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back to article Microsoft's Brit kid Cortana lands on UK WinPhone 8.1, but China's is the real cutie

Microsoft will be fine-tuning its virtual assistant Cortana in its first update to Windows Phone 8.1. The Siri rival is predicted to arrive on UK users' smartphones over the next few months. The preview pack for developers is already out, of course. Youtube Video Cortana will be coming to folks in Blighty and China as a beta …

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Terminator

neat additions to her personality

Hopefully the non psychotic kind

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Anonymous Coward

Re: neat additions to her personality

"Cortana will have a local accent and will tailor her responses to local sports,"

Great - so football related questions will actually get responses about football, and not to American "Hand Egg"?

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Re: neat additions to her personality

So long as it's easy to turn off, I'm happy.

Might be more useful if they didn't make it dependent upon GPS being enabled - where did my battery life go?

Currently running WP8.1 dev preview - great. Cortana turned off.

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Re: neat additions to her personality

Local accent? Fantastic - I'd love to hear a Brummie / Yamyam Cortana...

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What will the do when she goes rampent?

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Is the combined US military tactical centre using her yet? What will happen when she goes sentient?

World War 3 brought to you by Clippy's descendent. "It looks like you want to topple an unfriendly regime. Would you like tactical nuclear help with that?"

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"In the UK, Cortana will have a local accent ..."

So, as I drive from Lands End to John O'Groats, it will use GPS or mobile location services to adjust the accent accordingly? That could be fun/interesting/amusing.

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Re: "In the UK, Cortana will have a local accent ..."

Might have to use Google Translate as you drive by some areas....

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Re: "In the UK, Cortana will have a local accent ..."

No, it'll just have the stock cockney-chimney-sweep gorblimy guv'ner cheeky chappy voice that all people from the uk have...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "In the UK, Cortana will have a local accent ..."

"Might have to use Google Translate as you drive by some areas...."

Bing Translate would be a better choice. It's built in.

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Re: "In the UK, Cortana will have a local accent ..."

Frank Ly - once you get past Inverness, it just starts grumbling about you not being 'local' and firmly suggesting you don't start any trouble...

Steven R

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Am I the only one

Who read the headline and thought the UK was getting Cortana and China was having to make do with Clippy or that Dog thing?

On that subject - if Clippy had been a fit bird would it have been more successful?

Obligatory Clippy hate page.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/clippy-finally-messes-with-the-wrong-word-doc/

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Coat

Cortana ?

Why, oh why, do I keep reading this as "Cortina" ?

Bring back the Ford Cortina !

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Which WinPhones will get 8.1?

Can anybody enlighten me as to which WinPhones will get 8.1?

Only the newer ones? What about the still popular Lumia 520? Or the reassuringly-heavy 920?

Thx!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Which WinPhones will get 8.1?

If it is running 8 and wasn't released over 18 months ago then it will get the update.

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Re: Which WinPhones will get 8.1?

The claim was all WP8 devices would get 8.1. But my wife's Lumia 520 hasn't gotten an update for it yet. The 520 is somewhat gimped by its memory so I wouldn't be surprised that if/when 8.1 arrives it is missing certain functionality.

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Re: Which WinPhones will get 8.1?

Nokia has web page listing 520 and 920 (among many others) that will receive the update, and also the availability status per region/country/operator:

"Windows Phone 8 compatible phone models

Nokia Lumia 520, 520T, 521, 525, 526, 530, 530 Dual SIM, 620, 625, 630, 630 Dual SIM, 635, 720, 720T, 810, 820, 822, 920, 920T, 925, 925T, 928, 930, Icon, 1020, 1320 and 1520."

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Re: Which WinPhones will get 8.1?

The update hasn't been fully released yet on all devices or in all countries, so no, you probably haven't got the update, yet.

But you should I believe - I'm looking forward to it for my Lumia 1020 - I actually quite like Windows Phone 8 and the improvement/additions list for 8.1 sound good to me.

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Re: Which WinPhones will get 8.1?

All current Windows Phone 8.0 devices will get the 8.1 update. You can check whether it's supposed to be available for your phone here: http://www.nokia.com/global/support/software-update/wp8-software-update/availability-in-europe/

If it isn't yet, sit tight - it will get to you soon!

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Re: Which WinPhones will get 8.1?

You can check here: http://www.nokia.com/global/support/software-update/wp8-software-update/availability-in-europe/

If your phone has not received the update yet - sit tight, it will come along soon!

The low end devices with 512MB RAM should get virtually all the features. The only one I heard of that might not make it to those handsets are the new 'live lock screen' functions.

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Re: Which WinPhones will get 8.1?

Just sign up for the "developer preview". You don't have to be a dev and it's free, and it's not a beta. The rumour is that Microsoft implemented it because they were pissed off with carriers being so damn slow to roll out updates so created a way for users to bypass the carriers. Regardless of whether that's true about their reasons, the result is that they have created a way for users to bypass the carriers. So yay.

I've had 8.1 on my 1020 for months now. A couple of downsides, but mostly up. The Swype-like typing and the predictive text are both astoundingly good.

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Re: Which WinPhones will get 8.1?

I know some people round here just HATE Microsoft, but seriously: a downvote for saying "If you want the update, here's a way of getting it"? It's psychotic.

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Re: Which WinPhones will get 8.1?

"I know some people round here just HATE Microsoft, but seriously: a downvote for saying "If you want the update, here's a way of getting it"? It's psychotic."

Develop a thick skin. I've lost count of the number of negative votes I've gotten for making factual statements that the reader simply didn't like.

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Re: Which WinPhones will get 8.1?

Oh, my skin's plenty thick. But I still like to point out tongue-dragging fuckwittery when I see it.

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Cortana is twice as good as both Google Now and Siri, based upon the reasoning that I used the fruity and chocolatey voice assistants for a day before ignoring them, whereas with the Master Chief's beau she lasted 48 hours. Scientific reasoning at its finest.

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I wonder which of the multitude of local British accents it'll get and how good it's voice recognition will be?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAz_UvnUeuU

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Once again, Simon proves prophetic...

http://bofh.ntk.net/BOFH/1998/bastard98-08.php

Drunken Scotsman.

That is all...

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Did anyone else notice...

...that in that advert, siri is much more impressive than cortana? She's able to recognise the user's request, recognise cortana's reply, recognise that cortana's reply comes from a second speaker *and* that this speaker is a phone, is aware of her own limitations, and at the very end forms an opinion about what she's heard.

Only Microsoft would try to make their glorified note taking / calendar update software look good by putting it next to a mockup of something behaving like strong AI.

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Re: Did anyone else notice...

Quite right. Siri's /real/ response is 'No Match Found'

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Cortana aside....

As well as the Cortana updates, the Windows Phone package is going to include the ability to group apps into Live Folders on the Start Screen, improvements to the Xbox Music app and SMS merging.

It had fucking better have improvements to the Xbox Music app. I'm a big fan of Windows Phone in general, and 8.1 is broadly excellent, but the move from Music to Xbox Music is an unmitigated disaster.

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Re: Cortana aside....

Agree so hard. Xbox Music is pretty much the worst media player I've ever used. Slow as balls, still has metadata issues, doesn't show key info (track number/lengths, year), and they made it uglier since WP8 too.

The pre-Amber WP8 version had more exciting problems, so at least it had that. Mine repeatedly re-indexed the same files, so an album would have each song up to 16 times. According to the phone, I had 200GB of music on a 32GB card!

The current one just has boring problems. Be nice if MS released a finished product once in a while.

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Good news, however I'm not holding my breath as my Nokia 1020 is still awaiting the WinPhone 8.1 Update. (Carrier is EE - anyone having better joy with other carriers?)

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'fraid not. I'm on EE for my 1520 and my company uses a plethora of Lumia 625's on EE and nothing yet.

It's listed on Nokia's tracker page for EE as "Under testing" - they've always been dog slow for updates so I wouldn't hold your breath..

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I have a 1520 on ee, got through buymobile and am on 8.1. Also Cortana with Lang and region set to US

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Given the choice

Brummy please!

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AI

AI is making inroads in disguise, first as a chocolate bar now as a saucy assistant.

I wonder how much us would have discussed a late entrant from Microsoft had it been named Clippy.

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