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Siri-like ‘Cortana’ will be the star of the show in Windows Phone 8.1

Published Apr 1st, 2014 2:07PM EDT
Windows Phone 8.1 Features and Release Date

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In addition to Windows 8.1 and Windows 9 news, Windows Phone 8.1 will be one of Microsoft’s major announcements at Build 2014 this week, with the company expected to unveil the new features of the upcoming smartphone operating system update and launch plans. ZDNet says that Windows Phone 8.1 may have been already released to manufacturing, with Nokia expected to unveil this week a new Lumia handset running the new OS.

However, it’s not exactly clear whether Nokia will announce a new smartphone on Tuesday, as the company could focus on either software and service, or unveil a wearable device during its Lumia media event.

The publication has also listed some of the leaked features of Windows Phone 8.1, saying that the “biggest consumer-focused” feature of the new mobile OS will be Cortana, which is Microsoft’s own personal digital assistant – both Apple and Google have their own voice-based personal assistant apps in iOS and Android, respectively.

Other Windows Phone 8.1 features that have been leaked in previous reports include “VPN support; a new notification center; an updated user interface allowing more tiles to be displayed; updated camera layout; Google calendar compatibility; IE11 functionality and more.”

Additionally, Microsoft is apparently making “a lot of tweaks” to Windows Phone 8.1 when it comes to app development – “replacement of XAP by APPX; availability of SemanticZoom, DatePicker and TimePicker to developers; support for background tasks and more” features are expected. Furthermore, the company will talk about it progress it made toward bringing its smartphone and computer OS platforms together, when it comes to app development. However, ZDNet believes “Microsoft still has a way to go before achieving something even close to that perfect world.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.