Cortana hitting the UK in 'less than two weeks' with China soon thereafter

Microsoft's Cortana is currently limited to only those in the United States, but the team behind the personal assistant are working hard to quickly bring it to other regions. Top on that list is the UK and China, two regions that are officially getting Cortana soon. Cortana was originally teased as coming in July, but Microsoft later backtracked on that as the date was pushed back.

Now, Marcus Ash, Group Program Manager of Cortana, has responded to a user's question about the UK, noting "Barring an unforeseen issue, down to less than 2 weeks for the developer preview." This is certainly good news, as many in the UK can finally take advantage of a proper regionalized Cortana, including metric and Celsius data. As to the reason for the delay, Ash explains that he and his team have "…learned a lot about scaling. Now we need to finish" observing that it has been a "tough project".

Likewise, a user in our forums named Talderon, who also works for Microsoft, asserts that China is following the UK soon thereafter:

"Last week, Cortana UK and China went from Dev support to Live Site support which means we are nearing release…UK for sure, China may be delayed a week or so later, but we're all pushing hard to get this out the door!!!"

Indeed just over one week ago, Cortana was caught speaking Chinese. Talderon has previously revealed some specific changes to Cortana that later came to be in the biweekly updates to the service. Additionally, according to Talderon "India is still being worked on, but it will be sooner than later. No guess on a date yet."

Clearly Microsoft is focused on getting Bing services updated around the world, as Bing powers Cortana. As a result, we should be seeing more regionalization of Cortana in the coming months, but for now, the UK goes first.

Source: @MarcusAsh, WPCentral Forums; Thanks, Paul D., for the tip!


Reader comments

Cortana hitting the UK in 'less than two weeks' with China soon thereafter



IKR. I still haven't got used to Fahrenheit after 3 months, and I can have the date displayed in a logical manor. ;)

Just random: 32 is freezing, 0 is completely arbitrary, and I think boiling is like... 300 or 400 something? No, that seems too high..

32 is fresh water freezing, 0 is sea water freezing, 212 is boiling. And -22 (the lowest I saw it last winter without wind chill) is really dang cold.

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Not exactly. The fanciful Fahrenheit sytem is based on the reproducibly cool brine (0 °F) and the average human core body temperature (100 °F). 32 °F (or 0 °C) is where pure (as defined as impurity-free) water freezes.

On the other hand, the Celcius metric system goes like this:

0 °C is pure (i.e., distilled) water's freezing point at sea level and at a pressure of 101325 pa or 1 atmosphere. 0 °C is also water's triple point.
100 °C is pure (i.e., distilled) water's boiling point at sea level and at a pressure of 1 atmosphere.

Yeah, but its not always convenient. And I don't feel like asking "how's the weather in [city] in Celsius?" otherwise Cortana in US settings already seems perfect for me. She understands everything (even indian accent) and works accordingly, though I'm glad Talderon mentioned Indian version of her is being worked on... :)

Agreed, this UK update will actually benefit most of the world's 'early previewers' as they'll finally be able to have Celsius as default.

True that. Most of the West Indies were British colonies after all and as such we use the British system.

Tell me about it. I'm a Brit currently working the USA but I can't get my head around the dodgy american date format and US imperial units. So I've been really waiting for this as I have my phone set on UK format even in the US.

Or we in fact drive on the right side of the road lol. I just can't imagine changing gears with my right hand.

Haha. That's one way of looking at it. We definitely drive on the right side of the road :P just like the Japanese do. We were here before the yanks so the US imperial system has been copied from the old UK imperial system :P I'm glad that UK dropped the imperial units - they were silly! Although they're still evident on the road signs along with KMs.

All this talk about the UK... makes me miss it. Need to wrap up work in the US asap and head back home.

Sorry but you drive on the wrong side. You follow the French and the Napoleonic empire who switched to right as he was left handed. It was always tradition to pass the left on horseback

Finally? I wonder when we will be hearing this news for Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, India and South Africa? That is when 'finally' will be much more appropriate...

Still, glad you blokes got it ;-)

Cortara makes the IU run much slower, as everything's put past her! Ugh, just disabled her. Not worth losing Bing either too.

Um what about Canada? We're their neighbors for um Idk many years and they don't remember us? :'(

We the faithful continue to wait for products and services the rest of the globe had on other platforms years ago. Tired of waiting MS, the faithful are getting weary waiting and waiting for their platform of choice to play catch up once again. Whatever happened to market leadership? Something loooong since forgotten.....sigh.

But we still don't have Cyan... So can we get Cortana on dev? Or do we wait for Cyan? Will Cortana work with dev? Will we have to uninstall dev & Cortana for Cyan? Is there a bitlocker fix?

- i think yes
- i don' think so
- isn't that the same with the first question ?
- if you don't have bitlocker you don't need to
- still have no idea

How do you know these answers? According to Microsoft we have to uninstall dev whether we have bitlocker or not. I don't have it, so it doesn't matter, but Microsoft stopped the minor dev update due to the bitlocker farce, so we could end up with dev & Cortana but still no Cyan. So if can get dev + Cortana why do I need Cyan? Which might or might not brick my device..? I might as well use dev + Cortana & wait for a fix to the downloading of Cyan while in dev farce... This is making Cyan pointless to download until Microsoft sort out there shit...

It's the bitlocker article, Microsoft are telling to uninstall not just for bitlocker but even if we don't, now, I'm not saying there's been non bitlocker issues, I'm saying that's the advice, if you don't want to brick & then recover your device. Okay? I'm not saying you have to, I'm saying I will...

From the internet ! :D
"Customers whose phones have been affected should use the Nokia Software Recovery"
only those with affected devices (which mean with bitlocker) will get problems
you don't need Cyan, it's just the original way to get 8.1 + Nokia's goodies
it 100% won't brick your phone, only those with bitlocker will get their phone bricked
the last point ! if you have DP Cyan is "almost" pointless you got it right, they said they are working on it

Look, I'm not trying to start a fight, usually yes ;) but not this time. What I'm saying is that there's a bug, & it effects bitlocker, but it 'might' effect dev 8.1 on devices without bitlocker, it might just effect just one person, what I'm saying is, that one person ain't gonna be me, I've spend hrs of my life sorting out Microsoft software that doesn't work for one reason or another or no fucking reason! I'm saying that I'll wait for a fix. You can do what you want. & if I worked for Microsoft I'd tell everyone with dev 8.1 to uninstall it whether you got bitlocker or not. Cause nobody really fucking knows.

Not here to start a fight either, see that smiley up there ^ :)
you asked i answered that's all !
and you can do whatever suits you, it's your device after all.

Others, plenty, or most in fact have downloaded the update with PD on and NOT had any issues.

The PD program is not on hold, the update that was pulled is on hold.

People need to understand what the procedure is, who it affects and spread the proper procedure for the very few people this affects.

Speak for yourself. I'm British and I have a totally legitimate edition on Cyan on my 925 - its been approved for the Vodafone UK (925.4).
My dev preview was set to the Oosa for Cortana but since Cyan I've reverted back to UK, all the Z's were annoying me

True, I just tried and you're right. I'm quite certain that there was an announcement that Quiet Hours were either split out from Cortana already, or were to be in the future (perhaps it was the latter).

They mentioned it here after one of the updates, I think due to people leaving comments but they didn't verify it.

It would be cool hearing Cortana talk in Hindi. We want it soon. But I want her to understand Urdu also bcoz I use a lot of Urdu words.

Maybe Cortana hits Costa Rica sometime in the far future (like 2020) together with the Cyan update... We don't even have the Bing services here yet!

It seems from Microsoft's plans. They are bringing Cortana to China earlier than Canada. So for them Regionalization for China is easier than Regionalization for Canada.

Not easier: more important. The population is much higher in China, and they have their own dedicated team there.

I don't know exactly, but isn't there some law or something in Canada that says when something is released it has to be released in English and French at the same time. If that is the case then you will have to wait until Cortana can speak French too.

They should enable for English for Canada. Not much difference north or south of border. Then go back and update it.

920 users in the will probably get the cyan update with-in this time frame. Shortly thereafter we have the lock screen beta to look forward to!

Bar the news about McLaren, the layoffs, mix radio being spun this is shaping upto a good month.

Whilst I'm certainly happy about it coming here as soon as that, I still don't really understand what sets me apart from an expat British person living in the US who could have had it for months now.

Because Cortana doesnt understand proper English, mate.Can hardly understand anything I say so hopefully adding support for the UK will solve that.

As a Scotsman, I'm just praying it knows what I'm saying, mate. Many a comedy sketch has been made about the horrors of Scots using voice recognition. ;)

I once changed my phone's language to British English to hear it annouce callers with a British accent. Then I realized that I couldn't voice dial my wife unless I said her name with a British accent.  I changed it back.

Another thing that concerns me is that there's no such thing as a "British accent" - certainly not as a singular form of speech...but many of these voice recognition services are programmed to think there is. Which is why anything other than "Queen's English" gives the systems the runaround and frustrates the majority of Brits - especially Scots.

Don't worry, support for Cortana will be removed in September when the OTA update changes your region to Scottish :D

So it could be possible that my shitty 8S can use it, if I change my settings to UK. This would be really cool, and then they should hurry and bring it to Germany. ^^

That's going to feel beautiful, I won't miss that dollar $ign in my store one little bit......locker

Gerrin! Cannit wait for wor lass (cortana) to start speekin geordie like, if she can underatand iz fust time, I'm garna be like: "why aye!!!!"

I'm being truthful when I say its about time and with o2 confiming that 8.1 will be released by the end of this month then the lock screen app almost reaching beta, this is a awesome time for Windows Phone.

Hopefully she will be spinning some yarns with the kiwis shortly yeah naa sweet as pretty much bro!

Another kiwi here :) I'm not sure which region will be better for our accent, UK or US? It seemed pretty similar for voice control on the Xbox.

Why don't you just get it via Developer Preview? My 1020 is absolutely rock solid with the dev preview installed. Didn't have to reset or anything...

Thinking about it, but only want to do upgrade once, hopefully should released soon......

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I don't know how you've managed to stick with WP8 when 8.1 has so many goodies! But I guess you've made it this far :)...
I personally would never revert back to a stock version of WP. Developer preview circumvents all of the annoying carrier restrictions and gives me all of the latest Windows Phone updates. I can't see any drawbacks either. When the updates come through, you get 8.1+Cyan, and I just get Cyan. We both end up with the same software though:).
Anyway, enjoy! It's a great upgrade.

I need to call Mrs. Ash (Marcus' mother) and Stephen Elop to ask for ETA on Canada. I need my metric measurements...

Till now I know Microsoft is full of incapability in apps, but it's full in partiality also. The windows phone market in descending order is US>CHINA>INDIA . But Cortana availability is US>UK>CHINA>May be INDIA. Microsoft you are striking at your feet.

India may be a bigger market, but the UK is likely far more profitable. We also host some major tech shows and have a lot of influential tech journalists etc....
In short, we may not be a big market - but in the grand scheme of things (and much like we are in so many other areas) our influence makes us a valuable place to do business.

Microsoft expanding market where it's less ,it's good,but it shouldn't forget where it has already been expanded, Otherwise expansion may reverse to contraction. So I told it's hammering at its feet.

This means I can stop moaning about Microsoft treating the rest of the world like second class citizens.

I'm a Finn living in Spain. If/when Cortana is available here, does it speak Spanish, English or Finnish, or can I choose the language independently from my current location? Also, in Spain am I supposed to talk Spanish to it, or can I chose English for example?
MS hasn't exactly been clear about this one either..