most never receive updates beyond Gingerbread. Google and their OEMs are smart. If they update the 1 year old phone, OEMs would never make sales on the new phones. Remember, new Android phones show up every 3-6 months. Like Apple, they hardly change. Why waste so much R&D to do anything different. Apple knows that the gullibles will go in droves to buy anything Apple puts out. Just my honest analysis.
  • Still waiting for muffled call quality fix for Titan I.
    Been ready since September-WTH!
  • How about rotation lock?
  •  "it will reportedly consist of various small patches, fixes and additions to Windo​s Phone 8."
    I am the only one that is afraid of the next update being 'small' 'patches' and 'fixes'?
     I think looking at ALL the requests that are on the windowsphone8 website amount to ALOT. LIke, their next update better be BIG!!!
     I might have said it before: Go Big or Go Home!
    We'll see... :-)
  • I'd rather see Direct Access support rather than VPN support. We are trying to switch from BlackBerry, whcih already has a VPN-like feature with BES. Our users can browse the internal network with their devices. But with Windows Phone, we would have to expose our Corporate Applications which is not something we want to do.
  • Can we get a battery boost like the L800 update before that somehow managed to increase battery life up to 200%. The Battery Life app says I have 15 hours at 70% and everybody knows that's not the case. at 50% it said 7 hours which is more realistic but it's draining just a tad too~~~ fast. 
  • I hope in March 2013 when WP8.1 "Portico" update come's it is = to Android v4.2 ..? Because in march 2013 Android 5.0 "Key Lime Pie" is coming and Windows Phone 8 will fall if there not = to Android 4.2 is now over a month old now....MS work harder please keep up with software and update every 6 months please...v8.0 to v8.1 to v8.5 to v8.9 to "64-bit v9.0" :)
  • How about supporting VOIP (SIP) protocol?