Windows Phone Cortana suddenly seems to be one of the biggest talking points in mobile, and we heard earlier this week that WinPho’s answer to Siri would arrive in the UK with a British accent – not that of Halo’s Jen Taylor.
Now we’re hearing that registered Windows Phone developers in the UK will meet Cortana this week in the first Windows Phone 8.1 update.
That’s the story across, well, the entire “blogosphere”, with the news delivered a few hours ago by Microsoft corporate vice president Joe Belfiore in China.
Essentially, the UK and China will get Cortana on beta status, while India, Australia and Canada can opt in to try the UK or US English-language model.
In addition to replacing Jen Taylor with an unspecified Brit (Barbara Windsor is still favourite with the Mobot regulars), we’ll have words like colour spelled in all their u-based glory, and local information (sports, travel, stocks) provided by Bing.
Interestingly, there’s talk of Cortana having a “personality”, but it’s not clear if that means she’ll be funny, grumpy, flirty, apathetic…
Further features in Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1 (GDR1) include Live Folders, SMS merge and forwarding, Apps Corner, VPN through Wi-Fi hotspots, high-voltage charging and Smart covers. For lots more info on those, hit up WP Central.
Sadly, still no concrete word on when Joe Consumer can get his hands on Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1, but we're thinking weeks rather than months. Hopefully.