Microsoft updates Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview bits

Microsoft updates Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview bits

Summary: Microsoft is getting closer to making Windows Phone 8.1 available publicly. The company will launch the first phone preloaded with WP 8.1, the Lumia 630, this week in Asia.


Microsoft is getting closer to launching the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system.


On May 14, company officials told those running the WP 8.1 Developer Preview bits they could grab updated bits that include various bug fixes, as well as improvements to battery life

Microsoft initially made the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer preview bits available in mid-April to anyone who was willing to register as a developer (whether they actually develop software or not). Here's how to get access to the preview bits to run on existing Windows Phone 8 devices if you haven't already.

To get the updated developer preview bits, users can go to "Settings" and then "Phone Update" and check for updates.

The Lumia 630 -- the first Windows Phone preloaded with Windows Phone 8.1 -- is going on sale in Asia this week (as well as in Europe, according to a few readers). The 630 features a 4.5-inch LCD screen and quad-core Snapdragon processor. The Lumia 630 and Lumia 630 dual-SIM are expected to be available for around 119€ before taxes and subsidies (for the single-SIM variant), and 129€ before taxes and subsidises for the dual-SIM one.

Windows Phone 8.1 includes the Cortana personal assistant (starting with U.S. availability), new Start screen background options, an Action/Notification center, Word Flow keyboard and built-in enterprise-focused features.


Topics: Mobile OS, Microsoft, Nokia, Windows Phone


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Now...

    If only Microsoft could deploy updates like this during the actual production release. Damn carriers.
    • Yes, but I understand why

      The release is basically, MS finished development work (RTM) and gives it to phone OEMs. The phone OEMs do final testing with the firmware updates and value-add apps and then give it to the carriers. The carriers do final testing for compatibly with wireless network and billing and then make available to consumers.

      If you look at the actual versions released:

      You will see that there are different version numbers that are actually released because issues come up on different model phones that do not effect them all.

      So, while it is frustrating to wait longer, you get a much better product.
    • Which is why...

      I always buy unlocked phone direct from Amazon or Alternate etc. and not a subsidized handset over the carrier - here in Germany the cost over 2 years is usually more than buying a discounted, unlocked phone up front, if you count the reduced monthly cost over a subsidized phone.
  • I would not buy one

    If the OS is anything like Windows 8.0 and 8.1 it is bad and I don't like it at all. I had to get a new laptop and ended up with it since they made sure you couldn't get Windows 7 on it. That was the worst decision since buying Windows Vista for a desktop I built and put it on.
    • Well Now Arent You A

      cereal bowl full of cheer?
    • Do you know the differcne between a Phone and a Laptop

      You seem a little confused on the subject
      • It's the same UI

        That people are largely rejecting. You do realize that Microsoft counts unsold units (sitting in a warehouse), as part of Marketshare, right. They've been doing this for decades. They also count a license twice, in many situations, to further "pad the numbers". But that explains why they brag about selling 2 million phones a quarter, then claim to be growing faster than any other OS ever.
        I hate trolls also
        • you hate yourself?

        • So you are saying it's a bad UI for touch devices?

        • Proof?

          Could you please provide proof of your statements? Otherwise, you're just talking garbage.
        • Clearly you've never used Windows phone 8

          Windows phone 8 does not suffer the same rejection that windows 8 does. In fact polls have shown that Windows phone users are more satisfied than iOS, Blackberry and Android users. People who try windows phone generally love it.

          With Windows 8, it's not the basic UI that people have a problem with. It's the fact that it's designed for touch screens and difficult to use on a traditional PC. With the latest update by the way, most of those issues have been addressed so clearly Microsoft is listening.

          I've been using Windows phone for a couple of years now and I love it. Yet, when windows 8 was first released for the desktop I was very disappointed. They are two very different operating systems operating in two very different worlds.

          So no, it's not "the same UI that people are largely rejecting".
          • Vince is right

            I love my win 8 phone. Bought an Ativ S on release day.

            No regrets, one of the easiest to use and 'cleanest' UI's out there.

            The only thing they need is a better "toast" notification system and I hear that they are working on this.
          • Wrong....

            You know, from the posts above and below, it's obvious most of you have either never used Win8 or used it for a very brief moment and haven't used it since.

            It's obvious, because of the statements made.

            Win8 works perfectly fine via Touch or Keyboard and Mouse
            And It Always Has, Since Day One...

            There are ZERO, none, not one single issue with using a Mouse and Keyboard in Win8.

            Once most people get past that bit of BS reasoning (that Keyboard and Mouse don't work in Win8), they actually generally like Win8.

            The problem is, when people read this disingenuous, garbage filled spew fest about how Win8 is not designed for Desktops.

            Stop spreading FUD when you have no clue what you are talking about.

            This is not about opinion, these are facts....
            While your opinion is yours, your facts are false and grossly disingenuous.
        • It's about time MS followed Apple and Google there, I hate trolls also

          In accounting for market share

          You do realize that Apple count unsold units (sitting in a warehouses and Apple Store back rooms), as part of Market share, right?

          You can't deny it because they used to quote activations (done when end user buys it), now all they do is talk "sales". So when they sell a "million Android tablets", it means that 100,000 may be in use, with the other 900,000 sitting in warehouses, storerooms, or assembly lines.
        • They're still small

          The fast growth is still believable. Their marketshare is smaller than Android and iOS.

          It's like how developing country can have 6~8% growth while most developed countries are trying hard to go beyond 3% growth.
          These companies are just presenting the numbers in the more convenient way, be it solid numbers or percentage.
    • SO are you currently running Windows 7 on your phone?

      just curious... LOL
    • Windows 8 is not Windows Phone 8

      The only similarities between the UI are the live tiles and that's not why people are "rejecting" windows 8. People don't like windows 8 because it's hard to use with a keyboard and mouse. On tablets for example, windows 8 has been very well received.

      The phone OS is also an amazing OS that works beautifully on a phone. To say that the phone OS is no good because you don't like the desktop OS is a juvenile comment to say the least, especially since you've clearly never used a windows phone.
    • I have no need for W8 on a desktop..

      since my desktop doesn't function like a tablet or a phone.. i don't know i haven't tried W8 on a tablet or phone. MS should let people decide from W7 or W8 on a desktop. W8 makes more sense on a phone though. I haven't tried it on that.
      • Windows 8 on your phone?

        I guess you might have missed the "P". WP8 is for phones only. You can't load Windows 8 on any phone as it is designed for tablets and desktop systems. Windows 8 has a 'traditional' desktop that works, oddly enough, just like the desktop on a Windows 7 machine except for the Start button. This single difference is what all the griping is regarding along with the oddities revolving around the seldom used charm bars. I have been using them with no issue for over two years now and have successfully incorporated Windows 8 into both business and a variety of student and octogenarian systems with great success. The combination of touch AND keyboard/mouse control is wonderful. I couldn't possibly go back.
        The Heretic
      • Distortions are your speciality it appears

        Since you haven't tried Win 8 on what it was developed for, and haven't used a Windows phone, why do you comment like you know what you are talking about? "W8 makes more sense on a phone though. I haven't tried it on that" is your most idiotic post.