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Windows Phone 8.1 Could Have June Release

A recent update to Microsoft's Windows Phone support lifecycle page suggests Windows Phone 8.1 will be released next month.

Microsoft will begin supporting Windows Phone 8.1, the next major update to its Windows Phone platform, on June 24, according to the updated page. Presumably, that means mobile carriers can begin rolling out the update to current Windows Phone 8 users on that date. As with previous Windows Phone updates, the precise date that users receive Windows Phone 8.1 on their devices will depend on their carrier.

Microsoft had no comment on the June 24 date. "Windows Phone 8.1 will start rolling out to existing Windows Phone 8 users over the coming months," a spokesperson for the company said in an e-mail.

Windows Phone 8.1 will reach the end of its mainstream support period on July 11, 2017, according to the lifecycle page.

A June 24 start date would support a recent report by Gizbot.com, which cited a Microsoft executive as saying that Windows Phone 8.1 will be rolled out to Lumia devices by the end of June.

Microsoft has otherwise made no official announcement of the exact date for Windows Phone 8.1's general availability. During April's Build conference, where Microsoft first unveiled Windows Phone 8.1, company officials said only that the update will begin rolling out to users "in the next few months."

At the same conference, Stephen Elop, former Nokia CEO and now an executive vice president at Microsoft, said that all eligible Lumia devices will be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8.1 "this summer" as part of the "Lumia Cyan" update.

Users who don't want to wait for the official rollout can technically access Windows Phone 8.1 now by downloading the developer preview, which was released in mid-April. However, the developer preview requires registration, and may be different from the final version whenever it is released.

Besides the forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft may issue two more incremental updates this year. According to an April report by WPCentral.com that cites unnamed sources, the two updates will be GDR1 and GDR2 (in the parlance of Microsoft's Windows Phone team, GDR stands for "general distribution release"). A possible GDR3 update may arrive sometime in 2015, the report said. Windows Phone 8 had three GDR updates.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editor of Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and AWSInsider.net, and the editorial director of Converge360.

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