Windows Phone 8.1 to "get its own Siri"

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Next Windows Phone update could feature Microsoft's own personal assistant

The next version of Windows Phone might feature its own Siri, a voice-activated personal assistant called "Cortana".

The company has reportedly been working on its own voice assistant for months, and will integrate the new feature into the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update, according to The Verge.

Cortana will replace the current Bing search on Windows Phone devices, and reportedly borrows features from Google Now and Siri, such as learning the user's location and meeting reminders.

The Verge also reports that Microsoft is going ahead with a new notification centre for Windows Phone, letting users view their settings and notification history by swiping from the top of the screen.

Microsoft is also making smaller usability tweaks, such as introducing separate volume controls for media playback and ringtone. It's also adding Bing Smart Search, Microsoft's comprehensive tool for searching photos, documents, apps and the web on Windows 8.1.

It may add on-screen buttons for search, home and navigation, in the style of Android.

It's expected that Microsoft will preview Windows Phone 8.1 at its developer conference in April.

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