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Even though Microsoft has stated numerous times that all current Windows Phone 8 handsets should be eligible for ‘future OS upgrades’, referring presumably to Windows Phone 8.1, the question if OEMs are as committed is a concern. Specifically if HTC (or even Samsung) are still willing to support 8.1, expected to be announced in April.

Today, HTC took to Reddit for an AMA, or Ask Me Anything, where questions were fielded from the audience about Android. However, a member of the audience asked HTC directly if they were “done” with Windows Phone.

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Windows Phone 8.1 will officially be shown to the world at Build 2014 in San Francisco on April 2nd. We do have a sneak peek of the update thanks to a leak of the Windows Phone 8.1 beta SDK. There isn’t going to be a drastic overhaul to the design language started in Windows Phone 7, but Windows Phone 8.1 will bring a few aesthetic differences.

Visually compare and contrast Windows Phone 8 versus Windows Phone 8.1 after the break!

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The first images of the new Notification Center, dubbed 'Action Center', for Windows Phone 8.1 have made their way on to the web. The screenshots appeared on the site Winphollowers and Windows Phone Central is able to confirm their authenticity at this time.

The screenshots appear to have come from a confidential email sent around Microsoft, detailing various aspects of the new OS. Only one page of the email, or slide deck, is shown and it’s the one that details the Action and Notification Center.

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Come this April, Microsoft is expected to unveil Windows Phone 8.1 at their Build conference in San Francisco. That OS refresh will be announced on the 18 month anniversary of 8.0, putting Microsoft on the dot for their planned release cycle, one that is expected to be accelerated to 12 months next time around i.e. ‘Threshold’.

One of the anticipated features of 8.1 is codenamed ‘Cortana’, its namesake taken from the AI assistant from the popular gaming franchise Halo. ‘Cortana’ is expected to replace (or augment) the current Bing TellMe service found on Windows Phone 8.0. Recently, MSFTNerd, who claims to be in the know about certain Microsoft plans, has made some interesting assertions about ‘Cortana’.

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Specifics emerge on new features for Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft has successfully packaged and released Update 3 for Windows Phone 8, leaving only the 8.1 update, aka ‘Blue’, on the table for shipping. Expected to be reveled at Build 2014 in April, Windows Phone Central understands that 'M3' (Milestone 3), the escrow period and RTM dates have already been locked into place by Microsoft.

Today, The Verge has added to the story by detailing some new information to features already expected for the landmark release.

In an article published this morning, Tom Warren goes into more detail over the notification center and ‘Cortana’ the Siri-like personal assistant.

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This morning, the Windows Phone Central inbox was flooded with tips about one Eldar Murtazin, who has taken to Twitter to make some comments about the future of Windows Phone and its UI design. Specifically, he claims that Microsoft will have “another UI” with the Live Tile system going away, replaced instead with a UI inspired by Android.

The future design of Windows Phone is certainly of concern, especially to our readers. Microsoft has bet a lot of the design language of Modern UI, making it the corner piece in Windows 8 and the Xbox One. Could they really be re-thinking everything?

Furthermore, who is Murtazin and why should you care? We take a look at the latest rumors and show why they are baseless.

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Microsoft and Nokia are actively testing Windows Phone 8.1, according to Nawzil. The two companies are running FB Pages Manager. Should you not familiar with the name, it essentially enables you to manage your Facebook profiles while on the move. What's interesting is the analytics behind the app, reporting on hardware running multiple builds of Windows Phone 8.1 (aka. Blue).

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Microsoft will have Windows 8.1 out the door shortly, but what will follow the update? Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet has heard from sources that the Windows team will release a small Spring 2014 update alongside the release of Windows Phone 8.1 "Blue". That pushes back the Windows Phone 8.1 expectations back by a few months, as it was previously hinted to be early 2014 instead of the Spring.

Not only that, but sources suggest we could well be looking at the Windows Phone OS being used for hardware with larger displays, superseding Windows RT. 

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Microsoft guru Paul Thurrott is reporting on some new information regarding the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update aka ‘Blue’. He notes that the info comes from a single source, though he has confidence in the information revealed.

What’s discussed isn’t so much the superficial UI changes or new features but rather core user experience deviations that should cause a stir amongst the Windows Phone faithful.

We won’t recapitulate all of Thurrott’s revelations, but we will highlight a few of the more interesting ones.

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We’re filing this one under unsubstantiated rumor, but forum member qXerro has posted a few more screenshots over the last twenty-four hours of Windows Phone 8.1. The problem with such stories of course is trying to verify the information and since screenshots can be very easily faked, it’s hard to justify.

Still, qXerro has posted screenshots of features like app sorting before. That rings a bell because we know of that feature but never reported it publicly—so either he’s a good guesser or there is some truth to his leaks (Unfortunately, the last we heard is that app sorting was removed due to ongoing issues).

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New screenshots reveal more on the Notification Center, actionable notifications and a Battery percentage option in Windows Phone 8.1

More information is coming forward regarding the forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1. This time, alleged screenshots from build 8.10.12166.0 were posted in the Windows Phone Central forums by user qXerro. Although we have not verified the screenshots (they can be easily faked), we can confirm that the information revealed by them is accurate for the upcoming Windows Phone overhaul due early next year. In fact, the grammar error suggests they are re-created.

In three screen captures, posted below, we can see more detail about the Notification center and sortable items in the App list in addition to a new battery display option.

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In early 2014, Microsoft is expected to release Windows Phone 8.1 “Blue”, a true OS upgrade for current Windows Phone 8 users that will bring along with it numerous design changes. One of the big features that many users expect is a notification center, and early reports, including ones from our own sources, have confirmed that this feature will be included.

Today, a photo has appeared on the XDA forums posted by user ‘When I’m gone’ that allegedly reveals Windows Phone 8.1 Blue on a Nokia Lumia 620. The photo was almost unbelievably “found on an SD Card”, which is either a poor source story or casts doubt on the authenticity.

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There’s a handful of you out there rocking with the latest GDR2 update on your handset. If you bought a Lumia 925 or 1020 it came with it onboard from the unboxing. While the rest of you folks with devices from the Windows Phone 8 launch are slowly getting it. What’s on the horizon for future updates? We have GDR3 and Blue (aka Windows Phone 8.1) coming within the next 6 months. We also now have our first look at one of those courtesy of Joe Belfiore.

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There’s been a common complaint from the Windows Phone community the past few months around a seemingly lack of urgency with Microsoft to release updates. Windows Phone 8 launched at the end of last October and since then we haven’t had much in terms of OS updates. Right now GDR2 is beginning to roll out for a few of you, but other than that not much. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore recently took to the Windows Phone UserVoice to address some of that criticism.

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The past few days have seen a flurry of news hit our front page. The Lumia 925 was announced for T-Mobile and the Nokia Lumia 1020 was officially revealed to the citizens of earth. It’s a glorious device with 41 million pixels at your disposal. So let’s switch it up and give you guys some news about all your “old” devices, the ones you’re currently holding or in your pocket. GDR2 could be coming sooner than you think.

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Update 5:30PM ET: Our source(s) tells us that indeed, this is fake. We won't go into details but our source(s) is very confident that this is not real. Sorry folks!

A new video has been posted on YouTube reportedly showing a white Nokia Lumia 920 running the far-from released Windows Phone 8.1 aka ‘Blue’ update.

In the video, we can see the notifications center being demonstrated via a swipe-down gesture from the top of the display. Tapping one of the Tiles also reveals a pop-up menu of some sort, though the smaller icons purpose cannot be discerned.

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For being a weekend it’s been somewhat busy. Yesterday we had leaked screenshots showing off a developer build of Windows Phone 8.x – notification center in tow.

The notification center was obviously the biggest piece of info from those screenshots, but there was plenty more info to be gleamed from the phone. Quick recap after the break and a story of what happened to the phone bought off of eBay that contained this build of the Windows Phone. And don’t forget, our sources say those screenshots are an “early” build of the next-version OS.

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The first screenshots of what looks to be the next major build of Windows Phone 8.x have been revealed. We show you what's new.

A reddit thread posted just over 8 hours ago tells the story of a user who has purchased a Nokia Lumia 920 from eBay only to discover they are in possession of a device that seems to have once belonged to a Microsoft engineer.

Said user has posted several screenshots from the device which appear to show off a brand new calendar design, the ability to organise apps by frequency of use, and perhaps most interestingly: a notification center.

Whilst we can’t be 100% certain of this information, the quantity of screenshots that have been provided, as well as the presence of what appear to be internal apps still in development definitely lends some credibility to this rumour, in fact we're going to go ahead and give this a 7 on the rum-o-meter. Check below for a few of the screenshots and a list of the revealed features so far, or head over to flickr to see the originals yourself.

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