Cortana: Microsoft's answer to Siri coming to Australia

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Cortana: Microsoft's answer to Siri coming to Australia

Microsoft will release its mobile voice assistant Cortana to Australia in the next update for Windows Phone 8.1.

A spokesperson for the vendor said that Australia is one of only three countries receiving the alpha version of Cortana in the coming update. Canada and India are the other beneficiaries, as Microsoft expands the assistant's reach in the English speaking world.

All three areas will receive Microsoft's rival to Apple's Siri with just the UK and US speech models available.

[Related: Shut up Siri - Blackberry gets its own Assistant]

Other features coming in the update include live folders, "enabled by simply clicking and holding an existing tile on the Start screen, then dragging it over another app to create a new folder".

"Folders can be renamed by tapping on a field above the open folder, while tiles inside a folder can be rearranged," said the spokesperson.

SMS capabilities will also be reformed, with users granted the ability to delete individual messages out of thread and to copy and forward individual messages.

A play area named Apps Corner will allow Windows Phone 8.1 users to "set up a sandboxed environment with the apps and features they choose".

The Windows Store will show recommendations and information about the latest apps on the Store Live tile itself.

The Microsoft spokesperson said the Windows Phone 8.1 update will be deployed in the "coming months".

[Related: Review - Windows Phone 8.1]

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