Alongside announcements surrounding a spring update to Windows 8.1, Microsoft has detailed Windows Phone 8.1 at their Mobile World Congress press conference today. Most of the information revealed revolves around Windows Phone hardware, although Microsoft's Joe Belfiore did state that the update will be coming in spring and all Windows Phone 8 devices will be "technically" supported.
Hardware-wise, Windows Phone 8.1 will now support the current range of mid-tier Qualcomm SoCs, including the Snapdragon 200 (MSM8x10 and 8x12), Snapdragon 400 (MSM8x26 and 8x28) and the Snapdragon 400 LTE (MSM8926 and 8928). TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA and SGLTE communication technologies will also be supported, as well as on-screen softkeys, installing apps on the microSD card, and dual-SIM functionality.
Nokia's Lumia devices have been dominant in the Windows Phone space for quite some time, but Microsoft is still committed to working with other OEMs. Today the company announced new hardware partners, including LG, Lenovo, ZTE, Foxconn and several Indian companies (Xolo, Karbonn, and Lava). Additionally, Qualcomm's Reference Design (QRD) is now supported, giving OEMs the option to recycle Android hardware if they so desire.
Microsoft also took the time to announce the latest addition to the Windows Phone app catalog: Facebook Messenger. The often-requested app will be a collaboration between Microsoft and Facebook, and will launch in the coming weeks, although no specific features were revealed.
More about Windows Phone 8.1 will be unveiled during Microsoft's BUILD developer conference in April, shortly before the company releases the updated OS to the masses.