Cortana UK beta release date for Windows Phone 8.1 set for this fortnight

Cortana, Microsoft’s personal voice assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, due to launch this fortnight

UK users of the Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview are set to get access to the beta version of Microsoft's personal voice assistant Cortana within the next fortnight.

The timeline for UK delivery has been confirmed by Marcus Ash, group programme manager for Cortana, who said the beta software will be provided as an update in "less than two weeks."

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He also revealed the UK version of the software will sport an English accent

The finished version of the software is pencilled in for Q4 2014.

The tool will not be available for iOS and Android, despite suggestions to the contrary, Ash confirmed back in June. At the time, he said Microsoft is only "actively talking about" launching Cortana on other platforms.

This would put it in direct competition with Apple's Siri and Google Now.

1. Our top priority is to make Cortana great for #WindowsPhone customers. Get her out to more countries, continuing to push innovation.

Marcus Ash (@marcusash) June 14, 2014

The company are focusing on the successful launch of the product on Windows Phone, but Cortana may reach Windows 8 at a later date. Microsoft's plan is to establish the platform on their own devices, prioritising existing customers before rolling it out to iOS and Android.

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2, Real plan is about #Cortana on #WindowsPhone. Make it so good that #WindowsPhone customers get everyone they know on #WindowsPhone.

Marcus Ash (@marcusash) June 14, 2014

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These comments from Ash, many of them made via Twitter, have put rumours of Cortana reaching iOS and Android devices to bed after days of speculation. It has also been confirmed that Cortana will reach Windows Phone within weeks, rather than months, as had been previously expected.

This story was originally published on 16 June, before being updated on 22 July to reflect new UK preview release date information.

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