Microsoft bypasses (some) carriers with new Windows Phone Preview for Developers

Many Windows Phone users understand the frustration of having to wait for updates while their carriers certify the releases, often months at a time. Microsoft is taking steps to bring newer versions of Windows Phone 8 to some users, namely developers, with the Windows Phone Preview for Developers.

By signing up for the program, registered developers will have access to newer builds as they come, and will be able to download them on top of existing carrier releases via an over-the-air update. The prerequisites are minimal, and warranties may be voided, but the gist is that newer versions of Windows Phone will be in more hands sooner.

The net benefit is for developers who want to test their apps with newer APIs or a multitude of screen sizes. For users, it means not having to wait for carriers to certify the software. GDR 3 is rolling out soon, and it may arrive on developers’ phones long before it hits carrier-sold devices.

Microsoft is cautioning users, though. There is no going back to a previous carrier-certified release under a newer version than the preview is out, so any problems will have to be put up with. Microsoft is also only releasing its own drivers, which will likely be fine for Nokia phones but may hinder HTC and Samsung devices that have not seen support for many months.