Microsoft is firing all cylinders in the engine that drives Cortana. It was just announced that China and the United Kingdom would be getting Cortana shortly. Cortana also just entered alpha status for India, Australia (hello mates) and Canada. Now we're seeing some other changes with Cortana. Users are now seeing more answers returned à la Google Now.
Cortana heads to UK, China in beta, while India, Canada and Australia get opt-in alpha program
Tonight in Beijing, China, corporate vice president at Microsoft Joe Belfiore announced new Cortana rollout plans for Windows Phone 8.1 users, including a new 'alpha' program to speed up the deployment process. Furthermore, full details about Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1 were also released, including early access starting next week.
As expected, China and the UK are now getting access to Cortana on a beta status, with substantial customization done for both countries, especially in China where some significant changes to the UI of Cortana have taken place. Additionally, India, Australia, and Canada are now part of an "early adopter program" where users can "opt-in and…try Cortana using English language models from the US and the UK."
Microsoft unveils Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1. Here are all the details.
As expected, Microsoft is finally revealing all there is about Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1. Known internally as GDR1 for 'general distribution release,' this update is one of two for the 8.1 operating system in 2014. The news comes out of Beijing, China where Microsoft's Joe Belfiore announced the release during his keynote, in addition to the expansion of Cortana to the UK and China.
Update 1 is relatively minor in comparison to what 8.1 delivered this spring, but it still contains numerous new features for consumers, and hardware manufacturers. Leaks of these features in Update 1 came over the weekend and were accurate.
Additionally, starting next week, those enrolled in the free Preview for Developers program are slated to get an update to their phones to take advantage of the new OS refresh.
Mega Cabs is an on-call taxi service available in several cities in India - Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Amritsar, and Chandigarh - with dedicated services at the airports. Started in 2001, the company claims to be India's largest radio taxi network.
The official app for Mega Cabs has finally launched for Windows Phone devices. The app allows you to book a cab quickly and conveniently.
HexaLines is a well-known and popular strategy puzzle game that came from Windows Mobile over to Windows Phone and Windows 8 last year. The game works on a simple principle of trying to connect pipes using hexagons to keep the red liquid flowing. HexaLines uses a fun AI to try to block your moves, making this game similar to chess. The mechanics and gameplay are highly rated, with many people giving the game solid ratings (4.3 out of 5 stars).
HexaLines is normally a $1.49 game but for the next few days, it is completely free due to participating in the myAppFree promotion. That means there is no reason not to grab this game right now, as once you lock in that license it is free forever!
It's hard to believe it's nearly August. As another month goes by I'll take a look at the Windows Phone landscape thanks to data from cross-promotion network AdDuplex. Every month AdDuplex CEO Alan Mendelevich ( @ailon) gathers data that gives us insight into the Windows Phone ecosystem around the globe. During the month of July, we're looking at an even bigger jump in the percentage of handsets running Windows Phone 8.1. Read on for more details.
Microsoft's Cortana is one of the hottest topics that we cover these days for Windows Phone. Between the constant updates, improvements and its long-term potential, Microsoft's digital personal assistant is making waves across the globe. This response is even more impressive considering that Cortana is still technically US-based, though talk of imminent launches in China and the UK are heating up, in addition to other countries.
Speaking of expanding Cortana, Marcus Ash, Group Program Manager for Cortana on Windows Phone, recently commented that in expanding Cortana to other regions they "…learned a lot about scaling" and that it has been a "tough project." Ash's responses pose some interesting questions about the process involved, and we are itching to find out.
Marcus Ash and Sandeep Paruchuri, Program Manager at Microsoft, have volunteered their time to try an answer some of your questions about the process of expanding Cortana. Therefore, here is your chance to ask them in comments.
Activision has just released the latest trailer showing off more of the single player campaign from the upcoming near future first person shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, showing us more of Jonathon Irons, the CEO of the fictional private military company Atlas that's portrayed, in both voice and likeness form, by actor Kevin Spacey.
If there is one Lumia 1520 that is the king of all 1520s it is an unlocked 1520.3 variant, which for those in the US comes with LTE support for AT&T and T-Mobile, in addition to 32 GB of internal memory and Qi wireless charging. Yes, it has everything.
Electronic Arts has announced plans to launch EA Access, a subscription-based service exclusively for owners of Microsoft's Xbox One console that will give gamers a way to play a number of games for as much as they want for $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year, along with other benefits.
Microsoft is reportedly still working on turning the "Weird West" role playing game Deadlands into an original TV show for its Xbox Live service, despite plans to eventually shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios.
Xbox Video on Windows 8.1 is receiving a major update today, and it is worth looking at in detail. Version 2.6.158 is now live in the Windows Store and with it comes an entirely new UI that is much improved from the prior barren version.
Let us peek at a few screenshots.
Earlier this morning we reported on receiving tips – especially from India – that the Lumia Cyan update is deploying for the Nokia Lumia 1320. As it turns out, this is another mass rollout and as usual, we have compiled this list of regions, countries, and carriers for your convenience.
If you see yours listed below, head to Settings > Phone Update and force check the process to get started. However, if you do not see your country or carrier listed, it means yours is still under testing, so sit tight!
Made of highly durable material that feels great when gripped, this sleek looking case features anti-slip properties that give your Lumia 920 more grip on all types of surfaces. Plus, this case has a special anti-dust coating and cut-outs for all features.
Microsoft has today concluded the Nokia Device Hub and Storage Check beta programs, which allowed Lumia Windows Phones to connect to a variety of wireless accessories and anlayze on-board internal storage.
The apps are now part of the Lumia Cyan update and can be found on any up-to-date Lumia Windows Phone. If you're rocking Windows Phone 8.1 and Lumia Cyan, you'll be able to easily manage all your wireless devices in one place using the commercial release of Device Hub and check what space you have remaining with Storage Sense.
A new report claims that Microsoft has hired Peggy Johnson, Qualcomm's executive vice president and its head of global market development, for a new high level executive position. Detail of what Johnson's new role at Microsoft will be have yet to be revealed.