Microsoft has revealed details of its forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1 mobile operating system, which will be installed on new phones from this month and will also be available as an update to current Windows Phone 8 users in the near future.
This new version of the Windows Phone OS will offer a virtual assistant called Cortana, named after a character in the Halo video game series. Cortana will use Microsoft’s Bing search engine, monitoring the user’s interests and providing on-screen updates along with spoken answers to questions.
There’ll also be new features for managing notifications, ‘bring your own device’ activities at work, data use, storage space and battery life.
Cortana will launch first as a beta service in the USA, followed by the UK and China in the second half of this year.
[Windows Phone blog; Windows Phone 8.1 event on YouTube]