Windows Phone 8.1 may launch on April 23

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Microsoft’s next phone OS, Windows Phone 8.1, is reportedly set to launch on April 23 alongside a handful of new phones. The news comes from WPCentral which has the inside track with “various sources” who say that this is the case and that the software is already with the phone makers. Unfortunately these shady tipsters didn’t mention exactly which phones we can expect to see announced in April, but it seems likely that at least one will be a Nokia – the Lumia 630 seems a safe bet.

We’re hoping that Microsoft will at least give us a Windows Phone 8.1 rundown at this week’s Build conference. Since the company is keen on aligning its mobile and desktop software, this doesn’t seem outside the realms of possibility. And since Nokia was all “hashtag more Lumia” in its Build 2014 teaser, we’d say it seems pretty likely that Windows Phone 8.1 has something to do with it. We got a nice glimpse at the Windows Phone 8.1 software supposedly running on the Lumia 630 just last week in a video that showed off the updated interface, new Action Centre notifications and new camera software. What to expect from Microsoft’s developer conference?

Microsoft Build 2014 will take place in San Francisco from April 2 – April 4, 2014. Registration has sold out for interested developers. The show would have marked the public debut of Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella, but it now seems Microsoft will reveal Office for iPad at a San Francisco event on 27 March. During Build 2013, Microsoft officially launched Windows 8.1 and discussed the convergence of its various device platforms. Look for much more of the same at the next Build, where we’re sure to get an earful on everything from the Xbox One to Windows Phone.

Microsoft should have quite a few tricks up its sleeve for this year’s conference. In terms of phones, there are intriguing questions after recent acquisition of Nokia (and its new-found devotion to Android) and we’re also expecting Windows Phone 8.1 update for early this year. There has also been some buzz around a mythical Windows Phone 8.5, a as-yet-unannounced version of Windows Phone seen in an emulator. New Nokia handsets are even rumored to be launching at the event – the Nokia Lumia 630 and 930. There have also been rumors that a new Surface Mini or Surface 3 may pop up at the conference, which might debut alongside the updated operating system.