Report: Microsoft and Nokia continue to test Windows Phone 8.1 internally

Microsoft and Nokia are actively testing Windows Phone 8.1, according to Nawzil. The two companies are running FB Pages Manager. Should you not familiar with the name, it essentially enables you to manage your Facebook profiles while on the move. What's interesting is the analytics behind the app, reporting on hardware running multiple builds of Windows Phone 8.1 (aka. Blue).

We've previously looked at Windows Phone 8.1 being internally tested by Microsoft and Nokia, reported by Paul Thurrott, but this data shows solid evidence of said tests being carried out. Both editions of FP Pages Manager (free and commercial) have been used on Windows Phone 8.1, with the following screenshot showing multiple versions of the OS:

WP 8.1 FB Pages Manager

According to the full analytics report, FB Pages Manager has been downloaded more than 80,000 times and has more than 30,000 monthly active users. Nawzil notes that these employees may well be using the apps to manage respective social profiles. 

Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to be announced early in 2014 to go alongside some new hardware from partners. It makes sense for the next major release of Windows Phone to be in active testing. Details are still scarce on what we'll be looking to see in 8.1, but a new Notification Center, ‘Cortana’ voice assistant, app-list sorting, actionable-notifications and other new features are reportedly on the list of major new additions.

Source: Twitter (@Nawzil)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I'm so excited I want to puke!
  • As weird as this comment is, it's still better than "First."
  • Ahahah so true! Lol
  • It looks like WPC has figured out how to block it.....I tried.
  • Above second...sorted
  • Nailed it!!!
  • I just did.
  • Primo to puke!!!
  • Puke glittery rainbows
  • "Puke glittery rainbows"
    Is that the name of the next update after "Black"?
  • Lol I hope so, that would be cool.
  • Any idea on when Lumia Black is going to be released?
  • Early next year
  • Well that sucks
  • Indeed.
  • Same question here :| I eagerly anticipating Lumia Black on my 925
  • Nokia needs to have an enthusiast release like MS did for gdr3...
  • I'm thinking we shouldn't have to wait for carriers, I mean look at the IOS7 release, no carries involved and most people updated within the week of the release and not months later.
  • And it sucked my brothers iPhone 4 slowed to a crawl
  • iPhone 4 probably shouldn't have been updated at all, take a look at the hardware inside it (it's 3 years old).
  • Like every other iOS release before it, designed to kill 2 yr+ hardware and force you into feeling you need to buy a new iDevice.
  • That is why I left Apple world, because of that.  I would of rathered they not try to update at all than kill the performance.
  • I know a few people who are still on iOS4 and iOS5 just for that reason. It's ridiculous, they release a phone and it's the best thing since sliced bread, so many innovations, faster, thinner, better and all that jazz in their marketing. Then a year later they release an update that makes it slow as mollases and feel outdated. You have to give Apple credit, it's a wonderful strategy and the fact most people happily and blindly update amazes me. Kudos to you for seeing through them and moving to WP where updates actually improve our devices and don't impact their speed (not that they could get any faster!). Hell even Android are working on making their phones faster (not that they could get slower).
  • Brilliant thinking dude !
  • Apple is playing a different ballgame. They can use the popularity of the iPhone coupled with amazing customer service as leverage. The last thing a wireless carrier wants is to be inundated with calls after an update. At present they just say "call Apple" and the customer will be taken care of. MS and Nokia do not have that level of support currently.
  • Ok your answer makes sense, thank you.
  • Thank you also for correctly using the word leverage.
  • Sort of. Although I see people in AT&T (and other carriers) supporting iPhone customers quite often. It's more along the lines of "consumers want this thing and Apple has us backed into a corner, so we have to support it and do what they say whether we like it or not." While I normally criticize Apple for running roughshod over others like that, the carriers kinda had this coming to them. I feel just a little bit of vindication seeing them being dictated to, as opposed to how it usually is with carriers telling consumers, vendors, and just about everybody else in the industry how things are going to be.
  • Possibly before years end.
  • ALJFAKLSFKLJLKDJF JUST LET ME TEST IT OUT ON MY PHONE ALREADY!  Or at least give us some more official info :(
  • Probably not until they get gdr3 officially out the door...
  • Gdr3 is officially out the door...some HTC phones have already gotten it.
  • I hope they test the shiznit out if it because new features don't mean a thang if they ain't got that swang❕
  • Do-wop do-wop. Do-wop do-wop. Do-wop do-wop. Do.
  • Exactly❕
  • :D
  • Want for christmas!
  • I totaly agree. That would be awesome, all windows phone devices updated without warning, on december 25th.
    Imagine the scene: You wake up on christmas morning, check your phone for the time, and "An update is available: Windows Phone 8.1". That would be sooo cool :D
  • Dezember 25th would be the ultimate proof of Microsoft considering America to be the center of the world. Here in Germany, the update would need to come on the 24th and for most people sometime in the evening.   Anyway, how is "software company tests new software updates before rolling them out" news worthy? Microsoft isn't called Activision or Ubisoft.
  • Looking forward to this. I think I'll hold on to my 920 until this is released.
  • Yeah I'm waiting for the "next Gen" of phones for sure. I truly love my 920. The red, weight, screen is just beautiful.
  • My 920 is red also.
  • +1! Red 920 Powa! :p
  • Shiny red 920 FTW! :-)
  • +920 shiny red :-)
  • I'll hold on to my 521 until then
  • I was thinking the same way, until I cracked my screen on 920 :'(
  • Same here bro.
  • Ha I've had my 920 for a year, it's still great but I want a new toy. Might jump if a UK version of the rumoured 929 comes soon.
  • I kno y'all watching, BRING BACK THA OLD FB APP FOR A CHOICE
  • can't wait :) especially cortana and app-list-sorting
  • Aren't Microsoft and Nokia not allowed to work together because of anti-trust laws?
  • I believe they aren't allowed to change how they work together based on the possibility of a merger. Doesn't mean they have to STOP working together in the ways they have been for years.
  • I'm sure Samsung and HTC are testing it too
  • Hmm I hope not.. If they are I'm sure Samsung is already porting over the innovative features to their android phones!
  • What... This doesn't even make the slightest bit of sense... Testing would have absolutely nothing to do with stealing ideas. And anyways, 8.1 is in a lot of ways playing catch up with some features of android and iOS. windows phone already has some stuff that's better, but they're also missing things the others have. 8.1 is about removing the feature differences, doing some things better, and letting windows phone's awesome features further stand out. Even if it was supposed to implement something truly innovative and different that had never been remotely done before, testing would still have absolutely no bearing on whether Samsung was able to "copy" it.
  • Nailed it. It is actually amazing if they really have been in testing mode, seeing as how they wont release it till Q1 2014 that is a lot of testing time, assuming all features have been finalized/implemented that first release of WP 8.1 should be very solid/stable.
  • While I don't think the comment you commented on made much sense, yours didn't either. How does Samsung testing it mean they cannot steal ideas? They see what it does during testing, like something and put it into TouchMyWiz. But on the whole Samsung are going a very different route with Android and I don't see them taking anything from WP and putting it into their Android phones.
  • LOL @ FeedTheShark...."TouchMyWiz"
  • LOL indeed
  • In addition to those things mentioned in the article, I hope for an Xbox Music upgrade, preferably with optional Facebook integration. Add a simple kind of file explorer, and with Update 3 (which my phone is running) and I'm happy. :)
  • I would imagine they will take a look at weaker apps, similar to the improvements from 8 - 8.1 with Windows.
  • I wonder, how many years and releases Microsoft need to turn WP in to normal phone? Hint: Separate volume for call and games.
  • I think this is in update 3.
  • I have update 3 and that is not a feature.
  • So probably in WP 8.1??
  • The first GDR after it...late summer perhaps?
  • No its not on update 3, hope it comes with 8.1
  • I'm guessing you mean Lumia update 3, since its not part of gdr3
  • This is an OS feature, not Lumia specific
  • They never will, they deem it unsuitable for a seamless software experience
  • Whomever thinks that in MS is clearly stupid...
  • I don't rly have a problem with the current implementation so I don't see them as stupid
  • Slow but not stupid.
  • Normal phone ? By that time, Android will be lightyears ahead and Microsoft will be declaring bankruptcy :)
  • This is partly due to game developers. There are a few games out there that have their own controls for volume level, which means any developer can do it if they want.
  • Wat if you were listening to music at full volume because your song is originally low-volume, and suddenly your phone is very lpid because it just started ringing.. U will have to reduce the volume before going anywhere otherwise you'll get looks.
  • that's why i said partly due, i know it doesn't completely fix the problem but it helps in many cases.
  • it should be @Nawzil8 not @Nawzil
  • Just give me an option to disable "search" and "back" buttons and ill be happy. Frustrating when gaming! /// A wish for the upcoming update
  • That would a huge welcome update.
  • I agree, the option would be fantastic! Especially for games that have to go through the loading screen everytime you accidently hit back!
  • Add your game in kid's corner and play from the kid's corner. The search button won't work there.
  • It would be awesome to get 8.1 early for us "developers" like we did with the update 3 a few weeks ago. I'm not scared to have test release on my phone.
  • They're going to do this, it's just not even close to being finished. Right now 8.1 is probably barely usable. Either that, or they don't want to give the competition any ideas.
  • I'm not even a developer and I'm not afraid; I update my device to GDR3 as soon as the OTA was released and will do it again.
  • GDR 3 was RTM level - WP8.1 not even Beta 1
  • 8.1 is much further along than you think, MS's new thing is being very hush hush on software and releases.
  • None of us know. But Update 3 was released because Nokia are releasing new phones with it. There's no way MS will release 8.1 to testing until there's new hardware running it. They need it to come out with a bang, not slowly test features on existing hardware.
  • Yes, that is exactly what I was talking about in another comment above. I would not doubt it if all features have been finalized already by different groups, and now its just bringing it together (they do this with windows) so its just vigorous testing from now on, Which is why Nokia is already seeing some of these releases and testing them. I do not believe MS would show Nokia earlier code than a Technical Preview, which is a stage a tad bit ahead of Beta usually keeping some parts of the software in Beta but most features are designed, coded and tested through. All that is needed form there is vigorous functionality testing of those features.
  • Really can't wait for this update!
  • I'm waiting for the successor of the 1020, hopefully around Summer and sporting a 1080p screen and quad-core. 'Til then I'll hold onto my 920. 
  • Your wish may be granted... :-)
  • I'm truly looking forward to Cortana and notifications. Better Bing results would be nice too. They're often old and irrelevant. More clarity in results and IE not clipping pictures in articles would be very nice indeed.
  • "early 2014"... Hahahahahahahaha
    Keep dreaming...
  • we may never know ;-)
  • June is early, right?
  • Yup. And if you're 24, 34, etc, you're in your "early" twenties and thirties.
  • Eearly 2014 = Announcing it in March that it will be in beta until July at which time it will RTM by August and ready for official release September 28th ...along side Windows 9 and branded as Windows Phone 9
  • Windows 9 is not coming September 2014... So I doubt that it will be WP9.
  • Lumia Black is coming in Jan 2014
  • This is coming to current WP8 hardware, right?
  • Yea
  • Yes. But some features may be absent if they need spacial hardware that current phones don't have. Just a possibility, no one knows right now.
  • Yeah the spacial features work in another dimension.
  • ^Dat Nokia futuristic tech. Xp
  • That image has become the trademark of WP8.1 news.