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Build 2014: Windows Phone 8.1 springs into view, complete with Cortana

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Build 2014: Windows Phone 8.1 springs into view, complete with Cortana

Microsoft has taken the wraps off Windows Phone 8.1, the next edition of its mobile OS, at Build 2014.

The update comes complete with an Action Center, as was widely rumored. CVP Joe Belfiore introduced the new center, highlighting its ability to keep users informed of what's going on with their phone, such as better battery life readings.

Perhaps most importantly of all, Windows Phone 8.1 breathes life into Cortana, Microsoft's new personal assistant. She's powered by Bing, and replaces the search function on Windows Phone.

Belfiore demoed Cortana on stage, showing off her ability to set reminders, read text messages, find search results (like the best Mexican restaurants in Palo Alto) and much more. Belfiore explained that with user permission, Cortana will read users emails, gaining access to info like flight schedules.

Personalizing Windows Phone

Personalization is clearly a big focus with the update, and Belfiore even said that the changes in store are all about personalizing the mobile phone experience.

Users will also be able to customize their lock screen as well as their live tile themes.

Live tiles

With Windows Phone 8.1, users will also be able to choose what they're on-screen start screen look like.

There are also a number of apps getting an update with Windows Phone 8.1, including Skype.

We're getting details as they come in, so stay tuned for more.

More to follow...


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