As promised, Microsoft has started rolling out Windows Phone 8.1 to all Windows Phone 8 devices via Preview for Developers program today.
Windows Phone 8.1, internally known as “Blue” is the first major OS update for the Windows Phone 8.0 operating system. Follwing today, anyone can update their Windows Phone 8 devices over-the-air to Windows Phone 8.1 through Preview for Developers program.
“You can update your personal dev phone(s) to run Windows Phone 8.1 using the Windows Phone Preview for Developers program,” said Cliff Simpkins of Microsoft.
Anyone with Windows Phone 8 can update to 8.1 via Preview for Developers program.
Windows Phone 8.1 introduces several new features. They include Cortana (digital personal assistant) alongside a new notification center dubbed as Action Center, Custom Start background, third-live title column for all devices, Internet Explorer 11 with InPrivate mode and Read mode, new Calendar app and Store app layout, Wi-Fi Sense, deep integration of Skype to the core parts of the OS, word-flow keyboard, Enterprise VPN and business specific features and more.
If you wish to install Windows Phone 8.1, you must meet one of three conditions:
- You must have a developer-unlocked smartphone.
- You must be enrolled in the Windows Phone Dev Center, which costs $19 per year.
- You must sign up for Windows Phone App Studio program, and it’s absolutely FREE.
And you will be able to get early access to the new code without your carrier intervention.
Ready to take the bump to v8.1? Go to Windows Phone store and download Preview for Developers and sign in with your registered email address. Once it’s done, just check for updates in the settings. You should being downloading Windows Phone 8.1, and rejoice the new OS features. FYI, it’s a sans-firmware OS update only, and doesn’t include any device specific features from the manufacturer.
NOTE: After upgrading to Windows Phone 8.1, you won’t be able to go back to the previous release of the operating system. In addition, the action may void the warranty of the manufacturer or operator.