Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 8.1 operating system will be publicly available to developers today by 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT. The updated version can be accessed through the Windows Phone Preview for Developers program starting on Monday.

Microsoft Windows 8.1

Exclusively for the developers

The platform was launched for developers in advance so that they can align and test their apps accordingly. However, one should be cautious while downloading this version on the phone as it will nullify the device’s warranty. It should be downloaded on an unlocked phone for testing the app’s compatibility. Developers can get the information and method of downloading and updating the new version onto their phone from the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Web page explaining “how you can register your Windows Phone handset.”

Only a developer can update Windows 8.1 in his or her phone; therefore, a developer’s account is needed to download the new operating system version. A developer account will cost around $19 per year for an individual and $99 per year for the company. One can register as a developer at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s App studio page and create a project.

Microsoft bringing many features

After logging in the user will be directed to the developer’s page and can see the updates related to the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s mobile OS. Windows Phone 8.1 has many new features compared to the previous version. There will be a fresh start screen, an Action Center notification drawer, and Cortana, a new voice assistant. Updated OS will be available for all phones in the next few months.

Windows 8.1 is a big step for the business users compared to the current Windows phone releases. A year ago, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) officials promised to roll back many of the enterprise features that got scrapped during the shift from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone. Such features will be available as a built-in part of the Windows Phone 8.1 OS.

Other features in the new version include new Action center/notification center where users can customize settings such as Wifi, Camera, and Bluetooth along with series of notifications about the apps. In order to see and access all the settings and notification, users now just need to swipe down the start screen. Compared to the previous version, updating the calendar in this version is easier. The updated version from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has better virtual keyboard, and include a new feature known as ‘shape writing,’ which works just like Sywpe.