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Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 reportedly nears completion by Microsoft

Back in April, Windows Phone Central reported that Windows Phone 8.1 is scheduled to receive two OS updates in 2014, with one in July and another in November. Previously known as general distribution releases (GDR), the updates bring some new features, optimizations, and bug fixes to those with Windows Phone. Neowin is reporting that Update 1 is nearing completion by the Consumer Experience (CXE) team, and they may wrap in the next week. If accurate, Update 1 looks to be on schedule.

Once the Windows Phone program managers clear Update 1, the bits are pushed to Microsoft's OEM and carrier partners for further testing. An expected public release with carrier/OEM support is still a few months out, especially since the original Windows Phone 8.1 update has yet to be delivered to most users. However, like previous GDR updates, those enrolled in the Preview for Developers program are setup to get the update early, possibly within weeks.

Microsoft feature-locked the original Windows Phone 8.1 update on March 26. Fast forward to July and the official Windows Phone 8.1 update is still in the early stages of over-the-air updates for the majority of customers. However, where 8.1 was a significant OS update, requiring more testing, Update 1 is considerably smaller. Features in Update 1 include the coveted Folder creation ability, accidentally revealed by Microsoft a few weeks ago with other details remaining unknown at this time.

The Windows Phone team is on an accelerated schedule in 2014 in an effort to regain momentum in the mobile space. Apple's iOS and Google's Android are still dominating smartphone sales and market share, despite Microsoft's attempts to catch up. Combined with the co-development of Windows 8, Windows Phone is receiving high priority from Microsoft. Update 2 for Windows Phone 8.1 could be ready by November, just in time to ship with new hardware, including the flagship 'McLaren' phone launching on multiple carriers. McLaren – its internal codename – was previously known under Goldfinger and features a 3D Touch system with Mix View for the Live Tiles. Neowin claims McLaren has a 5.2-inch full-HD screen, 20MP camera along with a 64 GB internal storage.

Microsoft is expected to merge Windows Phone and RT SKUs with the next big OS update codenamed 'Threshold' for Spring 2015.

Source: Neowin

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.

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  • This is great news. :)
  • Looks like we will get WP 8.1 Update 1 before getting WP 8.1 Official Update.
  • How is that going to work? Will we lose BT 4.0 again?
  • If you have wp8.1 installed thru pdp, you will not be getting the ota official update. Instead you will be getting the cyan firmware only.
  • At this rate it looks like many of us never will have official softfware again.
  • Developer Preview for life!
  • Absolutely true. Once you go beta you never go back.
  • Rolling back is now officially supported via the Nokia Software Recovery App.
  • Developer preview is more like what a rc preview is for desktop windows(though they havent done it that often) to bad msdn/TechNet subscribers cant get quicker access to the oem Version of the update
  • So that means you're still running longhorn? ;)
  • This made me laugh because it is true, beta software for life.
  • Haha. So be it
  • So it's kind of like Android, except they call their Beta software "official", and the Android "official" OS isn't nearly as stable as the WP developer preview code.
  • This may have been true for Android 4.0x and earlier, but since android 4.1 the upgrades have been pretty rock solid and actually pretty minor. Android 4.4 concentrated on less RAM usage, earlier devices on better compatibibility, such as wearables, better bluetooth support, faster, etc.
  • My Nexus 7 still lags like hell (using android 4.4.4) and it has 1g ram.
    even yesterday i was going to reset it, but i had some problems with some saves...
  • No android before Android L officially out on new device from box. ART may save android, until then they get useless without hard reset after some month usage.
  • You really have no idea what you are talking about.
  • @nizzon Hahaha, hilarious! :)
  • Never again. Cyan update? Forget it. By the time it arrives, we will be on update 1.
  • And never have matching OS/firmware. Oh well, better than waiting I guess.
  • I thought that I would switch back to the official release of WP 8.1 while installing developers preview as soon as it comes. But now I'm changing my mind. I mean i don't see any bug with the developers preview so why isn't MS releasing the official thing. Now if I opt out of the program,I'll get the little update (gdr1) with a delay of about 3 4 months. I didn't buy this phone to wait for the new software and compromise on everything. Im greatly disappointed. Thinking about switching to xperia Z2, i hate Android, but there's no choice left. Also i can't deal with the little gameboy like screen on iPhone 5s
  • How can you have so little clue? Microsoft HAS released "the official thing". Microsoft has released WP8.1 to OEMs. It's then for those OEMs to complete their firmware updates and then release them to the carriers. It's then up to the carriers to test both the OS and firmware and then release the updates to their customers. Microsoft is one of those OEMs and they have completed the Lumia Cyan firmware for some models already. I have a Lumia 925 with Vodafone Australia and they have been testing the OS and firmware for the last two weeks. Anyway, the Developer Preview of WP8.1 is the RTM. You are not going to get anything new, not even bug fixes, in the release of WP8.1 from your carrier if you already have the DP installed. The difference will be in the firmware from your phone manufacturer. So, exactly what everything are you compromising on? You wouldn;t even get a DP on other platforms. Understand what you're talking about if you're going to complain.
  • Looool
  • We indeed are becoming developers without being developer
  • Feel Your Pain, I'm even tried of waiting
  • Wouldn't mind getting 8.1 on my TMo 925 first...
  • You will if your not using the preview. Only people getting update 1 before "official" 8.1 are the ones using dev preview. Including myself. L925.
  • The 8.1 Dev Preview been very stable on my TMo 925. I really can't imagine going back to stock 8.0.
  • How "rock solid" can it really be without official Cyan firmware and drivers to go with it? Have to be a few annoying glitches like decreased battery life, etc. I would imagine based on what many other users are saying.
  • I have it in a Lumia 920 and its perfect, my battery life is better... the camera is a bit slow... but other than that... Love it.
  • Well, keep imagining.  My L920 is running just fine and has been demonstrating great battery life with the Developer Preview.
  • It'll have to be a game changer b4 I let loose my 920
  • Why??? just because you are incompetant doesn't mean other are. Sick of all these whiners that got the preview thinking they have a clue about how software works and then bitch when their incompetance shows up.
  • So that's the only thing that you could say? I remember you saying the same thing on some threads. Maybe you're the one who's incompetent.
  • If this is anything like PC... I haven't updated my computer's BIOS/uEFI when I updated to Windows 8.1, and graphics and other drivers are the same for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. I cannot see a reason why it wouldn't be the same on Windows Phone OS.
  • Not rich sold but better then just beta. I still get random restarts, laggy performance in podcast, music app and battery issue. I have T-Mobile Nokia 925.
  • *excited*
  • +920
  • +1520
  • Looking forward for the updates...
  • Me too. Dont Microsoft dare to NOT add DATA 3G to action center. I swear If they dont add it in this update I will spam their support with rage mails.
  • There is a Microsoft app in the store called Cellular Data "that enables a tile to be pinned to the WP Home Screen to navigate the user directly to the Data Settings page". Is that what you were wanting or was it something else?
  • Nope. I got that already via app Connection tiles. I want to have Cellular data in ACTION CENTER right next to Wi-fi.
  • I am still waiting for official 8.1 .
  • f<c* it :D Join the dark side (Better side)
  • +1520
  • Dont want to lose my warranty, 2 years is looooooong time in mobile phone world.
  • Nooooo, save RT
  • We are...
  • Why can't they give DP members Cyan already? My 1020 is basically a glorified brick as 8.1 keeps degrating further and further. Even paul thurott has the same issue. 8.1 is a terryble experience on an 8.0 device and I'm hoping Cyan will fix it. What's the point of a Dev preview program by MSFT if we can't get the firmware updates from micro-nokia?
  • Have you tried a hard reset, as Paul said he as not. My 1020 was acting up after 8.1 a hard reset and it is better than ever.
  • Those need carrier approval and Microsoft can't bypass that.
  • Interesting, how does Apple and Sammy get these done ? do they also go through carrier approval ? if they can give Dev Preview update w/o carrier approval why final release needs thier approval .
  • Samsung has to go thru carrier approval, Apple does not.
  • Apple does go through carrier approval, it's just a different test plan and approval process. Much shorter and much more coordinated.
  • How could we sneak in through developer preview were those not approved by carrier What about people whose phone was contracted from the carrier but is unlocked now so why should we wait ?    if Apple can get approval and MS can't from same carrier is that not fair treatment to all OS or manufacturers..  why different test plan to rip off some features which make money for the carrrier ?    and we expect users to stay loyal to WP after this discrimination..
  • Can people not read? How many stories said that installing the DP could void your warranty? The DP was not approved by carriers so anyone who had an issue with their phone and took it back to their carrier for support with WP8.1 DP on it was likely to be told to go away.
  • if people have already installed DP do you think they would have cared about warranty.. ? and you can always flash it back using Nokia recovery tool if you want the official version back..
  • Well those devices bring millions of users to the carriers so they likely get faster approval than the 3-percenter Windows Phone.
  • Haha yeah for most of the world, true. Got an answer from the one responsible for hw support at my carrier and they don't get involved in any kind of updates for any phone. And no other carrier here seems to do that with WP either according to the information I've got from their support people. And still no updates earlier than anyone else. It's plain stupid that an unbranded and unlocked device should have to wait for carrier approval, which doesn't even apply here, if I can switch carrier everyday if I want to.
  • Not really, people who buy unbranded devices are not at the mercy of bloody carriers.
    My Lumia 920 is unbranded therefore the release of Cyan is in the hands of the OEM... which is MS.
  • If a phone is carrier free then it shouldn't be an issue, however that isn't the case, still waiting.
  • Not to sound harsh, but it's called "Developer Preview" for a reason. Read the fine print, you are testing. It doesn't automatically give you any special rights or a higher priority to newer software. You are a lab rat for Microsoft. By participating in the program you give them that permission. Nothing more. If you were under the impression it makes you special for any reason, you need to re-read the fine print.  The point is you are giving them feedback, in this case, it looks like 1020 users may have to do a hard reset in order to make it a stable install.
  • Developers Preview on Lumia 920 and odd hiccups but no real issues and no,hard reset. Getting the 930 soon and if a dev prev comes out in the future will consider it seriously to gain the benefits.
  • I agree.  Considering all you had to do was sign up and install an app we are nothing but testers, nothing more, nothing less. 
  • squeak
  • Strange... I've been using 8.1 since the first week of the developer preview on my 1020 and haven't had any problems. It's working great and I love it!!! It might be a problem with your specific phone and not with the missing firmware update... Or your phone is just too full, it's sure to slow down if you only have a couple of megs available.
  • Ditto, no problems here with my 1020.
  • My wife's 1020 is working perfectly with 8.1 but my 920 is not behaving as it should but is one per week or so. Also my friend's 1020 is really giving her a headache.   So it seems to be random.
  • Since I installed Windows Phone 8.1 on my 920 never had any issue other than the battery drain that was fixed with an update. I love my phone more than ever now and would only get 930 even though I'll need to give up glance. My 920 just looks new everyday
  • Use Nokia Software Recovery and roll back to the latest commercial release. It's now officially supported.
  • People still complaining about not having 8.1 is ridiculous, just get the dev preview
  • 8.1 really needs the Firmware updates. Many devices are a little "wonky" with just the update.
  • Yep. Need BT 4.0
  • Nokia recovery tool is the key.
  • Most are just making the point that they hope to receive the "official" update, bundled with the "cyan" firmware update for Nokia phones. This would correct the sluggishness of the 8.1 DP, and make the WP8.1 experience much better. I concur.
  • My Icon acts up with 8.1 so I keep going back to 8.0 I did determine the getting hot problem was only with the WPCentral app installed. Also with 8.1 my phone overheats when wireless charging and stops charging. My 928 works perfectly with 8.1 all the way around. So I'm keeping my Icon on 8.0 for now.
  • yeah, i'm hoping cyan fixes my icon.  
  • Same here.  Love the phone, just wish it was stable.
  • My Icon was getting really hot also and periodically getting the "Loading..." or "Resuming..." screens.  Sometimes they would clear in a few seconds but sometimes I had to do a soft reset to get it back.  I even did a hard reset to try to get it to clear up. I tried to turn off all kinds of things. Finally, I took it to Verizon and he said "I've never heard of anyone having that problem before.  We'll just order you a replacement."  That was about a month ago and I haven't had any problems with it so far but it's still running 8.0.  I've been waiting on Cyan firmware before I do anymore updates.  But 8.1 sure is tempting...
  • Ridiculous is advising dev preview for normal users, who will not like to void there warranty after installing it.
  • You can take it back to 8.0 if you need warranty work.
  • Find me a case where someone's phone was rejected for warranty coverage and who had Preview for Developers installed. I haven't heard of a single case. Also, language: "you may void any warranty from your MO and OEM."
  • Plenty here in India.
  • Once you have dev preview installed, your phone warranty is at stake. As far as Nokia Care is concerned. T&C state that it may void warranty, yes it doesn't happen necessarily but any issues will be directly linked to your "act" of upgrading forcibly. An average user like me why would get into hassle of installing dev preview and then do a rollback for claiming warranty?
  • NokiaCareUS refused to help me with my Icon once they found out I had 8.1 Dev Preview installed.  Given, they didn't say it voided my warranty or anything that extreme, they simply won't help if you have 8.1 DP.   I know I can roll back to 8.0 with the Nokia software but I'm going to wait for official 8.1/Cyan to see if the phones issues get resolved.  If problems still exsit then I'm assuming they WILL help once 8.1 is officially rolled out.
  • Yes, I used my warranty with dev preview, no problem
  • What's ridiculous is that we are 20 months in to WP8, without a proper feature update.
  • wtf do you call 8.1? a bug fix?
  • And it isn't released yet as an update, except for a beta (aka. it isn't released yet).
  • It is released genius, your carrier is just slow at releasing it, plenty of phones have it officially out including some 925's
  • brutal but accurate
  • I have it as a "pilot" on my 925, but even that smells a lot like beta. Might be it's officially released somewhere fully and I'm simply wrong, but it has still been very slow. Of course, it is better they do it right than do it quick, and the update itself is mostly great, but for an underdog Microsoft has been remarkably slow and uninventive.
  • How does it seem like a beta? I'm on the beta and don't even feel like one for me
  • When getting a new phone, do I have to disable DP from my old phone first before signing my new one up?
  • no, i have it running on a 920 and a 1020 right now
  • You need to enable through the Preview for Developers app on your new phone to get the updates.
  • Doing so will void my warranty. I've had to send in my 920 for repair once. If it happened again I would be screwed. I have to wait.
  • I happen to think installing dev preview without firmware and drivers is ridiculous. No need for anyone except devs (thus the name) and maybe tech journalists to have it installed IMO. I'm perfectly happy to wait for Cyan and OTA to roll out. My phone has worked just fine with 8.0 up til now and I expect it will continue to do so until 8.1 is released.
  • Exactly!
  • Normally I would agree with this sentiment. However, 8.1 isn't an incremental improvement -- it is lightyears ahead of 8.0 - particularly Cortana, the notification center, and the myriad of UI improvements. When I see other people's 8.0 start screen I literally wince. My phone has become just more useful and more pleasant overall.   That being said I'm not 100% happy. I have my share of battery life issues on my (heavily used) 920, and the music experience is flat out worse. However, I would honestly rather deal with those shortcomings than wait indefinitely for MS and AT&T to get Cyan out to us. 8.1 is seriously that much better.
  • That's basically the point I'm at too. I got the preview knowing full well that it was not going to be perfect. For me it was just a matter of getting a taste of what was coming. However, now that I have that taste I want even more.
  • +920!!!
  • And lose 2 years warranty, sure
  • Yum
  • Can someone break into MS HQ and find out when will it be available for dev preview users?
  • Possibly within a few weeks, according to the article...
  • Finally
  • Very Interesting, wonder what else they got in store for GDR1 beside the Folders thing?
  • A new Music Hub!
  • HAH! Good one.
  • Maybe a update for Xbox games....Xbox one and games in the hub...
  • a 2g/3g/4g toggle and cellurar data switch in Action Center. Please -_-
  • Before, when I was on T-Mobile and unlimited data, I didn't understand why people needed to turn off cellular... now, on Verizon with a 1GB plan... yeah, a cellular data toggle would be most welcome!
  • I want that also 
  • That would be cool.
  • Interesting thing.
  • Eagerly waiting
  • may be they will release both at the same time..early spring:P
  • Then wp central would explode
  • No shit
  • Haha
  • It's time for wp to rise...
  • Hold up, McLaren isn't the 1020 successor? Hmmm. Sounds abit suspect. I hope we get 3D plus 41mp. ;)
  • Lovely that would be
  • ok yoda
  • more like concept dream, i would wish for this too
  • 1020's successor will be a basic phone with a great camera, just like the 1020 and 808.
  • I'm praying your wrong but only time will tell. My contract is up at Mclaren release/announcement so either way ill be ready.
  • I was hoping for the include of 3D touch too. But anyways, gimme that camera !!!!!
  • And 64gb internal storage with SD slot!
  • Yes please.
  • ditto, but 64 will likely be an option instead of the standard (I assume) I'd be happy with 32 and a SD Card Slot
  • It could still be the 1020 successor. More megapixels doesn't make a better camera.
  • Yeaaahhhh.... Lets see when does GDR1 comes to preview for devs program..... Waiting for some more new features:)
  • Niceeee, dp in a few weeks..coool
    Lets see what features does it bring. :D
  • Looking forward!
  • Hopefully we will get parental controls then I can buy them. Smooth running budget Windows phones. Budget Android phones don't run well after a couple of weeks and I phones are too expensive Posted via Windows Phone Central App