Staff Writerannouncement as part of a presentation at the Build developer conference in San Francisco. Belfiore displayed working models of the new system from Micromax and Prestigio. Partnerships with manufacturers Foxconn, Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, and ZTE will also be in place soon. Microsoft will be launching Cortana as a beta with apps such as Skype, Hulu, and Facebook. The OS will also feature Wi-Fi sense settings allowing users to automatically connect to some networks plus the ability to share network access between Windows Phones and laptops. Another reported highlight will be an “action center,” an easy access guide to multiple applications on the phone. The 8.1 version will also see an improvement on the Windows Word Flow keyboard. Speed demons should be anxious to put the new version to the test, as Belfiore claims the Windows Phone already holds the world record for fastest typing on a smartphone. Windows Phone 8.1 will become available as an update in the next few months, and will come pre-installed on Windows Phones in late April or early May. The Windows 8.1 update for desktops and keyboards will also be available for free starting on April 8th. Are you excited for Windows Phone 8.1 and Cortana, or will Siri always be the “Apple of your i?" Let us know in the comments!
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