Australia gains early access to Microsoft's Cortana personal assistant

Cortana Windows Phone update rolling out in opt-in program

Microsoft’s personal assistant, Cortana, will make its debut in Australia in the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update.

Australia will be one of three countries to receive an alpha release of Microsoft’s personal assistant. Windows Phone 8.1 users interested in giving Microsoft’s personal assistant a whirl will have to opt into Cortana’s early adopter program.

Unfortunately, the alpha model of Cortana will not support Australian accents and idioms as it inherits US and UK speaking models.

Canada and India will join Australia in trialling Microsoft’s Cortana early adopter program.

Inch-by-inch Windows Phone is becoming a serious rival to iOS and Android
Inch-by-inch Windows Phone is becoming a serious rival to iOS and Android

A growing number of applications in Microsoft’s app Store has prompted the introduction of “live” folders. These folders will help group multiple apps on the live tile interface of Windows Phone.

Other additions to the upcoming update to Windows Phone 8.1 include the ability to nominate multiple text messages for deletion or forwarding, and a setting coined “apps corner”, which designates accessible applications for a user.

Microsoft has commenced rolling out its Windows Phone 8.1 update in Australia; however, the roll out is progressive and could take “months”.

Read more: Nokia Lumia 930 review

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