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Windows Phone 8.1 Release Date: Upcoming Overhauled Mobile OS Will Include ‘Cortana’, Microsoft’s Siri; Full Features To Be Unveiled April 2014

By Staff Writer | January 03, 2014 06:42 PM EST

Windows Phone 8.1 release date: April 2014 may be the make or break moment for Microsoft’s struggling mobile OS, as the company releases an overhauled look of the platform that has certainly lagged in adoption rates from iOS and Android.

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A key update to the upcoming mobile OS will have a feature that goes head to head with Apple’s famous Siri. The International Digital Times reports that Siri-like personal assistant “Cortana” will replace the Bing search option on Windows Phone and the like.

Similar to Apple’s Siri, Cortana, which is named after a Halo character, will have the ability to converse with you and understand location context and data from the device. And like Google Now, it will alert users when they have a meeting and exactly how long you will need to reach an appointment.

The Digital Times noted that according to an earlier report, the Nokia Lumia 1520 would be the first handset to have the Windows Phone 8.1 It is expected that there would be two versions of the phone, “Goldfinger” and “Moneypenny.” The former will be the flagship handset that will feature Nokia technology that the company has been working out for sometime. The device will have 3D Touch, using hardware sensors that will detect interactions off-the-glass.

Aside from the new Siri-like feature coming to the Windows Phone 8.1, there would also be a second addition: a new notification system. The Redmond tech giant will have a longer swipe down to give users a full notification history like in the current beta version of 8.1. The new mobile OS will also have other features that Microsoft is currently working on.

Windows Phone 8.1 may also feature separate volume controls, allowing users to control ringtone volume and media volume separately. There may also be Bing Smart Search, though according to the Digital Times, these are things that are being reported to be included in the 8.1, the full features of which won’t be unveiled until the Build Developer Conference in April.

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