Richi Jennings

Windows Phone 8.1 download download download download

April 15, 2014 6:05 AM EDT

developers developers developers developers
No need to be a developer developer developer developer.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is allowing anyone to download the near-final Preview build of Windows Phone 8.1. Although it's billed as a developer-only release, it's easy to get.

The reviews are positively glowing: WinPho8.1 is really pushing their (capacitive) buttons.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ignore the dire warnings and install the released update anyway.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

 
Peter Bright puts down his Italian-food dissertation to say, "This really should be Windows Phone 9":

Windows Phone 8.1...has a lot of work to do. ... Windows Phone, while livable day-to-day, still has gaps compared to iOS and Android.

Of all the things about Windows Phone 7 that surprised...it was the weak enterprise support that probably surprised most. ... While various management features have been added incrementally, the platform has still been lacking. ... 8.1 addresses some important concerns [such as] support for IPSec VPNs, and downloadable apps will extend this to support SSL VPNs. ... The e-mail client has also been updated to support S/MIME signing and encryption. [It] will give administrators many of the controls they expect: deploying corporate apps, pushing out configuration, and restricting access to games or other undesirable content. ... There is also an ultra-locked down mode called "Assigned Access" that can create phones with almost kiosk-like simplicity.

[It enables] OEMs to go after the growth markets and growth price points in emerging markets, [it does] more to appeal to high-end buyers, [it gives] developers a better platform, and [it'll] get people talking. ... [It] feels a whole lot more mature and a whole lot more capable. ... It is substantial...tremendously better...a magnificent smartphone platform.  MORE


 
So Google and Apple should mark Mark Hachman's words:

From the bold vibrancy of its new Start screen, to its new digital assistant, Cortana...Windows Phone 8.1 establishes itself as a top-tier smartphone platform.

[But] it’s Microsoft just playing catch-up, right? Yes, to an extent. But...Microsoft has built significantly onto an already-decent OS, and other pieces are falling into place. ... This is the new reality: Microsoft can finally compete alongside Apple and Google, in what is now a three-way race.  MORE


 
Want it? Gregg Keizer has good news, and not just for developers (developers, developers, developers): [You're fired, fired, fired -Ed.]

Contrary to its label of..."for Developers," anyone can upgrade their current Windows Phone 8-powered handset. ... For $19 annually, anyone can register as a developer. ... Or register at the App Studio...there's no fee.

Installing the Windows Phone 8.1 preview may void [your] warranty. ... Once on the preview, there's no going back.  MORE


 
But Neil McAllister asks if you're willing to risk wrecking your phone:

If your phone needs updated drivers for some of its components...your phone could become unstable or you could lose some features that work now.

Still, there are some compelling features in the new release that developers will want to get their mitts on. Chief among them [is] Redmond's new Siri killer digital personal assistant, Cortana. [It] also makes it possible for developers to build "universal Windows apps" that run on Windows Phone, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT.

New handsets with Windows Phone 8.1 preinstalled won't start shipping until the end of this month or early May.  MORE


 
Meanwhile, Y. Ilker Basimoglu sounds ****ing frustrated:

I’ve wasted almost an hour on the App Studio website waiting for pages to respond. I must have keyed in my email and password 30 times now. ... “This page is unavailable” in Times New Roman. The laziest of load errors. [Or] an 500 “Oops! Something went wrong” page.

Windows Phone is nice but it makes me wonder how many people it honestly took to break the site.  MORE


 

Subscribe now to the Blogs Newsletter for a daily summary of the most recent and relevant blog posts at Computerworld.