Print 64 comment(s) - last by sgestwicki.. on Mar 5 at 7:31 AM

  (Source: Reddit)
Update may be released in April, adds universal apps and "Cortana" voice assistant

Love it or hate it, you have to admit Windows Phone is a unique looking mobile operating system.  Launched in Oct. 2010, the bold bid to outdo Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system and Apple, Inc.’s (AAPL) iOS has largely fallen flat in terms of sales.  But as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) winds up towards its third major release -- Windows Phone 8.1 (originally codenamed "Windows Phone Blue") -- one thing is for sure: there's no quit in this challenger.
I. Packed New Release Looms
Reddit poster "wpthroaway" and Twitter user Roman "AngelWZR" L. have been busy posting a series of notes detailing a software development kit (SDK) for Windows Phone 8.1.
Perhaps the biggest change is the name -- Microsoft appears to be leaning towards the name Windows Phone RT.  While developers suggest the build does not appear to be the full rumored replacement/unification of Windows RT with Windows Phone's source, its name hints that it is a big step in that direction.

Windows Phone RT   WP 8.1 sync

Another critical feature and step towards unification of Windows and Windows Phone is the introduction of "universal apps".  Universal apps are special cross-platform applications written in JavaScript and Microsoft's XML markup language, XAML.  The apps are eligible for dual-distribution via the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store.

Here's a summary of what developers have found in Windows Phone 8.1:
  • UI
    • New accent (theme) colors

      Windows Phone theme colors
    • Navigation Bar
      • Can replace traditional buttons with virtual buttons (OEMs can also still use physical buttons)
      • Can be set to a different highlight color

        action bar
      • Can be hidden

        WP 8.1 navigation
      • Soft Buttons:
        • (down arrow) ---- Hide
        • (search glass) -- Search
        • (Window) -------- Home
        • (back) ----------- Step back through activity stack
    • More display resolution options

      display sizes
    • Battery Sense app
      • Monitor and preserve battery life

        WP 8.1 Battery Sense
    • Camera
      • Ability to use third party apps as primary camera app
      • New stock camera app
        • Similar to Nokia Oyj.'s (HEX:NOK1V) Camera app

          Windows Phone 8.1 camera
        • Control of flashes/lenses
        • Toggable burst mode
    • Multitasking
      • New UI
      • Large 'X' in upper-left still closes

        Windows Phone multitasking
      • Swipe down also closes (similar to webOS)

        Windows Phone 8.1
    • "Storage Sense"
      • Store and run apps off SD card in compatible devices

        WP 8.1 Storage Sense
    • OneDrive
      • Replaces Skydrive

        One Drive
      • Syncs across Windows and even non-Windows devices

        WP 8.1 OneDrive
    • Wi-Fi Sense
    • Optional USB warnings
      • Warn of "slow" (< 2 A) chargers

        Windows Phone USB settings
      • Can require enable to transfer data
    • Sound mixer

      WP 8.1 sound mixer
    • NFC Tap to Share

      WP 8.1 tap to share NFC
    • iCloud account access
    • The ability to replace built-in MMS/SMS client with third party MMS/SMS apps

      Windows Phone third party MMS
    • Internet Explorer 11
      • New file download dialog.

        WP 8.1 IE file download
      • No more Silverlight support
      • Expanded HTML5 support
    • Bing Health & Fitness
    • Bing Food & Drink
    • Bing Sports

      Bing apps
    • Bing Weather
      • Integrated with calendar

        Windows Phone Bing Calendar
    • Bing News app (w/ sync)

      Windows Phone Bing News
    • Media Player/Hub apps
      • Music+Video app disappears
      • Is replaced by two apps
        • Microsoft Music

          WP 8.1 Music
        • Microsoft Video
    • YouTube apps now play in-line on page

      YouTube Windows Phone 8.1 YouTube

      Windows Phone YouTube
    • Podcast Search

      Windows Phone podcast search
    • Filepicker
    • Bing Finance
    • Bing Travel
    • External Display Out
      • Projectors
      • Monitors/TV

        Windows Phone external out
    • "Cortana" voice assistant
      • Similar to Siri or Google Voice Search
      • Hidden/disabled in recent builds
      • Give errors if called
    • VPN support for enterprise users

      WP 8.1 VPN
The Reddit leaker hints that April 2 will be when more details are disclosed.  It's unclear if they mean that's when they will leak more details or if that's when Microsoft is planning to roll out the finished update to users.

II. Can Windows Phone RT Become a True Challenger?

Windows Phone 8.1 is earning praise from Windows Phone developers who say Microsoft listened to their change requests.  "YoungLiars" on Reddit asked:

I don't know much about developing but it sounds like they've had an entire overhaul of the system behind the scenes. Did they listen to what developers were asking for?

The leaker -- wpthroaway -- replies:

So far, yes. I'm still catching up to the docs but the whole building a WP8 app works like WinRT.


Windows Phone is currently the third largest smartphone platform.  According to market analysts at Kantar Worldpanel, a mobile analytics group, Windows Phone commanded a 4.3 percent of the U.S. market in Q4.  In EU it managed slightly better at 10.3 percent of the market.  It's struggling in China, though, where its market share remains at 1.1 percent.
That's far from the commercial giant Microsoft had hoped to breed.  But Windows Phone users tend to be on the higher end of device satisfaction, showing Microsoft is doing something right.
One crucial challenge facing Microsoft is how to revamp the Nokia Devices unit for Microsoft's branded device sales, while at the same time attracting OEMs to produce third party Windows Phone RT devicesNew Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (formerly head of Microsoft cloud-geared Servers and Tools unit) and Devices chief Stephen Elop have a lot of work ahead if they hope to transform Windows Phone from a bit player into a true challenger.

Stephen Elop must help to turn around Windows Phone. [Image Source: Reuters]

Windows Phone users are currently on the third minor update to Windows Phone 8.  Windows Phone 8 devices should all be able to make the jump to Windows Phone RT (8.1), according to past comments from Microsoft.

[All Images of Windows Phone 8.1 come from AngelWZR on Twitter and wpthroaway on Reddit]

Sources: Reddit, AngelWZR on Twitter

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By Argon18 on 2/12/2014 2:03:19 PM , Rating: 4
They're going to call it RT? Really?? RT is a tainted brand in the eyes of reviews and consumers alike. They might as well have called it Windows Phone Vista.

RE: seriously?
By p05esto on 2/12/2014 2:38:57 PM , Rating: 1
No kidding, worst name possible... wow that was stupid.

Kind of like most MS names, they really suck at naming things and it's soooo important. Like Xbox One... so lame I'm embarrassed to even say it out loud, so pretentious and lofty. Should have just been Xbox 720.... that name has cool appeal. The "one" is just aiming so high when it's not that high at all, not even as powerful as PS4.

RE: seriously?
By Flunk on 2/12/2014 4:58:58 PM , Rating: 2
Not true, it could have been Windows Phone Vista or Windows Phone Me. They could even make Windows Phone Hitler was Right Edition.

There is always a worse name. They need to align with something popular... Maybe they'll go with Xbox Phone. I think that's the only Microsoft platform anyone likes anymore (and still not a majority of people).

RE: seriously?
By StevoLincolnite on 2/12/2014 5:56:29 PM , Rating: 3
If you're worried about how powerful your gaming device is, do yourself a favor, never have a doubt again and buy a PC.

Personally I got accustomed to calling my Lumia just a "Windows Phone" - Thus dropping the 8.
The UI works well on a phone.

Although, Dailtech stating that the phones get new "Accent colours" is pretty funny, it's a whole extra colour and a variation of Teal/Cyan at that.
There are 3rd party Apps which will give you significantly more, even letting you apply a photo to a tile.

RE: seriously?
By Krinosy on 2/12/2014 11:42:42 PM , Rating: 3
Personally I got accustomed to calling my Lumia just a "Windows Phone" - Thus dropping the 8.

I think they should go ahead with just calling them Lumias (or whatever their respective OEM is choosing for branding) and let the actual Windows Phone name just fade into the background as WP, just like the iPhone Operating System is just known as IOS now.

RE: seriously?
By inighthawki on 2/13/2014 11:19:36 PM , Rating: 3
I think they should merge WP and Windows RT into a common OS for all small devices. What happens if they release a new zune or ipod-like equivalent? You probably don't want to market a music player or a tablet as running "Windows Phone 8 OS" or it will confuse quite a lot of people.

I'd also be in favor of some of the suggestions made before of naming it Surface OS. Give it a better brand name at the cost of losing the Windows brand identity.

RE: seriously?
By sgestwicki on 3/5/2014 7:21:00 AM , Rating: 2
They are working on exactly that and trying to add Modern UI (formally know as Metro) apps to that list.

RE: seriously?
By Da W on 2/12/2014 2:41:54 PM , Rating: 1
Take an unselling brand, snap an even worst performing monkier on hit and get ready to sell those Nokia android phones!

RE: seriously?
By kleinma on 2/12/2014 3:09:52 PM , Rating: 3
Not if it can actually run all the RT apps from the existing Windows app store. If they unify that then they have done something Apple and Android both have not done. While I think Windows itself will get some more of its Windows 7 desktop love back in Windows 8.2, if "metro" apps run on xbox one, windows, windows RT, then I think that will actually go a long way to bring acceptance. I have a Galaxy S3 running latest CM nightly, and also a Nokia 928. Both phones have pros and cons, but the windows phone is actually a better overall device to use, while the S3 has the apps.

RE: seriously?
By retrospooty on 2/12/2014 3:29:19 PM , Rating: 2
"Not if it can actually run all the RT apps from the existing Windows app store. If they unify that then they have done something Apple and Android both have not done"

Not really, that would not be the equivalent of Windows/OSX apps on your phone, it would be the equievalent of running tablet apps on your phone. If it ran full x86 Windows apps it would be something that no-one else has done.

RE: seriously?
By Manch on 2/12/2014 4:01:38 PM , Rating: 3
I think x86 apps on the phone will come when intel gets them cpus small enough. They have had a couple of x86 phones. The RAZR I with a medfield chip I think. There was another variant I think. If MS wants to actually make a dent then that is what they need to do. Baytrail is phenomenal and they need to shrink that chip down and shove it into a phone. MS needs to get down on its knees cradle Intel's balls, and tell them they love them and beg them to do this. Then they can have x86 across all devices and truly have one OS to rule them all.

As far as this update goes, all I have to say is, ABOUT FRICKEN TIME VPN SUPT IS COMING! At the same time, is still lacking on other features that android has and to that i say WTF.....

Android is to the phone ecosystem what MS used to be to the PC platform. Not the fastest OS, or the smoothest, but it's open, you can load what you want, upgrade what you want and it works. MS needs to go back to it's roots. Android is using the play book they used to beat the doors off of everyone in the PC market against them.

RE: seriously?
By lagomorpha on 2/12/2014 5:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
The phone version of Bay Trail was cancelled. The 14nm version will be available in a phone version and should be available in 2014.

I agree with you, a more open phone platform with a full desktop x86 Windows 8.1/8.2 would be phenomenal. Even better, Ubuntu touch and likely half a dozen forks should be in usable form by the end of the year. I just wish Microsoft didn't turn their Metro apps into an Applesque walled garden that requires every piece of software you run to be Microsoft approved and signed into with your Microsoft Live account every time you use the software.

RE: seriously?
By Manch on 2/12/2014 6:14:10 PM , Rating: 5
Awesome!, If they get that kind of computing power into a phone then W8.X will run just fine!

People liked MS OS's bc it was a jack of all trades, didnt limit you on hardware, software, etc. This walled garden BS they copied from Apple is not the way to fight them. Google has already shown and their own history has shown the best way to dominate the market. That walled garden nonsense, high markup for old hardware, and limited choice is why i avoid Crapple. For the sheep that like that crap , enjoy. MS needs to realize that their customer base arent Apple Sheep. If we were, Win ME, Vista, and 8.x would be selling.

RE: seriously?
By StevoLincolnite on 2/12/2014 6:00:16 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is powered by Intel's Atom. :)

I'm still longing for the ability to tether a PC via a USB cable...

RE: seriously?
By Manch on 2/12/2014 6:15:53 PM , Rating: 2
Did not know that! Has anyone tried to dual boot it yet? I know they are working on getting a couple of the baytrail tablets to dual boot Android/Windows. Right now i use bluestacks to mess around with a few apps, but i wouldnt miss it.

RE: seriously?
By kleinma on 2/12/2014 4:18:30 PM , Rating: 4
What single app can you buy right now that runs on your OSX system that also runs on your iOS system?

What single Android App can you buy that runs on ChromeOS?

RE: seriously?
By retrospooty on 2/12/2014 4:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
What does that have to do with anything?

Windows RT is NOT Windows, its an ARM compatible stripped down version, thus its a tablet OS like IOS and Android.

Its like this. Windows, OSX, Linux are to desktops as WP8/WP-RT , Android, IOS are to tablets and phones. Getting ARM WinRT apps to run on ARM WP is not a feat, its common sense.

RE: seriously?
By Flunk on 2/12/2014 4:56:14 PM , Rating: 4
That's not quite true, what WinRT is designed to be is a more modern replacement for the Win32 API. It's designed to make make applications more consistent and easy to develop. The big issue is that it's missing a lot of necessary features.

RE: seriously?
By retrospooty on 2/12/14, Rating: 0
RE: seriously?
By lagomorpha on 2/12/2014 5:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose it wouldn't have been all that surprising to start seeing ARM desktops running WinRT if Intel/AMD didn't step up their game and offer low price/power chips.

RT was Microsoft's way of jabbing Intel and letting them know if they started price gouging thanks to faltering competition from AMD then Windows users might start switching to ARM chips.

RE: seriously?
By inighthawki on 2/12/2014 7:01:24 PM , Rating: 5
Uhm, yes it is? Windows RT is the name of the version of Windows that runs on ARM systems. However "WinRT" is the name of the API that modern apps are built around on Windows 8/RT+. The WinRT API runs on ARM, x86, and x64.

RE: seriously?
By retrospooty on 2/13/2014 7:29:29 AM , Rating: 2
Regardless of the API name, Win RT the OS is not Windows. It's not an amazing feat to be running Win RT apps on a phone as both are ARM based and not x86 based. It's running tablet apps on a phone, not full fledged desktop OS apps on a phone like the poster above made it out to be. Surely you see what I was getting at.

RE: seriously?
By inighthawki on 2/13/2014 11:27:17 AM , Rating: 2
Nope, wrong. Some of the articles are very misleading, probably due to the horrible choice of naming scheme (WinRT vs Windows RT being two completely different things).

ARM has nothing to do with this and the "universal apps" are not limited to ARM tablets. They target anything written for the *WinRT API*. A single application can be written and deployed to both WP 8.1 and Windows 8.1 (incl. RT) as long as it targets the WinRT API. Applications written in native code will obviously need to be recompiled for each target platform (ARM vs x86 vs x64).


RE: seriously?
By retrospooty on 2/13/2014 7:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
Jesus, dood. Sometimes I see why Reclaimer has such a low opinion of you... Obviously we are talking about the OS not the API, stop being thick headed. You sound like testerguy right now.

Its quite simple, Apps written for the OS "Windows RT" running on Windows phone OS (both ARM based OS's) is not any phenomenal feat.

RE: seriously?
By inighthawki on 2/13/2014 11:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
Says one of the most hardheaded stubborn people I've ever argued with...

We were merely correcting you, and you exploded. Not only that, but you have been wrong on pretty much every comment so far.

Windows RT is the full desktop OS with a kernel that can run on ARM. It is missing only a handful of features from the full x86 desktop versions.

Nonetheless, yes, it is still quite an accomplishment. Just because both share an ARM processor doesn't mean getting things up and running on both platforms is easy. In fact it's quite hard, as anyone who has ever done OS level work will tell you. That must be why all those Linux apps run on OSX so nicely. Since you know, they're both x86 operating systems and they share a somewhat similar unix backround, right?

It's clear to me you have very little programming experience. Or if you do, all you know is something like Javascript so your idea of the world is that everything is rainbows and ponies when it comes to cross platform work because someone else (browsers) did all the hard work for you.

RE: seriously?
By retrospooty on 2/13/2014 11:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
You have done zero to make the comparison apt. You have done much to change the subject to something completely different from the original discussion, but whatever.

RE: seriously?
By domboy on 2/13/2014 5:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of the API name, Win RT the OS is not Windows. It's not an amazing feat to be running Win RT apps on a phone as both are ARM based and not x86 based. It's running tablet apps on a phone, not full fledged desktop OS apps on a phone like the poster above made it out to be. Surely you see what I was getting at.

Sorry, wrong again.

Windows RT the OS is pretty much Windows 8 Home compiled for ARM. It's missing some old versions of some common Windows APIs, and all win32 and .NET4 (desktop) applications must be digitally signed by Microsoft to run. The "jailbreak" changes that to no signature required as it is in regular Windows 8 and previous. It really is much closer to "real" Windows than it seems, which is the maddening thing about it... I wish MS would quit this silliness and let us run whatever without having to resort to "jailbreaks".

RE: seriously?
By retrospooty on 2/13/2014 7:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
Doesnt matter, its not running Windows apps. Its a tablet OS running ARM apps. recompiled or not, its not running standard Windows apps. The comparison above of OSX to IOS and Windows to Android is NOT the same as Windows RT to Windows phone apps.

Windows, OSX, Linux are to desktops as WP8/WP-RT , Android, IOS are to tablets and phones.

RE: seriously?
By inighthawki on 2/13/2014 11:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing that keeps Windows RT from being a viable desktop OS is the fact that applications written outside of the WinRT API must be digitally signed. Otherwise you can hook up an external monitor, a mouse and a keyboard, and you just have a thin desktop with a built in display. Comparing it to Android and iOS are absolutely laughable.

RE: seriously?
By atechfan on 2/14/2014 4:51:17 AM , Rating: 2
I think we can safely add retrospooty to the same list as reclaimer77. Neither have a clue what they are talking about, and both project their stupidity onto the person they are arguing with.

RE: seriously?
By retrospooty on 2/14/2014 12:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
I think we can safely add you to the same list as inighthawki as in someone that cant follow a simple conversation. No-one is arguing what inighthawki is arguing about.

It can be summed up very simply... Getting an ARM based WinRT app to run on ARM based Windows phone is NOT the same as getting an x86 MAC or x86 Windows App to run on an ARM based iPhone or Android. The comparison above is just not fair.

ARM to ARM is not x86 to ARM. Everything else inighthawki said shows that he isn't even following the same conversation.

For the record, I think WP8.1 or whatever they are going to call it looks pretty good. I like the improvements and I also think putting some Windows RT apps is a good idea. It's just not the same as hte Mac/Windows to IOS/Android comparison.

Do you follow now, or do you need more clarification? :\

RE: seriously?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/12/14, Rating: -1
RE: seriously?
By AssBall on 2/13/2014 3:28:52 PM , Rating: 4
Microsoft has literally learned nothing, NOTHING.

Yet their stock is doing fairly well and they still make a handy profit. Your constant ignorance of what the market consistently indicates and general disdain for Microsoft continues to earn you more posts "not worth reading".

We get it, Reclaimer. You can't stand or deal with Win8/RT. You are beating a dead horse.

Don't get hung up on what they decide to call it. You ... and the other minimal population of nonconformist IT people have your right to an opinion. But guess what, the average consumer will not care, RT will be drilled into their head by then. That windows 8 and RT are an unacceptable solution to anything is only a personal issue of your own, and will not reflect what occurs in the industry. If anything the upgrades can only improve what is already a simple and effective smart phone OS.

Android and iOS are overcomplicated for many prospective phone buyers, which is why MS is selling something easier to understand. Grandpa doesn't give a sweet turd about jailbreak, internet, and apps, swiping, or 30 confusing icons messing up what is essentially just a phone to him. He can't even see the damn screen because everything is so tiny. This is the market where Windows shines on smartphones.

Just because it is seemingly dumbed down, doesn't mean it isn't effective and efficient.

It does blow ass for a work laptop. But it sure is less convoluted and screwy than the alternatives are on new phones

RE: seriously?
By Wererat on 2/14/2014 12:38:51 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with most of your statement, except:

"Grandpa doesn't give a sweet turd about jailbreak, internet, and apps, swiping, or 30 confusing icons messing up what is essentially just a phone to him. He can't even see the damn screen because everything is so tiny. This is the market where Windows shines on smartphones."

Without discounting the theoretical 'Grandpa' idea, I prefer WP because its icons (tiles) are inherently live; so without jumping into a dozen apps I can see what's going on in my email, stocks, tweets, weather, etc. I then drill down into the apps I want to actually use.

In short, WP's acts like a dashboard, whereas the traditional iconography is still a desktop analogue. I'm not carrying a desk, I'm carrying a mobile device. I prefer to be able to get info without doing the oblivious-to-the-world heads-down phone shuffle.

Jailbreaking is ... well, to me, it's a hobby -- except where you have to do it to subvert manufacturers' and carriers' failure to update the OS, in which case it's a tax (of time). If a device already has the latest updates, I don't *have* to jailbreak it.

RE: seriously?
By tayb on 2/12/2014 5:06:38 PM , Rating: 3
Consumers don't give a damn about the version name of an OS.

RE: seriously?
By Krinosy on 2/12/2014 11:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
They're going to call it RT? Really?? RT is a tainted brand in the eyes of reviews and consumers alike. They might as well have called it Windows Phone Vista.

I might be wrong but I didn't see any mention of naming the operating system itself Windows Phone RT in the leaks or subsequent reports - this might be daily tech just reaching based on the fact that the WP runtime is called WinPRT and WP is getting closer to merging it with RT.

RE: seriously?
By AssBall on 2/13/2014 3:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know... RT seems like a good way to describe Windows Phone OS. It is perfect for a tiny hi-res touch screen. It is completely useless for a laptop or doing work, that I won't disagree with, but I don't think the stank will rub off, because the only people that even know the difference are those of us knowledgeable to make an informed decision not based on brand recognition hangups.

RE: seriously?
By sgestwicki on 3/5/2014 7:18:03 AM , Rating: 2
I never minded the RT part. The real problem was they put Windows in the name which confused people into thinking that they could install Windows programs.

Moving in the right direction
By chµck on 2/12/2014 2:10:10 PM , Rating: 3
Trolling and irrational WP/M$-hate aside...
The windows phone featureset/customizations is now where many other OSes were at years ago. It's still behind in some aspects, but it's ahead in others. I don't have a WP device, but I do plan on getting a Lumia once my current phone begins to bore me.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By Nekrik on 2/12/2014 2:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
It's only on Verizon, but the Nokia Icon is coming out on Feb 20th (I think still correct), if Verizon is an option then that will be a pretty nice gadget to have. The cameras they use are outstanding (I have the 1020, but also tested the 920 and 925), when going to shows or short weekend trips that would have called for a point and shoot device I only need my phone, and the pics are as good or better than those from my last canon point and shoot (seems better in low light). Of course it can't replace a dslr, but that's not a rational expectation with current tech.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By Argon18 on 2/12/14, Rating: 0
RE: Moving in the right direction
By Varun on 2/12/2014 3:38:41 PM , Rating: 3
Um, not really true but a good effort?

The sensor is the single biggest difference. DSLR sensors are absolutely massive compared to a smartphones.

For reference, the iPhone is 1/1.8" and the average smartphone is smaller than that.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By Da W on 2/12/2014 2:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I miss my windows phone 7, even if my HTC one is a good phone. Android just ain't a pleasure to use. Syncing is baaaadddddd.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By Reclaimer77 on 2/12/14, Rating: -1
RE: Moving in the right direction
By inighthawki on 2/12/2014 4:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
As someone who isn't extensively familiar with the latest features available in Android, could you name some examples of where Android excels so greatly that "Obviously Windows Phone has no chance of catching Android in features and customizations"?

RE: Moving in the right direction
By Reclaimer77 on 2/12/2014 4:40:18 PM , Rating: 1
I know for a fact last month you posted the exact same thing, and I posted a list to answer you. How many times do I have to do this?

Windows Phone has many fine qualities. But customizations and features? Sorry, that is NOT the OS's bread and butter. Why fight that battle? You can't win.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By inighthawki on 2/12/2014 5:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
Well I'm so sorry I forgot. How disrespectful of me to do so.

I was trying to be very polite about it, since I don't use Android and I don't follow every new feature they add. You didn't have to be a d*ck about it.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By althaz on 2/12/2014 4:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
Cortana is part of WP 8.1 - it just isn't being shown in the dev builds (it's purposely deactivated).

RE: Moving in the right direction
By ctodd on 2/12/2014 4:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I was one of those exiled and I wasn't in a hurry to buy another phone just to find out if the features I wanted was added in 8. Apparently, they were not; however, 8.1 looks nice. Also, there were very few apps worth owning. I've been tempted from time to time. I might get one in December and return it if it sucks or wait until 9 comes out.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By Krinosy on 2/12/2014 11:36:30 PM , Rating: 4
I personally cannot imagine using a modern smartphone without a Google Now type voice assist, but I know I don't speak for everyone.

Most of the people I know have iPhones or Androids (a couple of WPs but in the minority) and I have never seen anyone use Siri (or any voice assist) for anything other than demonstrating the voice assist.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By GPig on 2/13/2014 9:01:42 AM , Rating: 4
I know lots of Android users that use Google Now. It is really useful.

Siri is a gimmick though. Sure, the natural language processing is cool but it's an empty shell with nothing but scripted / search results.

Apparently Cortana will be the best of both across the entire platform and integrate with apps. Apparently.

By robinthakur on 2/13/2014 9:11:20 AM , Rating: 2
I use Siri with some frequency, and find it pretty accurate after a while. For some tasks it is actually quicker to get Siri to do it, e.g. setting an alarm, a reminder, calendar entry or asking it to convert units, temperature etc It is most powerful with Apple's suite of Apps to be fair. Since iOS7 I've noticed a massive improvement and you can now teach it how to pronounce names and the names of your family and significant others. Seriously, the NSA need to know these things...

I am always impressed at Google's offline voice commands and can see Google now powering the Glass nicely, though I wouldn't personally consider getting another Android phone after my last experiences.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By Reclaimer77 on 2/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: Moving in the right direction
By chµck on 2/13/2014 1:36:14 PM , Rating: 2
You're probably in the minority.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By atechfan on 2/13/2014 3:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure when you find time for a girl when you are so busy humping your phone.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By gixser on 2/13/2014 6:24:24 PM , Rating: 3

Its called a threesome! :-)

By sgestwicki on 3/5/2014 7:28:01 AM , Rating: 2
I think the main use for voice control is the ability to text someone while driving.

By Labotomizer on 2/13/2014 12:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's already been confirmed that Cortana is part of 8.1 and that ALL WP8 handsets will run Cortana.

The Icon will have a SnapDragon 800, new WP8.1 is supposed to ship this summer. There aren't going to be any huge improvements in chipsets between now and then from the looks of it. The 805 is a minor increase.

However, WP8.1 was originally going to ship in October of last year. It's going to be almost a year late. I love my 928 but the slow pace of updates is starting to really irritate me. I'm tempted to try the Note 3 this week and, if I don't like it, return it for the Icon next Friday.

RE: Moving in the right direction
By coburn_c on 2/12/2014 4:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed - This update looks to finally brings WP to where it should have been at launch.. to a acceptable upgrade from Windows Mobile.

Wake me when they small screen optimize and phone-ize the actual Windows RT.

Large 'X' in upper-left still closes
By Visual on 2/13/2014 4:41:58 AM , Rating: 2
No, the other left.

I hope Cortana is not a big letdown for Halo fans. And isn't it time to add a body to those voice assistents already? Maybe they should partner with VirtuaGirl :p

And I hope their Battery Sense app does not use some secret internal APIs but instead everyone is able to make an app/tile that can update consistently to show accurate battery status even without internet access, which is apparently not possible on current Windows Phone 8. And add more details about which app actually drained my battery and how, i.e. through 3G, GPS, display, CPU or what have you.

By sgestwicki on 3/5/2014 7:31:17 AM , Rating: 2
I think all the mobile OS should track how much battery was used by each app better. On my Samsung Galaxy S4 the screen is always listed as the biggest battery user.

Showing the door to Silverlight
By ie5x on 2/13/2014 12:18:19 AM , Rating: 2
With stopping SL support in IE, MS is probably shutting down one more technology which didn't pick. Its elder sibling WPF is also not innovating. Its cumbersome markup and data-binding syntax were no match for modern conventions like Razor (MVC). I hope they go all the way to optimizing HTML 5 or using its semantics as development patterns.

By Wolfpup on 2/13/2014 4:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
Even if it's only XML/HTML type ones. Still, that's a nice idea.

I like Windows Phone pretty darned well. Because of the massive price difference, I'll probably go with a large screen Windows Phone if I have to replace my iPhone 5s. I like iOS, but I like Windows Phone too, and iOS 7 no longer handles podcasts very well...I've actually bought an iPod Classic to do that, sooooo not much keeping me with iOS.

Biggest thing I don't like about the Nokia 520 is you have to wait on AT&T for updates (just got one last night that updates it to the third release of Windows Phone 8).

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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