Windows 8: Cortana assistant, universal apps and update 8.1 release date announced

Microsoft hosted a BUILD 2014 keynote today, in which the firm announced information on the latest Windows 8 update, as well as confirming the rumor that Windows Phone 8.1 supports a Halo-themed Cortana app offer voice control input like Apple’s Siri.

You won't see the lovely blue A.I. in her full glory like in Halo 4, instead the assistant is a circle you push to use and but you will still hear Jen Taylor’s voice when being replied to, so at least there’s that.

Universal Windows apps which will work across all Windows platforms and Xbox were also announced, which will allow those who purchase and app on a particular platform to access it on other devices. This will be accomplished thanks to an update to the Visual Studios 2013 development tools released for app makers.

Microsoft also detailed Windows 8.1 update which will arrive next week.

Along with new mouse and keyboard features, apps can now be pinned to the taskbar, which can be hidden, and to close any open apps, you will just mover your mouse to the top of the screen and click the X on the appearing title bar.

Basically, Microsoft has streamlined the context menus, making things simpler.

Those who are running Windows 7 or above will be able to run the latest version of Windows 8.1 which will only require 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.  Microsoft will release 8.1 via Windows Update on April 8.


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