Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2014 16:59 UTC

Microsoft released Windows Phone 8.1 to those who enrolled in the developer preview program (i.e., everyone).

Ars' Peter Bright in his review of 8.1:

The result feels a whole lot more mature and a whole lot more capable than its predecessor. The 0.1 version bump, chosen to align the phone platform with its desktop sibling, belies the true nature of this upgrade. It is substantial, and makes Windows Phone tremendously better.

We might still wish that there were a few more apps, and that developers spoke of the platform in the same breath as iOS and Android, but even in spite of this, Windows Phone 8.1 is a polished, fun, clever, and personal smartphone platform that's just about everyone can enjoy. It's a magnificent smartphone platform.

I've been using it since earlier today, and the notification centre (finally) alone is more than enough to make this a fantastic update. Sadly, my HTC 8X does not seem to be supported by Cortana - other 8X owners are reporting the same, as do 8X owners on Twitter - which makes me worry a little about Cortana, perhaps, being an exclusive feature for Nokia phones, or it having some other restrictive limitations. That, honestly, would be a shame.

Update: Here's an 8X with Cortana working just fine, so the original worries clearly aren't necessary.

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by wocowboy on Tue 15th Apr 2014 10:27 UTC
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I don't understand all the angst over WP not having a "notification center". When WP was introduced, I thought the Home screen was supposed to BE a kind of Notification Center and thus obviate the need for one. In fact, reviews at the time touted the constantly updating, twisting, flipping, flickering tiles all over the Home screen showing your text messages, Facebook updates, latest pictures posted by your friends, email subjects and senders, what song was playing on your streaming music service, and on & on, were THE differentiating feature that made WP better and more unique from iOS and Android, showing that you did not need a separate, old-fashioned notification screen that you had to call on to see what was new. Then before you know it, people started complaining about not having a notification center like iOS and Android. I hope WP users are happy now, with both a notification center AND the flippy/flickery updating tiles.

Edited 2014-04-15 10:29 UTC

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