update

Whether or not all current Windows Phones would get the Windows 10 update due next year is certainly on the minds of many people. In the past, I have detailed why the chances of a Windows 10 update being available were much higher this time around, as opposed to the trend-breaking Windows Phone 8 OS.

On November 11, the official Lumia Twitter account has publicly declared all Lumia phones with Windows Phone 8 would get an update next year.

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A few weeks ago, we reported that some modifications to Cortana were occurring for a select few people running the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers. By the time we posted an article the changes had rolled back, signaling that Microsoft was testing the waters with the refresh to their new personal assistant.

Since around midnight last night, a few users in our forums are once again seeing the changes, including the screenshots posted below. In addition, a few tips have rolled in from people noticing the new improvements. Unfortunately, only one of the writers on the Windows Phone Central staff have the updates yet, so it's not clear if this is a slow rollout, testing or something else.

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Rail Rush is a fun Windows Phone 8 game that places you in a runaway mine cart that you have to maneuver through endless twists, turns and obstacles.

The endless runner game was recently updated to version 1.8 to add an Easter theme to the game. Rail Rush isn’t a stranger to holiday themed such as the Christmas theme update that was pushed out late last year. The Easter theme adds a bit of color to the game, a large collection of runaway Easter eggs and adds nicely to an already fun Windows Phone game.

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We have been announcing the end days of Windows XP for some time now, and if you are not planning on upgrading your poor sad operating system to a nice new shiny one, then we are a bit of a loss what more to say. Microsoft on the other hand, has one more trick up their sleeves; they are willing to shell out a $100 instant savings credit if you trade up your existing Windows XP machine.

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If you enjoy writing down notes while listening to music and watching a movie at the same time, then you are in luck because Music, Video, and Evernote for Windows 8 have received updates. Microsoft’s Music and Video applications serve as the gateway to Xbox entertainment, while Evernote provides a Class A experience for organizing various types of data.

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Next week, Microsoft is set to patch a collection of security loopholes that have served as a major vulnerability within Internet Explorer. A few months ago, security firm FireEye, discovered that they could exploit machines by using a piece of code that was drilled up by hackers. A second security confirm, Websense, later confirmed the issue and now a patch is ready to be sent out this Tuesday.

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Yesterday, Microsoft made Service Pack 1 for Office 2013 available to the public. The package of updates includes content for Access, Excel, InfoPath, Lync, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word. The first Service pack for Project, Visio, and SharePoint was also released separately. Overall, the Office 2013 Service Pack 1 offers a collection of bug fixes, with a few slight use improvements.

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Preparing for the epic Titanfall launch, Microsoft has set out to release two different updates to their Xbox One console before the March 11 date arrives. The first patch went out this month, and introduced a few new features; along with a bug, we are calling “the black screen of (temporary) death”. The next update that will be coming in the first few days of March is being handed out to a select few individuals for early testing and one of those people could be you.

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The most recent update for the Xbox One improved stability and added new functionality to Microsoft’s gaming console, but it has also had an unintended consequence: it has also made the system a bit less stable in other ways. Reports are surfacing around the web that users are experiencing what we are calling the black screen of (temporary) death. The software glitch is annoying, but if you encounter it there is an easy fix: reboot.

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For our full coverage, head to Windows Phone 8.1 SDK leak - All you need to know!

Windows Phone 8.1, codenamed 'Blue', is a forthcoming major update for Microsoft's mobile platform. While we're anticipating an announcement at the company’s Build 2014 conference in April, with new hardware arriving in June, already Microsoft has released the SDK to developers and we're seeing some leaks appear on Reddit, pointing at a handful of new features in the 8.1 update. 

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Pepper is a free music discovery service available on iOS, Android, Windows 8 and Windows Phone. While Pepper has been around since Windows Phone 7, the team behind the service has only just launched Pepper in the US. It has taken some time, but one should not underestimate just what their end goals are - to not only enable consumers to check out and attend local events at known venues, but discover new music in the process. 

Today an update has been released to the store. We're also calling out to US consumers who would like to get involved and lend a hand by seeding some local venues they'd like covered by the Pepper team. Head past the break to read more.

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Skype for Windows Phone is an important app, simply because it's the official client for the hugely popular video call service from Microsoft. Whenever there's an update to Skype we rejoice at the fact an annoying bug or issue we've been experiencing with the service itself may have been addressed. Today, the development team has pushed version 2.15.0.154 to the store, which contains "general fixes and improvements."

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Viber is a messaging services enabling you to text, message groups and make free HD calls. Available cross-platform, the Windows Phone app has again be updated. Today we're looking at version 4, introducing a range of new features for consumers to utilise. The company previously brought back spell checking and added new backgrounds, but today's update includes stickers, notification sounds and more.

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If you’re a fan of managing your health or managing your money, then there is a good bet that you might be using the Fitbit and/or Mint.com apps on your Windows 8 PC. Some troubles over the last few days have prevented some users from logging in to either service from the Windows Store application, and a new update is here to fix issues for both.

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WeChat, the popular communication and social networking app available for both Windows Phone 7 and 8, has been updated. While the service is generally seen to be more popular in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and India, boasting over 300 million users spread around the globe, it's still worth noting that the app has been updated to version 5.1.

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It has been what seems like an eternity since the Endomondo (www.endomondo.com) team updated the official app for Windows Phone – the last update was back in April 2013. The company has published a new entry on its official blog to ensure consumers don't feel left out, teasing an upcoming release to hit the Windows Phone Store this coming April. The best part is you will be able to shape what's included in this release and future updates. Pass the break to learn more.

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Nokia has today released an update for Play To, taking the app up to version 2.2.3.2. This release includes the much anticipated fix for those running the GDR3 Developer Preview (Update 3), which saw the app lose all functionality and be rendered useless. It was only last week we covered news that the company would be releasing a patch to help users out, so we see this as a positive turn around.

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When it comes down to your Windows 8 device, Skype provides the most integrated solution for video, audio, and text messaging. The application itself isn’t yet perfect, and I constantly find myself having to jump into Google+ Hangouts to get multi-person conference calls done correctly, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t working every day to make it better than the last. Recently an update has been pushed for Skype on Windows 8 – let’s take a look and see what has changed.

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