Today Microsoft released the developer preview version of Windows 8.1 to the world and any user who is part of the Windows Phone developer program can download the update now. The developer preview version of Windows Phone 8.1 allows developers to get their first taste of Microsoft's Siri-like virtual assistant, Cortana.
Users who register as a developer under the App Studio and create a new project will have access to the update, as well as those who registered under the Windows Phone Developer program and paid the $19 fee. Finally, any Windows Phone that is "developer unlocked," will be able to download Windows Phone 8.1. While Windows Phone 8.1 will bring a lot of new features to Windows Phone, Cortana is most certainly, the most anticipated.
Cortana is a virtual assistant that functions via voice commands just like Siri and Google Now, and is said to provide a more detailed and contextually relevant result based on a special "notebook" file Cortana keeps on your past queries. Microsoft hopes to draw in additional customers from its Halo fanbase as well thanks to the Cortana name given to the assistant.