When Microsoft unveiled the Windows Phone 8.1 update at the Build conference, it showcased a bunch of new and exciting features that users will be able to enjoy once the rollout for the update begins. These new features include the ability to set custom themes for the start screen and the all important notification centre. But perhaps the biggest new feature that has everyone excited is Cortana, the new personal voice assistant named after the popular Halo character. Cortana has generated a lot of positive press for Windows Phone 8.1, but so far it is officially available in the US only. After about two weeks though, people in the UK will also be able to enjoy Cortana on their phones.
The new comes as a result of Marcus Ash’s Twitter profile. Marcus is Cortana’s program manager at Microsoft so it’s safe to say that the news is pretty much confirmed. Cortana will be available on phones running the developer preview version of Windows Phone 8.1 only. We’re not sure what it means for recently released phones like the Lumia 930 and Lumia 635, which run Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box. Will they require a software update for Cortana once it’s officially rolled out or will it be more of a backend change?
Those who are anxious to talk to Cortana and cannot wait two weeks can always set their phone region to US to get this functionality. In fact this goes for anyone residing anywhere outside the US. Microsoft also promised Cortana for the Chinese market as part of its official rollout. However currently there is no news regarding when that particular region will get this update. And last but not the least, if you reside outside the US, UK and China, then Microsoft has promised a wider rollout starting some time in 2015.
Source: Twitter (@marcusash)