Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide was written for current and future users of Windows Phone 8.1. It was written for real people—users—not technical experts, or those who need to manage mobile devices in a corporate environment. The book assumes you are new to the Windows Phone platform, though I do include many upgrade notes for those that previously used Windows Phone 8.0. If you are already at least passingly familiar with Windows Phone, you can use the book as a reference and pick and choose from the various topics. Otherwise, you should read the first two chapters in sequence and then branch out from there. There's no need to read the book in sequence, though you may of course do so if you wish. For the few times in which you need to connect your handset to a computer, I assume that the computer will be a Windows-based PC, preferably using Windows 8 or RT. Those with older versions of Windows should be able to follow along. (Those with Macs are on their own. Just as in real life.)

Paul Thurrott

The author of over 20 books, Paul Thurrott is a technology analyst for Windows IT Pro and the majordomo of the SuperSite for Windows ( He writes a weekly editorial for Windows IT Pro UPDATE (, a daily Windows news and information e-mail newsletter called 'WinInfo Daily News' (, and a monthly column called 'Need to Know' in Windows IT Pro Magazine. He also blogs daily via the SuperSite Blog (, posts regularly on Twitter (, and appears weekly in the highly rated and hugely popular Windows Weekly podcast with Leo Laporte (