Microsoft has made Windows Phone 8.1 available early to all users, if you sign up as a Windows Phone developer.
The Windows Phone Preview for developers has been opened for Windows Phone 8.1 and if you can’t wait to give Cortana and other new OS features a go, then here’s how.
“Windows Phone Preview for Developers gives registered developers access to prerelease Windows Phone operating system updates for their development phone, directly from Microsoft,” reads the official registration page.
To get early access to Windows Phone 8.1 you can register as a Windows Phone developer with App Studio. This is free, but you’ll need to sign up with App Studio and start a new app project in order to be recognised by Microsoft as a developer.
If you don’t fancy even attempting to start your own project on App Studio you can just pay $19 (£12) to register as a full Windows Phone Developer, even if you never publish an app.
Other than those two options, you can also download the developer tools to register and developer unlock your phone, but that could be quite complicated and long-winded.
However, before you start downloading, there are some risks associated with downloading the early Windows Phone 8.1 OS.
By doing so, Microsoft states “you may void any warranty from your mobile operator and OEM”. Plus, the developer portion only includes the Microsoft part and not the one from your smartphone manufacturer or network provider.
When it is available though, you will be able to install the final build of Windows Phone 8.1. However, after installing the developer preview you won’t be able to go back to the previous Windows Phone 8 OS whatsoever.
It is a great way of getting early access to a mobile OS though, if you can deal with the bugs and other issues you may encounter.
Read more: Windows Phone 8.1 Features