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Windows Phone 8.1: Cortana digital assistant heading to UK late 2014

Windows Phone 8.1: Cortana digital assistant heading to UK late 2014

Microsoft’s much–trailed Cortana digital assistant will not be making its UK debut until late 2014.

That’s the official word from the Big M, which has said an early beta version will be up for grabs in the US first.

Nokia Lumia 920 yellow close-up

Cortana is being billed as Microsoft’s attempt to take on the might of Apple’s Siri and Google’s own impressive voice assistant. The platform was detailed in full yesterday at Microsoft’s Build developer conference.

Replacing the Bing search interface as part of Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8.1 software update, Cortana can do all the usual, including making calls and sending texts when prompted.

She can also open up apps, meaning third-party developers can tap into the service and allow their creations to be voice-controlled too.

There’s also a clever new ‘notebook’ feature which will allow users to tell Cortana their interests, which she will then be able to serve up details on when opened. Think: football results, news on gig tickets and, of course, the latest mobile phone news.

Microsoft is clearly hoping that Cortana can give Windows Phone 8.1 the edge on its rivals and help it claw itself further up the smartphone charts.

Android and iOS remain the dominant smartphone platforms across the globe.

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