Starting about ten days ago, reports that Samsung was pushing out Windows Phone 8.1 Update for ATIV S users began circulating the 'nets. We have our own ATIV S here in the house, which is an unbranded UK release, and were not able to get any such update. Instead, we are stuck on Windows Phone 8.0 GDR3 (Build 10517; Firmware 24126.96.36.199).
As it turns out, a very select few ATIV S users are getting Windows Phone 8.1 Update (Build 14157; Firmware 24188.8.131.52), which is splendid news. The bad news is it is isolated to specific regions like Austria and maybe Hong Kong.
Samsung ATIV S devices released through carriers and most other areas are not seeing the update yet, although obviously this can change. Let me try and explain and give you the full story.
Downgrade from Preview for Developers?
In the past, we warned against ATIV S and ATIV SE users installing the Preview for Developers program OS releases. Specifically, Windows Phone 8.1 without proper Samsung firmware does not always play nice. Users have experienced problems with the camera and other quirks, and while they are not the end of the world, they can be annoying.
There are a few threads in our forums discussing how to downgrade your ATIV S, although it appears that those with Preview for Developers who are in the right region are now getting the proper Samsung firmware. It is advised not to downgrade your phone (which also factory resets), unless you really want to get the firmware and Windows Phone 8.1 Update right now.
CSC: ATO. Wait, what?
Perhaps the most confusing aspect of this Samsung case is trying to understand which ATIV S models are getting an update.
As of now, the only version confirmed as getting an update is the I8750 with ATO configuration, mostly isolated to Austria. This designation comes from the CSC (Consumer Software Customization) and is a regional-code. For instance, TGY is Hong Kong, and my unbranded UK ATIV S is OXA.
Users can check their CSC often by installing the Samsung Diagnosis app by typing ##634# in the dialer. The Diagnosis app can then be found under the App list and entering *#321647335 inside the Diagnosis app should reveal information about the CSC code.
What it all really means
At this point, unless you are hardcore about downgrading your phone and switching the CSC code, you should just wait like the rest of us.
In short, go into Settings > Phone update and check for updates. If nothing happens, you are still waiting, welcome to the club.
On the bright side, Samsung is slowly starting to get 8.1.1 out to users with some positive feedback about the new firmware. Conversely, for the majority of users, especially those with carrier-branded phones in Canada and elsewhere, are not getting this update as of today.
If you would like more information about downgrading, CSCs, and various versions of the ATIV S, you can head into our forums where there are quite a few threads discussing the news. There are some great folks in there answering many questions.
Small warning though. A lot of this is only for those who are well informed and technical, so proceed with extreme caution. Your best bet is to read it (especially this post), understand it, and then post your question. Otherwise, just wait until Samsung pushes out your update.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.