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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!

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

416 Comments
  • Slap me good :-) this is beyond beautiful
  • *slap!*
  • Bitch slap!!
  • *I pour some powder on my hand* then pimp slap you
  • Now that's the way to do it.
  • There goes the hope for the new lumias being available same day as announced...
  • *Pimp slap
  • My pimp hand is strong. SLAP!
  • +mushroomtattoo
  • I'll be on vacation for that week. Can't wait.
  • Slap slap slap slaaaaaaaaap*
  • Pimp Slap! NOW, WHERE'S MY MONEY?!
  • *pops acid in your mouth*You'll see how beautiful now :)
  • Shake that slap :P
  • *glove slap followed by golf clap*
  • .
  • What did the 5 fingers say to the face?
  • Index finger said "knock knock" and middle finger said "can i come in?"
  • Stab! .... er ... I mean .... Slap! :p
  • Are we still talking about WP8.1 ?? I'm lost.
  • I'm Rick James Bitch! !SLAP!
  •     A glove slap to a little ole face will
        Get you satisfaction.
        Glove slap, baby!     Glove slap,
        Baby, glove slap!
        Glove slap,
        I don't take crap!
        Glove slap,
        Shut your big yap!
        Glove slap,
        Baby, glove slap!     Ooooooh, glove, baby,
        That's where it's at.
        Yeah.
        Glove, baby,
        Give it a slap.     Glove slap,
        Baby, glove slap!
        Glove slap,
        I don't take crap!
        Glove slap,
        Shut your big yap!
        Glove slap,
        Baby, glove slap!
  • That's from The Simpsons, if anyone is confused ;)
  • OPEN NUTS would be more appropriate!
  • yeah guess who dropped there 925 in the pool today...  
  • Cant wait
  • 930 + wp8.1 will be a prefect masterpiece.
  • Its not a touch phone right? It is no touch screen technology what Microsoft had confirmed with fine cutting edge technology
  • That's codenamed goldfinger... 930 is codenamed martini
  • Does anybody know what the 930 will look like, and what carrier it will be on?
  • 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.
  • 930 is supposed to be an international version of icon. So it should be available on more than one carrier.
  • 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.
  • Half the phone for about the same money!! I wish I did not have unlimited data plan with them!!
  • Unlimited?  More like a paltry 3GB after which point you can't even stream a YouTube video.
  • 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.
  • and half the color choices in windows phone backgrounds which basically amounts to well, one.
  • Where did you read that?
  • 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.
  • +720
  • 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
  • We dont care about stinking "Market Share"  :) muhahaha
  • Me neither, I can live with "about a week" though :)
  • Thank you for this lol. The comments and forums have been going crazy!
  • 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 ?
  • Yes morning keynote after breakfast is all about wp 8.1 and new wps
  • Is that the Lumia 1020 on the picture? If so, I see no reason why we should not get the 3rd row of tiles. Looking awesome.
  • Looks like the 1520
  • 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).
  • it is not, at least my 1020 has not circle thing in its top left corner :P
  • 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.
  • STFU.
  • Its a 1520. Look at the spacing of the back, windows and search buttons at the bottom.
  • It's a column, dear.
  • THANK YOU!
  • Daniel can we know which phone is that ? ;) and is that wp8.1 ? ;)
  • That's a Lumia 1520 I think..
  • I read somewhere that any device with a screen 4.3" or larger will have the option to turn on the third column.
  • 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 :(
  • come on,man, this probably is photoshopped
  • There IS a cortana tile in case you didn't watch the videos.
  • 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 column... Not a row....
  • 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 :)
  • yay!
  • So Daniel your tweet wasn't true right?
  • 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.
  • Thank god its just about a week. That delay news gave me a good headache earlier. Can re-breathe now...
  • did you read the article?
  • Lol never ceases.
  • Re-read the article please! :D
  • I can't imagine how nice it must feel to mark the last bug as fixed.
  • I don't think anyone knows how that feels :P
  • Exactly, no such thing as "last bug" :/
  • +1 :D
  • 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'm sure there's some browser incompatibility in there somewhere.
  • Congrats!
  • Congrats to the team! Can't wait to see it next week :)
  • 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!
  • Not at all. :P
  • Not at all.. But it is next Wednesday not Tuesday. :)
  • Lol, that would have been bad.
  • That's not a bad idea... Hmm.
  • U would be there with Dan next week at build right??
  • They deserve a congrats, after all, they finally made some real real gamechangers ..
  • 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?
  • Sleep for 7 days, then you can lick it :-P
  • Now you know how top models feel when they see chocolates.
  • Dude...
  • +1240 THIS!!!
  • What's 1240 ?
  • 520 + 720 = 1240
  • I feel your pain
  • Sweet i want it nowwww, i will wait a bit since it is delayed. My 1520 will become a better device.
  • Oooooh! I am getting excited! Come on WP8.1 !
  • 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.
  • Didn't stop Tom Warren in the slightest..
  • He does have it. He even posted a screenshot of the new store ratings on twitter earlier. https://twitter.com/Daniel_Rubino/status/448879932333363200
  • can some1 ansa this
  • I think it is 8.1 because of the Wi-Fi icon in the top left corner rather than middle.
  • It's just a mock-up or screenshot put on a real Lumia, nothing more.
  • 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.
  • Im crying!!!!
  • We don't Have a handkerchief here.
  • Hey it's only been like two years, they've basically had no time to get this pushed out.
  • 2 years and 1 year and 4 months is a very big difference.
  • well that changes everything!. this will be the year of windows phone!
  • Bro how to years.
  • Just keep living and the years will come by themselves  
  • Bro, do you even years?
  • Math and a calendar. Look into it.
  • So dev preview is delayed :(
  • new phones on Easter!!!
  • No on easter only beta version.
  • 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...
  • cant wait it...
  • 2 years of wait ))))
  • 1 year 4 months
  • that's just for the core. let's not get excited here...
  • OK, 1 year, 4 months and 1 week  - which is when the update will be pushed to dev preview. Big difference.
  • ya but update is comming soon..
  • at least stay consistent when you're exaggerating 
  • why 2 year microsoft is publish on 2nd april 2014
  • 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)??
  • Isn't it usually 2-3 months from RTM to products?
  • 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?
  • Now that thread can be put to rest. And also good job to the windows phone 8 team :)
  • The excitement is killing me !!!
  • You kindly spelled out RTM... but what is CXE??
  • I believe it's "Customer Experience Engineering"
  • So it's UI design?
  • No, it is UX.
  • 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.
  • Interesting. Thanks for the link and explanation.
  • 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