We've seen a lot of Windows Phone 8.1 recently thanks to various leaks, including images and video walkthroughs. The good news is that if some recent rumors are to be believed, it won't be long before we're able to give the WP8.1 update a spin for ourselves.
Microsoft is expected to formally announce Windows Phone 8.1 at its Build Developer Conference later this week. According to WPCentral, the Redmond firm will make WP8.1 available to download through its Windows Phone Preview for Developers app the following week on April 10. Anyone can download the Preview for Developers app after signing up for an App Studio account, meaning that any Windows Phoner that wants to try Action Center out should be able to do so in a little over a week.
A couple of weeks later on April 23, it's rumored that the first devices with Windows Phone 8.1 preinstalled will begin hitting store shelves. However, WPCentral isn't sure exactly which WP8.1 phones will be available on that date.
Microsoft originally introduced us to Windows Phone 8 in mid-2012 and has since rolled out a few GDR maintenance updates that brought with them a few new features and some miscellaneous bug fixes. Despite the fact that it's just a 0.1 jump in version number, Windows Phone 8.1 looks like it'll be the biggest update to Microsoft's mobile platform yet, with rumors suggesting that it'll bring major new features like a real notification center and a Siri/Google Now-like personal assistant named Cortana. After spending months of waiting for news on another update and being teased through multiple leaks, it's exciting to hear that we're finally close to seeing WP8.1 rolled out to developers.
Just because Windows Phone 8.1 is getting close doesn't mean that the flow of Windows Phone 8 devices is done, though. Sources speaking to The Verge claim that Verizon will launch the Samsung ATIV SE in April with Windows Phone 8 in tow. The Galaxy S 4-like handset will reportedly sport a 5-inch 1080p display, 13-megapixel rear camera, 2GB RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot and a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. There's no word yet on how much Verizon plans to ask for the ATIV SE at launch.