Earlier this month the official roll out of the Windows Phone 8.1 Cyan update began from Microsoft and the various carriers around the world.
One of the first phones to get the update here in the US was the AT&T Nokia Lumia 1520 and that availability occurred last week. To be honest, it was impressive to see AT&T get that update out so quickly because when Windows Phone first started AT&T had a horrendous reputation for being anywhere near quick at making the updates available. Thankfully the last couple of updates have been much better.
So as you might imagine there were some pretty excited folks looking forward to getting the Cyan update on their 1520’s including myself. When the word started to spread across Twitter and many of the Microsoft watching tech blogs I did the same thing everyone else did at that time and started to check my phone for updates.
I had been running the current Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview just like I was for the Black update for Windows Phone and, like many others, expected the update to be available to us on our devices even thought we were running the preview.
After several attempts I continued to get told by the phone that no update was available. I was also able to confirm through several other users on Twitter that there was a mix of people receiving the update and others who were not seeing anything.
The common factor between the two groups turned out to be those running the WP 8.1 Developer Preview were not seeing the update and those still running WP 8 were able to download and install the Cyan update on their 1520’s.
It turns out that the final Windows Phone 8.1 Cyan update was being blocked for users of the developer preview.
You might recall that a few weeks earlier there had been an issue with a developer preview update that ended up bricking some phones on the preview due to an error relating to using BitLocker on the handset. Microsoft blocked that developer preview update from going to other phones while they sorted the error out. Some users had received it with no issues while others had the bricked handsets. It was apparently a small number of devices that were impacted but the safe play on Microsoft’s part was to pause that update while they figured things out.
Fast forward to last week and the official release and availability of the Cyan update for the 1520’s on AT&T. Microsoft had decided to continue blocking any updates for handsets running the WP 8.1 Developer Preview to avoid having users phones get bricked during the update like those that occurred with the earlier developer preview update that got blocked.
It was at this point that the discussion shifted to a solution for developer preview users on the 1520 that would enable them to get the Cyan update immediately and not have to wait for Microsoft to un-block the updates to the developer preview based handsets.
Developer Preview users of the 1520 on AT&T could reset their phones back to the official Windows Phone 8 version of the OS and then from there update to the final version of Cyan. I in fact did this myself and had the final version of Cyan running on my 1520 in less than an hour.
This was about the time that the blame game started to occur with most of the focus going towards how Microsoft had failed to allow users to update from the developer preview as was expected.
The gap between the warnings Microsoft provides when you sign up for the Developer Preview program and install the app on your Windows Phone to the expectations of some users is massive.
Despite being warned that using the preview could void your warranty, that Microsoft was not responsible for the loss of data that might occur due to use of this preview many Windows Phone users jumped onboard and installed the preview.
Past developer preview programs have gone very smooth and I personally have never lost data by using it so there is likely a perception of yeah there are those warnings but it is just Microsoft covering themselves just in case of any problems. I would honestly like to know how many people really read the warnings or even understood that using that preview would void the warranty on their phone.
A lot of people were using the Windows Phone Developer Preview and that was because the barrier to using it was very low. Although intended solely for developers so they could build and test apps on the upcoming version of Windows Phone, all it took to be able to join the preview program was to register at the Windows Developer portal as a developer by signing in with your Microsoft account. Next step was as simple as installing the Preview for Developers app, acknowledging all the warnings about participating and then signing into it with your now registered Microsoft account and opting into the program.
Smooth sailing for the most part until this last preview update was blocked and then that subsequently causing the official update to be blocked as well until Microsoft sorts things out.
Now I get that there are enthusiasts out there who are excited for this platform and want to be in on using the latest and greatest version. Who can blame them for that? Microsoft knows this as well and capitalizes on it by providing the ability to easily enter the developer preview program.
However, despite the warnings and cautions about using preview software, we dive straight in by tapping/clicking on those warnings and proverbially jumping off that cliff.
Just remember – there are consequences to jumping off a cliff and the decision to jump is all yours.