Microsoft officially announced Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft has announced the release of its new Windows Phone 8.1 operating system at its Build developer conference, the company unveiled vast details about the new upgrade of the mobile OS. During Build 2014, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore took over the stage for his keynote where he introduced the new WP8.1 OS.

windows phone 8.1 keynoteBelfiore unveiled that the company now has new hardware partners like Prestigio and Micromax, he also pointed out some of the cool features that comes with the new WP8.1, including a notification center dubbed the Action Center, which users can access by simple swiping down from the top of the screen (similar to Android), once in the Action Center, the user can view messages, social notifications or even toggle WiFi and Bluetooth connections.

He also revealed that WP8.1 features customizable lock screens, which will allow developers to tweak them in some pretty awesome ways. In addition, Microsoft also officially announced Cortana which completely replaces the standard Bing search interface in Windows Phone. Microsoft is calling Cortana its answer to Apple’s Siri and Google Voice. Engadget also noted that during the Keynote, Belfiore showed off how cool Cortana is and they were pretty impressed with the results.

Cortana can handle the usual tasks that you’d expect of a modern digital assistant: She can make calls and send messages, as well as jot down reminders.

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