Print 20 comment(s) - last by CaedenV.. on Apr 15 at 12:07 PM

New developers can enroll for free

Windows Phone 8.1 -- Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) latest and greatest overhaul to its smartphone operating system -- was revealed two weeks ago at the 2014 BUILD conference.

Now that update is available in preview form for developers.  For those Windows Phone owners not currently registered as developers, but curious, Microsoft is encouraging you to sign up as a developer for $19 USD (this will give you immediate access to the WP8.1 Preview for Developers).

But as some readers are pointing out, you can also get it for free by creating an App Studio account.  Free >> $19 USD plus you still get to develop apps if you want to!

Once enrolled you need to download the Preview for Developers app from the Windows Phone Store, which will allow you to receive Developer Preview releases, such as the now-available WP8.1 build.  In Windows Phone 8, you can then launch the installation via Settings > Phone Update, as normal.

Windows Phone 8.1
Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers [Image Source: Neowin]

WP8.1 brings a number of new perks, including more efficient multitasking, the Cortana voice assistant, Storage Sense, Battery Sense, Data Sense, new screens -- including picture-skinned Live Tiles -- and mobile Internet Explorer 11.

For those not interested, but who have Windows Phones, Windows Phone 8.1 should be rolled out next month to all Windows Phone 8 capable handsets.  The update will also be preloaded on new Nokia Devices models that were also unveiled earlier this month, including the Lumia 930, which sports an attractive hybrid polycarbonate/aluminum chassis.

Sources: Windows Phone Dev Center, Neowin

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You can get a free app studio account
By Belegost on 4/14/2014 6:29:51 PM , Rating: 3
You don't even have to pay 20 bucks.

Go to and start a new project using the MS account linked to your phone.
On your phone download the preview for developers app and enable it to push updates
Get the new update from Settings>Phone Updates

Totally free.

By drumsticks on 4/14/2014 6:44:15 PM , Rating: 2
Seconding this... that's an exceptionally misleading and unfair title.

RE: You can get a free app studio account
By Camikazi on 4/14/2014 6:46:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, just make the account and download the app am ATM installing 8.1 preview on my Lumia 520 to see how it works. Just an FYI but make sure you have time because man does it take forever.

RE: You can get a free app studio account
By StevoLincolnite on 4/15/2014 3:13:08 AM , Rating: 2
Didn't take long on my Lumia 920.

I assume that the length of install time varies depending on your hardware, how many apps, pictures, music etc' you have. (Migrating the data can take a bit for phones with lots of stuff.)

RE: You can get a free app studio account
By silverblue on 4/15/2014 8:45:00 AM , Rating: 2
It took about 2 1/2 hours on a new 625 in our office but less than half of that on my half-full 1020. YMMV, I suppose.

By Mitch101 on 4/15/2014 11:34:45 AM , Rating: 2
Look at the build number before the upgrade. Depending on how many build versions behind the device is that will determine how many updates need to occur.

By CaedenV on 4/15/2014 12:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
More than the update, it has to do with how many apps/files are on your device. These updates essentially format your phone and re-install everything, so the more stuff you have (especially on a slower device), the longer the update process is going to take. So if you are in an area with slow WiFi, or have a lot of files on a slower device, then it can take an eternity to update your device.

By CaedenV on 4/15/2014 12:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
Not only totally free, but it is the only way to get updates for devices that have lost support from the manufacturer or carrier. The Lumia 810 will never get this update from T-Mo, and last I checked the 8S and 8X are no longer getting updates from HTC, so for these devices the developer preview is the only way to go.

I really hope that with WP9 MS finally starts pushing updates via a Windows Update process. No right-thinking person would trust their ISP to run their email and update their PC... so why do we think that a cell phone carrier should be responsible for updating our phones?

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