Windows Phone 8.1 and Cyan firmware rollout to Lumia users begins

Windows Phone 8.1 and Cyan firmware rollout to Lumia users begins

Summary: The Windows Phone 8.1 operating system and Cyan firmware release are starting to roll out to existing Lumia users as of July 15.


Windows Phone users with existing Lumia handsets will begin receiving the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system and the Cyan firmware update starting Tuesday, according to company officials.


Users with brand-new Lumias, such as the Lumia 930 and 630 already have Windows Phone 8.1 and Cyan. But just about every existing Lumia handset will be getting the new operating system and firmware refresh, as will almost all other non-Lumia Windows Phone 8 handsets.

Note that not every Lumia user will get the new operating system and the firmware update on Tuesday. Microsoft execs are still saying that the rollout will be staged and progress "over the coming weeks." Microsoft has built a page that provides the status of the rollout, listed by handset, carrier and geographic region.

Currently all of the Lumia models on that page are listed as still "in testing."

Microsoft released to manufacturing the Windows Phone 8.1 back in late March/early April. Anyone signing up as a developer was able to get that RTM'd version of Windows Phone 8.1 as of early April. Since then, Microsoft has updated the operating system a few times.

Company officials repeatedly have told users to expect to get the Windows Phone 8.1 release beginning this summer. The exact rollout timing is determined by handset makers and carriers.

Those with Lumia Windows Phone devices -- the vast majority of the Windows Phone installed base -- will get a firmware update codenamed Cyan, in addition to the Windows Phone 8.1 OS itself. The Cyan update includes new Nokia functionality, including a new, simplified user interface and full-resolution zooming and reframing and other fairly minor features. Cyan is tailored specifically for each Lumia model, meaning not every handset will get every Cyan feature.

Windows Phone 8.1, for those who need a feature refresher, includes Microsoft's Cortana personal digital assistant functionality; a notification center; enterprise features such as VPN, enterprise WiFi and S/MIME support for secure email; the new Word Flow Swype-like keyboard; and more.

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Mobile OS, 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).

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  • Thank you

    Thank you Mary Jo,

    I was hoping Microsoft would provide a page for the roll out for the Cyan update. Thank you for linking to it.
  • Need A Separate Link

    for those of us with unlocked phones. I don't want to install any carrier crapware.
    • There isn't and crapware.

      It's not like Android, where you have a ton of apps you can't get rid of that are constantly running in the background.

      If you have an AT&T WP, you just uninstall a couple apps if you don't want them, it takes a couple seconds. If you don't use them, they don't do anything.
      • Exactly, why does everyone think this?!

        Its not like new interfaces are installed or anything crazy like you can get in Android.
        Stuart Becktell
  • Why are the carriers involved?

    If, as reported, 8% of Windows Phones have been running the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview from MS and for months, what testing do carriers really need to do? We don't have the Cyan part yet, but still...

    Doesn't Apple handle their updates and all on the same day? And I thought MS said a couple years ago they were cutting the carriers out of the update process. I'm not being snarky. I'm wondering.
    • They are the support provider

      The carrier is the primary support provider, so they do have to be in the loop. They have to minimally train their CSRs and how to use the new version.
      Buster Friendly
  • Thanks for the link, Mary Jo

    I too wish we could find a way to eliminate the carrier middlemen between MS and WP users. The Lumia 1520 is a great phone made lesser because AT&T had Nokia remove the Qi wireless charging from it because they support a different standard.
    Sir Name
  • Windows Phone 8.1 and Cyan firmware rollout to Lumia users begins

    Thanks for the link, I will be checking daily to see when its released. I know a few people who are going want this update.
  • Not confident....

    Still testing? Unless someone is late updating status, none of us will see this update today.
    • Likley Still testing on non Nokia models

      Would be my guess, as I would imagine they are far more varied internally.
  • win 8 phone

    Thanks MJ
  • Great news.

    Let's hope ATT is as quick with this as they were with Black. 8.1 has a lot of great features and I'm looking forward to see what Cyan adds.
  • Date based on Carrier or Region?

    I am interested to see if my unlocked Lumia 920 (ROM flashed to bypass AT&T for Amber update and get Data Sense last year, currently running WP8.1 DP) will get the update schedule associated with its OS country (UK Country variant) or carrier (US AT&T). Both are listed as "Under testing" at the moment. I neglected to check which one took precedence with the Amber & Black updates, but if the 2 release dates are different this time, I will find out for sure.
  • Nothing yet

    I assume it will pop up on the Settings->phone update? Now I'll just have to press check again every hour for the next week. :)
    Buster Friendly
  • 928

    Will have to wait, I guess.
  • Any news

    on whether Cyan addresses the problems with Bluetooth?

    With one car the handsfree kicks in, but because I use Aux to play podcasts over the headphone jack, I get no audio - the handsfree kicks in BT and cuts normal audio, as it should, but the Lumia keeps on using the headphone jack for audio out, instead of switching to BT.

    In the other car, it works fine A2DP for audio and BT handsfree for incoming calls and SMS. But I can't reply to SMS, it cuts out the BT microphone before I can answer. And if I make a call over the phone it won't activate BT, even though it says BT is active - if I dial using the phonebook in the radio, it works fine.

    Those are my only quibbles with the Lumia and luckily I have to make a call about once a month from the car and probably get 2 SMS a month where I would want to reply. It is annoying, not a deal breaker.

    But for a heavy duty handsfree user, I can see it being a major problem.
  • Cyan will Hopefully correct WP8.1 Sluggish Performance

    Putting Windows Phone 8.1 on my Lumia 925, really screwed up its performance. Apps List Scrolling is really juddery now, worse than on cheap Androids :( I am hoping that Cyan, brings back decent perfomance to my Lumia 925, but I suspect not, Windows Phone is just a bloated extension, no winder Microsoft is turning to Android for its cheaper handsets now.

    But Carriers are unlikely to pass on Cyan and Windows 8.1 to existing consumers, because of their hatred to this platform. So No I do not see that many of us will ever see Cyan and Windows 8.1 being distrbuted to us through our national Carriers.
  • What about non-Nokia WP8 users?

    Nothing mentioned about HTC8X...
  • Windows 8.1 Roll out aborted - Developers Preview problems

    So despite reassurances from Paul Thurott, downloading the Windows 8.1 Developer preview has screwed up our phones, and we are now advised to back roll our Phones using Nokia recovery tools.

    Cortana still only US service, and Microsoft wonders why Windows Phone is losing market share !

    Not a Happy Windows Phone User.
  • Wonder how long the Verizon exclusivity agreement last with the Icon?

    I am waiting either for a release of the 930 - "unlocked", carrier free and in Orange and Green and maybe some other new colors such as red and yellow to be available in the U.S. that has all the GSM radios in one 930 model like that of Google Nexus models and Apple iPhone "unlocked" models to be available on Microsoft Windows Store website by end of September. Otherwise; I heading back to Apple and the upcoming iPhone 6!

    I just cannot stand the carrier exclusivity marketing of Nokia/Microsoft! It limits your choices within the WP smartphones. I know that Microsoft has signed on more manufacturers; but they as of yet has not introduced any more WP models in the U.S. And from my readings on it; they are going to be carrier based WP models too so I am out of luck if I am shopping for an unlocked, GSM carrier free WP model to buy outright.