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Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana digital assistant in action
Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana
The Redmond giant finally launches the first major update to Windows Phone 8 which brings a lot of new features and improvements, including the Bing-powered Cortana digital assistant.

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Windows Phone 8.1 was officially unveiled today at the Microsoft Build Developer Conference, next to plenty of details on the Windows 8.1 Update 1 which will arrive on April 8. While the Windows version for mobiles comes with a lot of improvements and fixes, there is one major feature that everyone is talking about - Cortana, Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri.

These are the most important changes that Windows Phone 8.1 will bring to its users:

  • More flexible Live Tiles on the Start screen
  • New themes for the Lock screen
  • Cortana personal digital assistant
  • Word Flow keyboard, faster than the notorious Swype
  • New Skype, Calendar apps
  • Improved Music, Video, Podcasts, People Hub, Email and Accounts
  • Excellent integration with Windows via the Microsoft Account

According to the (very long) post by Joe Belfiore published earlier today on the official Windows Phone Blog, "Windows Phone 8.1 will start rolling out to existing Windows Phone 8 users and will come pre-installed on new phones, including the Lumia 630 and 635 and Lumia 930 announced by Nokia today, in the coming months."

Registered developers will be able to update their phones first thanks to the Developer Preview Program in the next weeks.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2014 04 > Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8.1
Codrut Nistor, 2014-04- 2 (Update: 2014-04- 3)
Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - News Editor
Although I have been writing about new software and hardware for almost a decade, I consider myself to be old school. I always enjoy listening to music on CD or tape instead of digital files and I will not even get into the touchscreen vs physical keys debate. However, I also enjoy new technology, as I now have the chance to take a look at the future every day. I joined the Notebookcheck crew back in 2013 and I have no plans to leave the ship anytime soon.