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June 17, 2014

Microsoft confirms Cortana will arrive in the UK in “weeks not months”

UK version of Cortana will also feature a British accent.

By Ben Sullivan

Microsoft has said that its Cortana voice assistant will arrive to UK Windows Phone 8.1 devices in a matter of weeks.

Marcus Ash, a lead developer on Cortana at Microsoft, confirmed that it will be coming to the UK sooner than expected in a Twitter conversation.

In a Tweet, Ash said: "Making Cortana available in the UK and China will happen very soon. Weeks not months."

The voice assistant, which acts as an extension of Bing on Windows Phone 8.1, launched in the United States in April, but Microsoft has been putting off the UK release. Before this, Microsoft had confirmed only that Cortana will arrive in the UK sometime "this summer".


Microsoft is also exploring the possibility of bringing its voice controlled virtual assistant to the Android and iOS platforms.

Speaking in a keynote speech at the SMX Advanced search-marketing conference in Seattle, Ash said: "It’s a bit of a head-scratcher for us right now."

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"We want to scale Cortana internationally and across devices," Ash was quoted by Searchengineland.

But in the Twitter conversation, Ash said the Cortana is the priority for Windows Phone users.

"Our top priority is to make Cortana great for Windows Phone customers. Get her out to more countries, continuing to push innovation", said Ash.

Ash also confirmed that the UK version of Cortana will have a British accent.

"We have a UK voice for Cortana. Need it for the broad set of customers who will use her and prefer a UK voice," he said.

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