Redmond is ever so quietly gearing up for the release of the new version of its mobile operating system. The BUILD conference is almost here, promising us our first official look at Windows Phone 8.1.

In the meantime some other small changes are happening in the ecosystem.

Windows Phone 8.1 has now shown up on Microsoft’s developer portal, and it appears developers can now start submitting compatible apps for the upcoming mobile OS to the Windows Phone Store.

This was first sighted at WPCentral, and according to the report, developers that log into their accounts on the portal will now see an option to add that are built for Windows Phone 8.1. The screenshot above seems to confirm this, as two choices are listed — 8.0 and 8.1.

Developers can select whatever option that best fits their application.

One important factor remains undecided, as of this writing. And that is whether Windows Phone 8.1 apps will run on Windows Phone 8 handsets. Current apps, however, will run on the new version of the mobile operating system, it’s the backwards compatibility that is in question.

Anyway, this appears to be the first time Microsoft has referred to its next mobile OS as Windows Phone 8.1. The jury is still out on whether this is the final name.

In any case, we should have all the details available at the BUILD developer conference, early April.

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  • Wayne Scott

    Excellent news. I hope this translates to a lot of quality apps. I guess we will find out. Get to it, creatives!

    • Bill Franklin

      This is the one thing that killed Blackberry. They had the market in their hand and didn’t have creative enough apps or developers. Windows can hopefully learn from that mistake and try and catch up with Apple.

  • Jake Phillips

    Elaine, do you guys have any apps in the works or are you strictly posting news? I know at least one of you must have the tech chops! haha

    • Emily Williams

      My guess is that they just post the news. They probably have the knowledge on how to create the app, but are more focused on the website. But if you guys have a good idea in the works, I hope I’m wrong! 😉