Washington: As Microsoft is now eyeing to introduce its Windows 8.1 smartphone with some new features like Android and iOS.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone smartphone OS has taken some time to carve out a place in the mobile world. With BlackBerry’s disastrous BB10 reboot and lackluster sales of the Z10 and Q10, Microsoft has greatly benefitted from the Canadian company’s downfall.
With the success from sales of Nokia’s Lumia WP8 smartphones, Microsoft has moved up in smartphone market share, knocking BlackBerry out of the number three slot it had held behind iOS and Android.
Windows Phone has been the only clear alternative in the smartphone world dominated by handsets running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. A new report claims that Microsoft is going to add two major features to Windows Phone 8.1, so it can be on a more even playing field with iPhone and smartphones powered by Android.
The two new features will reportedly consist of one introduced by Apple and another introduced by Google. Windows Phone has lacked the all too important virtual assistant that Apple unveiled when it introduced the world to Siri.
When Apple launched Siri with the introduction of the iPhone 4s, it was the handset’s major new feature and one that helped the company create new software that would ultimately be copied by both Samsung and Google after its release. Samsung quickly followed Apple and introduced S Voice, which brought a virtual assistant to its Android smartphones. Google quickly followed with Google Now and has since surpassed what Siri and S Voice are able to do in terms of features and speed. Microsoft’s virtual assistant will reportedly be named Cortana.
Android, meanwhile, was the first smartphone OS that offered a Notification Center that can be accessed by a swipe down from the top of the display to see notifications in a centralized place, along with other information. Apple copied this Notification Center and added it to iOS 5 in 2011 and even used the same swipe down gesture from the top of the display, something Google added years before Apple.
Windows Phone 8.1’s Notification Center will reportedly be accessible via a swipe from the top of the display, just like Android and iOS. Windows Phone users should expect to see a Windows Phone 8.1 release sometime in April according to this new report.