WP8.1 preview release date still a mystery, but may be sooner than expected

There have been numerous reports and predictions on when the developer preview will (or is planned to) be released, the latest report from the Verge mentioning April 14th.

Since then there have been various official statements and unofficial rumors:

  • At Build and more recently via Twitter, Belfiore said the preview will come in the "first part of April". Link
  • At a channel9 session on Cortana last week, a Cortana engineer said you'll be able to play with the new feature "next week" (which is this week). Link
  • A Triber, who says he works at MS, recently said the preview will be released April 8th (which happens to be the day on which - according to rumors - final bug fixes will be completed). Link (see comment section)

What can we conclude from this? Not much, but:

  • April 14th seems unlikely, since Belfiore insists on "first part of April" - not the middle of April or the first half of April.
  • Considering Belfiores comments, things we hear and read from MS employees, as well as reports that WP8.1 development will be completed tomorrow, I expect the preview to be released sometime this week.