Microsoft announces Windows Phone 8.1 Update details, with Cortana coming to new markets

This morning, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore announced details about the first update to Windows Phone 8.1, which is being made available in preview form for developers next week. This update has new features for everyone around the world, and certain features customized for and by people in China.

With this update, Cortana will become available in China and the UK as a “beta,” and in Canada, India and Australia as an “alpha.”

In addition, the Windows Phone 8.1 Update will have several new features, including Live Folders for configuring your Start Screen; Apps Corner for configuring your phone with specific apps and features; and Store Live Tile Updates to make finding apps even easier.

Users already on the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers should receive the update next week. The Windows Phone 8.1 Update will roll out to consumers with devices running Windows Phone 8.1 in the coming months.

Learn more about the update at Belfiore’s blog post.