Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview now available to download

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Microsoft unveiled its highly-anticipated Windows Phone 8.1 update at its keynote address at the Build conference in April, but at that time, did not provide a timeline for either the developer preview, or the consumer roll-out for non-Nokia devices.

On Monday however, the company released for download the latest update for the Windows Phone platform, specifically, the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1. Belfiore last week had said the preview would be available early next week, while other publications had cited their sources to arrive on the 14 April date.

Notably, the Redmond giant at the Build conference had announced that Windows Phone 8.1 would be arriving in new smartphones, while would be rolled out to compatible phones ‘in the coming months’.

Microsoft, rolling out the developer preview of its mobile OS; clearly wants the developers to work on app ecosystem ahead of the Windows Phone 8.1 release in late-April or early-May.

(Also see: Windows Phone 8.1: Top eight new features)

The official Windows Phone preview for developers page notes, “Windows Phone preview for developers gives registered developers access to pre-release Windows Phone operating system updates for their development phone, directly from Microsoft. The preview program was created to give developers time to test their apps, and to validate that their apps run as expected on a real phone before an operating system update is made generally available to your customers.”

Joe Belfiore VP Windows Phone program management and design on Monday announced the availability of the developer preview for developers on Twitter and said, “HEY DEVS… COME AND GET IT! #wp8.1”

Developers or enthusiasts interested in trying out the new Windows Phone 8.1 preview for developers have to be registered as a developer with App Studio for free. Users could also pay $19 to register as a Windows Phone developer and get access to publishing apps in the Windows Phone Store.

Notably, those installing the developer preview of the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, should not expect to use Cortana outside of the US. Cortana will be available first in the US as a ‘beta’ and later will released in the UK and China in the second half of 2014, while in other countries Cortana might reach by 2015. This mean users of the WP8.1 developer preview in other regions will only get access to Bing search for now.

The Windows Phone 8.1 includes updates such as Cortana, Action Centre, Word Flow and more personalised Start Screen.

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The Microsoft Build conference also saw the unveiling of the Windows 8.1 Update operating system version, alongside three new devices, Nokia Lumia 930, Lumia 630 and Lumia 635, which would be the platform lead devices for Windows Phone 8.1 OS version.

Filed in: News

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