The first Windows Phone 8.1 powered devices are expected to hit retail by the end of this month, but what about the existing devices? When will the roll out start for them? Well, it's not confirmed at the moment, but Microsoft recently shared the lifecycle date for Windows Phone 8.1, and it's going to start on June 24th. That's the date when the Redmond-based company will start providing support for the product.
Microsoft's support page mentions that the company will provide support and updates for the operating system for a minimum of 36 months, starting from June 24, meaning that you'll get security patches, new features and all incremental updates during the support period. "Microsoft will make updates available for the Operating System, including security updates, for a minimum of 36 months after the lifecycle start date. These updates will be incremental, with each update built on the update that preceded it. Customers need to install each update in order to remain supported," Microsoft said in the release notes on the support site.
The update roll out depends on several factors, with the most common ones being the carrier or the manufacturer from whom you bought your device, as well as your region. It also depends on the hardware capabilities of the devices. At the time of launch, it was announced Windows Phone 8.1 will hit all existing devices, but we've seen in the past that some devices are not capable of running all the announced features due to hardware limitations -- take glance screen as an example.
They further added, "The distribution of these incremental updates may be controlled by the mobile operator or the phone manufacturer from which you purchased your phone, and installation will require that your phone have any prior updates. Update availability will also vary by country, region, and hardware capabilities."
If Microsoft begins the lifecycle on June 24th, our guess is that we might have to wait for a few weeks or maybe months for the update to reach all devices. The company mentioned it will continue to provide support to the OS until July 11, 2017. If you can't wait and want to get the taste of the features introduced in the Windows Phone 8.1 platform, you could install the developer preview in the meantime.