Microsoft offers early download of Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft has announced a developer preview of the new update is finally available for download, so you can get a good head start in prepping your apps ahead of widespread release.

According to Microsoft’s site, you’ll need to register as a developer with App Studio for free. This tool allows you to create apps that you can run on your own Windows Phone (if you want to publish them to the Store, that’ll cost you $20), but it’s also a workaround that enables you to install the latest and greatest previews on your phone at your leisure. You’ll still be able to upgrade to the final build as soon as it’s available on whichever device you have, you just can’t revert back to the previous version.

There’s a few other things you must know before you start. Performing the early upgrade could void your warranty in the process, so keep that in mind; additionally, these builds only consist of the Microsoft-sanctioned part of the update – in other words, any manufacturer or carrier customizations (and drivers) will only be available when that phone’s official release comes out.  If the privilege of playing with new firmware before everyone else is too much of an opportunity for you to pass up, head here to get started.

Image by mahmoud99725.

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