Probably by now, whoever is (seriously) interested in Windows Phone 8.1 would have already gotten the developer preview on his or her device. If you’ve been holding up because you’re afraid that this would void the warranty, or you’re generally uncomfortable with installing beta software, then let it be known that Microsoft has announced that the lifecycle start date (that is, the starting date for support) for Windows Phone 8.1 is June 24.
Now, this is by no means the release date of Windows Phone 8.1. For example, Windows Phone 7.8 dropped on devices in January 2013, but its lifecycle start date was February of the same year. Similarly, Windows Phone 8’s general availability was in October 2012, but its lifecycle start date was in December. If there’s anything to infer from this Windows Phone 8.1 lifecycle start date, it will be that the OS will drop anytime between now and June 24 (maybe alongside the availability of the Lumia 930?). That said, this date is interesting, because it falls at the start of summer, which is when Microsoft says Windows Phone 8.1 will begin its rollout.
Microsoft (emphasis ours):
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. 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.
As noted by Microsoft, there’s no guarantee on the exact date when your Windows Phone 8 device will receive the update; network operator, the device’s maker, your location all play a role. So, be patient. After all, you’ve been waiting for so long.