Microsoft: Windows Phone 8 devices can be upgraded to Windows Phone 8.1

Many people who currently own Windows Phone 8 smartphones have been worried that when Windows Phone 8.1 comes out, their handsets won't be upgraded to the new OS. This week, Microsoft confirmed that won't be the case.

Many people who bought Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 devices are still upset at Microsoft when it was announced those smartphones would not get an update to Windows 8. However, Computerworld reports that in a chat with Windows Phone director of public relations Greg Sullivan, "We will not have the same experience as we had when Windows Phone 7 was upgraded to Windows Phone 8."

Sullivan added that Windows Phone 8 was a "powerful OS" that can handle major upgrades, saying, "We won't run out of head space on Windows Phone 8 any time soon."

Neowin named the upcoming release of Windows Phone 8.1 as the biggest tech news item we were most looking forward to in 2014. While Microsoft has yet to offer up any official information on the OS upgrade, Internet reports claim that a long awaited notification center will be part of the company's plans, along with a virtual assistant code named “Cortana”. Microsoft is expected to reveal more information on the OS at its BUILD conference in April.

Source: Computerworld

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i think it's always the Major Move is the problem cause i think 8 to 8.1 is like 7 to 7.5 not very major. From 8 to 9 that what i will call a news

M_Lyons10 said,
I'm not sure how many times they have to say this before people believe it... Lol

Far less than all the Android phones/tablets running pre 4.x versions.

Even compared to Apple, Microsoft technically has a longer supported update mobile life cycle.

Let's see.

Windows Mobile 6.0>6.1>6.5 = Dead

Windows Phone 7>7.5>7.8 = Dead (Thanks to AT&T My HTC Titan never got the 7.8 update.)

Windows Phone 8> 8.1>8.5 ?? = Dead

At this point, I don't trust Microsoft as far as I can throw them with their promise of updates. Even if they put out an update, AT&T is going to screw customers over in hopes that we (the consumers) will get fustrated enough to buy another phone through them for the update. With feeling cheated as a previous Windows Phone customer who has had Windows Mobile 6.5 (HTC Tilt) and Windows Phone 7.5 (HTC Titan) , the only way I will get a Windows Phone is if Microsoft is giving us the update period without the carriers being in the way. Introduce a Surface phone if you have too like Google introduced the Nexus without carrier interferance.

JSYOUNG571 said,
Let's see.

Windows Mobile 6.0>6.1>6.5 = Dead

Windows Phone 7>7.5>7.8 = Dead (Thanks to AT&T My HTC Titan never got the 7.8 update.)

Windows Phone 8> 8.1>8.5 ?? = Dead

At this point, I don't trust Microsoft as far as I can throw them with their promise of updates. Even if they put out an update, AT&T is going to screw customers over in hopes that we (the consumers) will get fustrated enough to buy another phone through them for the update. With feeling cheated as a previous Windows Phone customer who has had Windows Mobile 6.5 (HTC Tilt) and Windows Phone 7.5 (HTC Titan) , the only way I will get a Windows Phone is if Microsoft is giving us the update period without the carriers being in the way. Introduce a Surface phone if you have too like Google introduced the Nexus without carrier interferance.

I am similarly as old. Microsoft dropped the ball so much that I no longer trust them at all when it comes to updates. As the 6.5 -> 7 death was artificial (as the HD2 proves) and the same was true for 7.5 -> 8.

Unless they do something like a Nexus and I see consistent update performance I will never consider them again.

JSYOUNG571 said,
Let's see.

Windows Mobile 6.0>6.1>6.5 = Dead

Windows Phone 7>7.5>7.8 = Dead (Thanks to AT&T My HTC Titan never got the 7.8 update.)

Windows Phone 8> 8.1>8.5 ?? = Dead

At this point, I don't trust Microsoft as far as I can throw them with their promise of updates. Even if they put out an update, AT&T is going to screw customers over in hopes that we (the consumers) will get fustrated enough to buy another phone through them for the update. With feeling cheated as a previous Windows Phone customer who has had Windows Mobile 6.5 (HTC Tilt) and Windows Phone 7.5 (HTC Titan) , the only way I will get a Windows Phone is if Microsoft is giving us the update period without the carriers being in the way. Introduce a Surface phone if you have too like Google introduced the Nexus without carrier interferance.

You do realize you can push the 7.8 update yourself manually, right?

Personally I never had a doubt about the fact that WP8 existing devices would have not been upgradable to WP 8.1; not allowing it would be suicidal for the platform.
What will be interesting to see is what new features and capabilities WP 8.1 will bring to the platform and which ones will be available to existing devices.

When did the schedule slip so badly? I thought WPBlue was on for release in January originally, now they aren't even going to TALK about it until April? You can't release two "sister" products with the same version numbers a year apart, WP will always seem a version behind Windows.

JustAnotherTechie said,
....

Explains why the needed a corporate re-organization.
the Re-org may also explain the dates slipping as the new people in charge need time to re-evaluate the previous priorities to see if they align across the new group.

Not really news since Microsoft said themselves that all phones are upgradable to the next 'major version' for AT LEAST 2 years. All WP8 phones are upgradeable until at least Jan 2016, by that time probably 9.5 or 10 will be out. I don't understand why people are worried anymore now that Windows and WP8 share the same core, that was the only reason WP7 users didn't. Now that they share the same core, it'll be upgradeable like PCs (and even iPhones) are upgradable. You'll just be limited hardware-specific features that newer models have.

Fingers crossed for all the people with Carriers that don't approve it they can use the Preview for Developers app to gain access. (maybe this won't work if things like drivers are changed though)

TheDisneyMagic said,
Fingers crossed for all the people with Carriers that don't approve it they can use the Preview for Developers app to gain access. (maybe this won't work if things like drivers are changed though)

Only thing that won't work are developer specific features until they release their update. When I upgraded my 1020 to Update 3, many of Nokia's new stuff didn't work until their Black update.

Any other viable choice? MS is already deep in doo-doo with Windows-8.x for laptops and desktops. Why make things worse for their customer base?

Windows-8.x has hardly been the resounding success Microsoft had hoped for--most especially for the business/enterprise milieu based on laptops and desktops.

I guess my last comment didn't meet muster. Let me expound. The only people that didn't think this would be the case didn't understand why 7>8 wouldn't have worked.

And no windows phone 7 didn't get 7.5? I know 7 to 8 was a bugger and Microsoft would feel the need to reassure people, but come on people

Actually it's quite a significant release, despite the number. We'll get WP9 as well, they said themselves all devices are upgradable for AT LEAST until January 2016. WP9 is slated for next year, so we should still get it. We should also be getting WP10, but by then you'll probably have a new phone anyway.

Edited by j2006, Jan 9 2014, 3:40pm :

obviously it will be upgradeable, its not the problem in updates like from 8 to 8.1, 8.2 8.8....
the problem will be from 8.xx to 9, and that is understandable, after 3 years is good to have a software overhauling that would bring the next gen experience.

It will be. They said all WP8 phones are upgradeable up until "at least" January 2016... by that time WP10 or 10.1 will probably be out. It won't be an issue anymore since Windows Phone now shares the same core as Windows, therefore we should be able to upgrade our phones the same way we can upgrade our PCs with new versions of Windows. WP7 couldn't do that because it was a different chipset core all together. The only things you won't get going forward are any hardware and RAM-specific features that newer models.

Anyone who thought this goes without saying, tell that to the Lumia 900 users who can't upgrade to WP8 when it came out not too long before Windows Phone 8.0

Steven P. said,
Anyone who thought this goes without saying, tell that to the Lumia 900 users who can't upgrade to WP8 when it came out not too long before Windows Phone 8.0

The difference is that WP7 to WP8 was a generation jump. The internal architecture is compleetly different. Now WP8 has the same core as Windows 8. It wouldn't suprise me if the most powerful WP8 handsets eventually get upgraded to WP9 (or Windows for ARM, whatever the merged successor will be called).

Could WP7 handset run WP8? According to Microsoft they could but it would require a very substancial investment. A lot of WP8's features would have to be cut out as well as they arent compatible with WP7 handsets. Basically they would need to make a seperate dumbed down version of the OS. There wasnt enough benefit especially if you consider the turnover speed of phones, So instead they created WP7.8, which is still capable of running most WP8 apps.
'
After I upgraded to my Lumia 920 from a HTC Mozart I didnt feel as if I more apps available. In fact some of the games I had were unavailable on WP8. This because they were designed for WP only being designed for one specific screensize. I had no doubt I would be getting 8.1. I think that if the 920's hardware can run WP9 we will even get that upgrade.

Sorry but this from an editor on this site is mind blowing! WP7 was based on an entirely different codebase/Kernel etc, and its been said over and over that 7x was pushed out before the windows 8 kernel was ready because the competition were gaining too much ground and something had to get pushed out with the new UI so that it could start to be accepted.

Now that WP8x is using and is synced with the windows 8 kernel, this will not happen again, for the simple reason that now all platforms share the same kernel and codebase which was the plan from the start.

Yes it sucks that lumia 800 (there was no 900) users cant upgrade, but the internal hardware simply cant run the new windows kernel (used on windows 8.server 2012 and WP8x), so it wasn't a case of MS blocking it, it just couldn't be done.

duddit2 said,

Yes it sucks that lumia 800 (there was no 900)


what are you talking about? there was no lumia 900? yes there was. it was the first windows phone with LTE.

YEAH RIGHT. I call the "internal hardware can't run the new kernel" Bullsh!t. Can someone explain for me why my HTC HD2, that originally shipped with Windows Mobile, can be flashed with Windows Phone 8, while my more powerful Lumia 900 cannot upgrade?

The only reason that justifies their outright betrayal to their early adopters is that they don't want to pay cost to test the stability. That or they want to just refresh the whole userbase.

Indeed, the codebase and kernel is certainly different but there are hacks out there that show WP8 running on WP7 devices (very buggy and unusable though) and that makes the aftertaste for many WP7 owners very bitter, especially after only such a short time on the market. But I'm sure the same will be the case once WP9 hits. I just hope at some point there will still be a 7.9 update for my old HD7 backup phone that makes it more in line with the WP8 devices we have now just in case I need to use it again for a while.

CanonCygnus said,
YEAH RIGHT. I call the "internal hardware can't run the new kernel" Bullsh!t. Can someone explain for me why my HTC HD2, that originally shipped with Windows Mobile, can be flashed with Windows Phone 8, while my more powerful Lumia 900 cannot upgrade?

The only reason that justifies their outright betrayal to their early adopters is that they don't want to pay cost to test the stability. That or they want to just refresh the whole userbase.

The HD2 was a WM device, which being able to flash custom ROMs of any sort is by design; there just needs to be someone who will put in the work.

It wasn't that it was impossible for WP7 devices to run WP8, it was that the amount of headsets in use was not significant enough for them to build support for hardware that would never be used in any future devices.

WP8 was a complete rewrite from the ground up. The only thing it shares with WP7 is the UI. When it comes to WP9 or beyond, WP8 devices will theoretically be able to run it and the only thing that would hold those back is testing.

@Thief000: as far as I know, no, there is not. Even with the Lumia 710, we don't have sufficient drivers.

@wixostrix: and that reason alone justified the "beta test" out of us all early adopters.

duddit2 said,
Sorry but this from an editor on this site is mind blowing! WP7 was based on an entirely different codebase/Kernel etc, and its been said over and over that 7x was pushed out before the windows 8 kernel was ready because the competition were gaining too much ground and something had to get pushed out with the new UI so that it could start to be accepted.

Now that WP8x is using and is synced with the windows 8 kernel, this will not happen again, for the simple reason that now all platforms share the same kernel and codebase which was the plan from the start.

Yes it sucks that lumia 800 (there was no 900) users cant upgrade, but the internal hardware simply cant run the new windows kernel (used on windows 8.server 2012 and WP8x), so it wasn't a case of MS blocking it, it just couldn't be done.


This. I don't get what's so difficult for people to understand. It was very much needed to bring the unification of the platforms.

CanonCygnus said,
YEAH RIGHT. I call the "internal hardware can't run the new kernel" Bullsh!t. Can someone explain for me why my HTC HD2, that originally shipped with Windows Mobile, can be flashed with Windows Phone 8, while my more powerful Lumia 900 cannot upgrade?

The only reason that justifies their outright betrayal to their early adopters is that they don't want to pay cost to test the stability. That or they want to just refresh the whole userbase.

"XDA Elite Recognized Developer Cotulla once again proves that there is no such thing as limited power in hardware, when you have the right code. He, along with many other devs, managed to get Windows Phone 8 to run on a device that was not meant to go past WM6.5. As you may expect however, the port is barely functional, meaning nothing works."

nothing works, this is ok with you is it?

"The project, if successful, is remarkable if only because Windows Phone 8 features some extensive software-hardware security “handshaking” in the form of Bitlocker. That form of security is reportedly tied to a physical chip on the device, something that the HD2 is missing. How such a system is bypassed, as mentioned above, is currently not known.
"

the wp8 devices have a tpm module for the required security, none of the 7x models did, hence they cant run 8x

duddit2 said,
sorry, my mistake. was this the same as the 800 but a different market?

No, it was not; the 800 had a smaller screen, 3.7" while the 900 had 4.3"; not LTE . I am sure there were other differences but this is what I remember; besides my 800 was a very stable device while my 900 was affected by continuous reboots although this was just my personal experience.

Ah yes I remember this now, I had the 800 and it was rock solid. By the time 8x came out I was able to get the 920 (18 month contract) so all others were skipped. On a 1020 now

Fritzly said,
....

I owned the 900. Screen was also flat compared to the convex screen of the 800.

Also had licensing deal so some ATT customers could get "The Dark Night Rises" version much like the 920 and Man of Steel.

Was a great phone until I broke it.
on 920 now.

As a 920 own, its good that they can be upgraded, but the real question is will the carriers push the update?

I believe the agreement with the carriers is, they can delay one update,but it must be delivered with the next update. also,microsoft has a "preview for developers" program, where developers can actually load the update on release(bypassing carriers/oems), but anyone can do this just by registering for a free WP app studio account,which will allow them to load the update as well.

AR556 said,
As a 920 own, its good that they can be upgraded, but the real question is will the carriers push the update?

Use the dev preview and say fu to carriers.

deadonthefloor said,

Dev Preview is not without its own issues.
For instance, GDR3 Preview without Nokia Black makes for some interesting behaviors.

like?

vcfan said,
like?

Weird app crashes, messaging hangs with 1000+ message list.

Inconsistent custom texting tone. If you're in messaging it uses default tone, if you're outside messaging it uses custom tone.

and other things

Lumia 920 with NokiaAmber+GDR3 Preview.

deadonthefloor said,

Dev Preview is not without its own issues.
For instance, GDR3 Preview without Nokia Black makes for some interesting behaviors.

Since Nokia's phone division is being bought by MS, you wont have to worry about that in future

deadonthefloor said,

Dev Preview is not without its own issues.
For instance, GDR3 Preview without Nokia Black makes for some interesting behaviors.

Running fine here on Amber.

deadonthefloor said,

Weird app crashes, messaging hangs with 1000+ message list.

Inconsistent custom texting tone. If you're in messaging it uses default tone, if you're outside messaging it uses custom tone.

and other things

Lumia 920 with NokiaAmber+GDR3 Preview.

strange, since I also have a 920 and haven't noticed any problems in terms of apps crashing or anything with the text messaging.

Crimson Rain said,

Use the dev preview and say fu to carriers.

I already do, but Nokia can potentially create problems with compatibility because they make there own customizations/firmware updates. These do not get pushed with the preview builds.

vcfan said,
.....

You have custom text tone?
I'm using 360S Achievement Unlocked downloaded from MajorNelson blog.
however, I get default tone if I'm in messaging.

Also, I'm using Rogers CA variant on different carrier network in western Canada.
Are you using Rogers / ATT / Other?

deadonthefloor said,

You have custom text tone?
I'm using 360S Achievement Unlocked downloaded from MajorNelson blog.
however, I get default tone if I'm in messaging.

Also, I'm using Rogers CA variant on different carrier network in western Canada.
Are you using Rogers / ATT / Other?

sorry, I didn't mean about the custom tone, because I don't use custom tones, but I meant the text messages hanging and app crashes. I also have a rogers lumia 920 on rogers network,and I have a bell ativ s unlocked on rogers network. didn't notice any of these problems on both.

Agreed! Hope they keep this up as many WP7 owners are still miffed about not being able to upgrade to WP8. But I have a feeling many carriers will once again throw salt in the wounds and delay the update.

Thief000 said,
Agreed! Hope they keep this up as many WP7 owners are still miffed about not being able to upgrade to WP8. But I have a feeling many carriers will once again throw salt in the wounds and delay the update.

For sure. It prompted a good number of us to leave the platform.

But we are probably a small enough bunch that Microsoft considered us expendable in the long run.

scorpian007 said,
Good to know. Can't wait till this update!

well no s**t WP8 can upgrade to 8.X (future 8.2 update as well). The real question is ability to upgrade to WP9 at the very least

x.iso said,

well no s**t WP8 can upgrade to 8.X (future 8.2 update as well). The real question is ability to upgrade to WP9 at the very least

There was a mention about it a while ago that (at leas the Lumia's) WP8 devices would be getting WP9 as well.

x.iso said,

well no s**t WP8 can upgrade to 8.X (future 8.2 update as well). The real question is ability to upgrade to WP9 at the very least

No, the real question is can our current hardware be upgraded to WP15! If you are going to question the ability to upgrade to a non-existent OS, why stop at WP9?

Trent Devers said,

No, the real question is can our current hardware be upgraded to WP15! If you are going to question the ability to upgrade to a non-existent OS, why stop at WP9?


Because of future proofing, I purposely skipped WP7 because of it.
Waited before the migration to NT knowing in advance and the recent decade of Windows history, system requirements aren't going to skyrocket.

I intend to use my 920 for at least 2-3 more years, maybe more.

Shadowzz said,

Because of future proofing, I purposely skipped WP7 because of it.
Waited before the migration to NT knowing in advance and the recent decade of Windows history, system requirements aren't going to skyrocket.

I intend to use my 920 for at least 2-3 more years, maybe more.


I'm still using Omnia 7 (which is 3 yeas old now) and there is nothing wrong with hardware, so it's really a downer that OS is not going anywhere (despite all the promises) and being abandoned even by MS themselves (in terms of app support) as the time goes on.