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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!

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

258 Comments
  • OMFG! Finally!!!
  • 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. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • 0 is not sea water freezing. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • 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.
     
  • What he said.
  • +engineering
  • Easiest way is if its 80f for example then take off 30 and then half it so 25c
  • Um I still don't get it lol
  • * Take off 32. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Or go outside
  • You can simply ask Cortana to convert the temperatures she gives you...
  • True, but the weather info displayed on the tile can't be changed though.
  • 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.
  • Lolz :)
  • 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
  • Hey... Was that a shot at the U.S. ? :-\
  • F -32 divided by 9 times 5 = C
  • Sure, that date format pisses me 100+ times off
  • 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 ;-)
  • No love for Austria but Germany and Switzerland? :'(
  • 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? :'(
  • Marcus' Mom requested it and he said soon.
  • 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.
  • Cortana come to Brazil
  • Yesss
  • Siiiimmm!
  • Reminds me of ppl who say: Zzziiinnnggg
  • At least we already have a good Bing here. So I think that we wont have to wait too long for that.
  • COME TO BRAZIL!!!
  • I wanna hear cortana speaking portuguese so much *-*
  • Linda
  • She will come and beat 7-1 ;)
  • LOL!!!
  • I want Cortana speaking and understanding Hindi&Urdu. Indians are waiting for it.
  • Great news
  • It's good to see them working on their project this pace, I think Satya knows what to do and how.
  • Yeeeeeeeeeees! :D
  • So my htc 8x can finally get Cortana
  • My 8s too
  • We'll never get it
  • Congrats to British Lads ;)
  • 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?
  • Cortana is an integral part of WP8.1 so, yes, we'll have Cortana on the DP.
  • Cortana will work with DP and/or Cyan.
  • It is PD ( Preview for Developers) not DP. Look at the name in your list of apps. :)
  • Most of the U.S don't have cyan and they have had cortanna since April
  • - 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...
  • please provide part of artical that said we have to uninstall even if we dont use bitlocker.
  • 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.
  • NO. ONLY UNINSTALL IF YOUR PHONE IS USED IN AN ORGANIZATION THAT UTILIZES BIT LOCKER, OTHERWISE LET IT BE.
    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
  • +925 Also have Cyan in UK.
  • Agree. The yanks love their Zs. I refuse to use them and their bastardised version of English called English US.
  • We love you too
  • Lolz
  • dont hate because we made it better ;)
  • Same here
  • Let me here you say "the" like go to the university.
  • Same 925 on Vodafone. But I'm waiting for uk Cortana before I revert back to uk region.
  • Cortana is part of the developers 8.1
  • I can finally enjoy Cortana tommorow, Nokia Lumia 930. No European HTC anymore. Wohoo! 
  • Just done the same, got my 930 today and swapped for htc 8x
  • Yea right, believe it when I see it
  • Lol who do you doubt? Microsoft or wpcentral??
    I would think this news is pretty accurate coming from the source
  • Microsoft, they seem to promise, revoke, promise, revoke lately
  • There's a lot of changes going on but I would think this news would be spot on. Hopefully it comes to the U.K. soon
  • Need it in India...i want the quiet hours feature on my 925
  • I thought quiet hours was extracted from Cortana and is now part of the OS?
  • True. It's on there bro... You probably missed the article lol
  • Really, where is it then as it's not available on my ATIV S!!!
  • Even quiet hours needs Cortana.
  • 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.
  • Hell yeah!
  • She needs to learn to speak Spanish!
  • ¿Cómo se dice Cortana?
  • +1020 and be bi-lingual
  • Spanglish!
  • This!! Latin american/central american !!
  • Finally! No more complaining! Yay!!!
  • Been wishing for this for a few years now.
  • 0.o
  • This exact moment? (*_*)
  • Yeah bitches!!!!!
  • Earnestly waiting in Nigeria. Cortana on my Lumia 630
  • Does that include Ireland ?? Daniel
  • I was wondering this too. Hoping it does!!
  • Is the republic of Ireland part of the UK? No, so fuck off.
  • Die, bitch.
  • Easy, mate.
  • Turkey please
  • Yayyyyyyyy at long effin last, tally ho chaps
  • 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!
  • :(
  • "Regionalization for China is easier than regionalization for Canada" - Microsoft
  • Where did you read that?
  • 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.
  • This guy gets it.
  • Except Microsoft China is responsible for Cortana there, not Microsoft US.
  • 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.
  • TIL speech recognition is easier to do for Mandarin than French
  • Not easier, important.
  • Then What about India??
  • Think the key is, Cortana has a dedicated team in China.
  • Oh come on. Spanish please
  • Finally!
  • For real this time? -.- Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Microsoft hates Canada
  • They should enable for English for Canada. Not much difference north or south of border. Then go back and update it.
  • Microsoft hate Australia as well
  • Microsoft started loving India :)
  • Yay!
    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.
  • Cortana perfectly understands me, born and bred in Edinburgh but living in US.
  • I just hope it's not like early Siri with me. I still use my "posh telephone voice" for her. ;)
  • Don't worry, support for Cortana will be removed in September when the OTA update changes your region to Scottish :D
  • I'd rather have Independence than Cortana, but alas, that discussion is for another day. Haha.
  • Perhaps Cortana will give you some advice on how to Vote
  • Brand new L930 today cortana in 2 weeks.....sweet!!
  • Dito.
  • About time!
  • GOOD News
  • Spanish Please. Yo hablo español ;) 
  • 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. ^^
  • Stimmt :D
  • I can finally reset my region to 'UK' :D
  • That's going to feel beautiful, I won't miss that dollar $ign in my store one little bit......locker
  • Sweet Rkidd, mad for it, nice one!!! Hope she speaks Mancunia or I'm knackered haha :)) +920
  • Even the English don't understand the Mancs ;-)
  • tou·ché dear sir haha
  • Oi oi! Easy.
  • Haha :) Twisting my melon man.... Nuff said :D
  • 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!!!!"
  • If it has trouble with your accent then it will hate my scouse accent
  • What. Still 2 weeks.
  • What about Canada?
  • 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.
  • O2 have already started the rollout.
  • 2 weeks for the dev preview is mentioned. Would that apply to the 930 already on 8.1 with Cyan?
  • México when :(
  • 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.
  • Less than two weeks, still waiting for 8.1 on my Lumia 920 on Tesco mobile(o2) Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • 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...... Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • 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...
  • About time :) Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Well, Cortana has problems with my English accent. I don't think they will fix the recognition in 2 weeks.
  • They have been fixing it for the last six months, they just haven't released it yet.
  • 'Quickly' lol. Did I really read the word quickly? Too little too late I'm afraid!
  • lol, 'too little'. GTFO
  • At last!
  • What about India..the second largest wp country
  • Can someone just help me get it NOW on my Lumia 925 for Tmo??? PLEASE!
  • Change the region to US and use it right now
  • Cool my green 930 is happy now
  • Can't wait!
  • I know lots of people will be glad to get this news. I'm happy for them. :)
  • 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.
  • Plus from a linguistic perspective, UK English is closer to US English.
  • Wrong.
  • Explain.
  • In India the love have been for Nokia and not for Microsoft
  • Microsoft should let us choose which Cortana we want, I would love to have Cortana with a British accent
  • Once they release it for every region, you would be free to choose your region just by changing your region
  • This means I can stop moaning about Microsoft treating the rest of the world like second class citizens.
  • Yes, and only for U.S. tag would be removed as well
  • Canada!!!
  • Spanish is the third-most spoken language in the world #JustSaying :)
  • Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish :D
  • And what about number of Spanish users on wp?
  • Yay! Big up the Brits!!!
  • ...but _it_ only speaks Welsh for the first few months.
  • Yakidah
  • Fan dibbly dabby dozy!
  • Llanfair p g
  • I don't see Australia on the top of the list of priorities. No biggie.
  • 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..
  • We need bilingual Cortana.
  • Unless it already is, it should be completely location-based while not restricted by language barriers. Perhaps I'm too skeptic about MS but I can see them screwing this one up just because they have no idea what expat is.
  • noyce
  • Germany, come on, bring it to Germany for god's sake. We won the World Cup...
  • The man in charge of the updates is Brazilian.... :)
  • +920
  • And make it avaiable for Austria and Switzerland too.
  • Congrats, Ringo!
  • Cortana in a British voice would be so cool
  • Awesome. I'll switch to UK when it comes out. Tired of the bloody imperial system. Although preferably it comes to Canada soon
  • Awesome :D
  • Will Cortana in the UK have a British accent?
  • Yes
  • We don't want metric data!
  • Aus?
  • So, just to be clear, Cortana is coming to the UK 'soon'? Isn't news supposed to be 'new', and not the same old crap churned out again and again? Cue dalydose to give me a lecture about innovation or some similar shite
  • Stop whining, the post is telling us a potential date, crying :( is jus showing.... Well I'll leave the rest for u to add yourself ha ;)
  • That's my point, fool, we've been hearing about potential dates forever, it's nothing new....
  • The point is that we haven't had any clear dates yet other than 'late 2014'. This is now a solid date coming straight from a good source, plus it is way ahead of schedule. It is news.
  • I must have missed something, then. I didn't see a clear date anywhere,I just read "in a couple of weeks, unless we change it (again)". What was the clear date you saw?
  • When Cortana will come for middle east countries ?
  • Finally I can put my British English to good use!!
  • Happy days hope this draws more people to the platform. Anyone I've shown it to thinks it's cool..i find Cortana excellent and bug the sounds of it she'll only get better. Candid or Fahrenheit they usually get it setting anyhow I'm looking forward to the date reading as it should (for the UK& Ireland of course)...
  • Very good news, isn't this like way ahead of schedule? Hopefully this means Australia isn't too far off. At the very least I might change my region settings to UK to play around with it.
  • That means HTC 8S owners finally get Cortana too! Yes!!!
  • Hope in India we will get this year itself, but one question without any update can cortana come in the phone like UK will get Cortana in two weeks, how?
    Will there be updates for all phones of UK users to get cortana.
  • Maybe! If true then it will be a minor update!!
  • Hey!! China is not even an English speaking country and has a really very small base of windows phone users. Still they prefer China on India and Canada? Microsoft, go home, you're drunk!
  • Then blame Microsoft China seeing as they are the ones responsible for Cortana over there!!!
  • So no more converting to Celsius... Phew
  • How about other countries? Im in the philippines. Do we have a chance to get cortana in our region?
  • Adding Cortana made me stick with windows phone forever. Big thumbs gg Microsoft
  • VAMOS CORTANA!!! LLEGA YA A MEXICO!!!! :3
  • Whoa !! The previous news was it'll be on India first and then UK... :-( why did they change the schedule ??
  • That was never the news. It was always US, UK and China.
  • Finally, I will no longer have to bear the inverted date, retarded imperial system and their freaking Zs everywhere
  • Why to India so late,.?..we are also among the highest market place of windows phone..
  • Changing region to U.K. just for metric and Celsius
  • And that too cortana doesnt have to speak in hindi to come to India..
  • Bring the cortana for India the largest market...
  • Microsoft is drunked they couldn't launch cortana in indian english but are able yo launch in Chinese??? WTF..
  • For people like you..There is no word called drunked..
  • Seriously, china before India..developing for India is much easier..
  • I'm from Germany and I don't get why we can't get an English Cortana at least without changing our whole phone region settings.
  • It's because Cortana is not only about the language, else it would have been released to all countries. Cortana works with Bing maps features ( to localize places and at geographical reminders ) , it also needs some specific Bing features only available to the US right now to find latest news / stories , cultural things etc ...
  • Does that mean that when India gets Cortana we will also get full featured bing??
  • Really hoping we here in South Africa get Cortana too at some point...
  • Less than two weeks? That would be August 1st I guess.
  • I hope this is true !
  • Yay
  • Now that Cortana is heading to two new regions where one has a completely different language, do you expect that they learned a lot of obstacles and how to get around? So we can expect a faster reslease for other regions and languages?
  • I don't see why it wasn't available here in the first place, the only issues I've had are with units especially the weather, but that would not be difficult to change, it even gives me the correct location in the UK
  • What about France? WP is over 10% market share here ...
  • What about the best country? Australia!
  • I will believe this when I hear Cortana speak proper English Like.  (and support driving on the Left side of the road)
  • US language pack is not provided in my HTC 8x. So no Cortana for me. Now that it will soon be available for U.K., can I expect Cortana for my phone by changing the region settings?
  • When will Latin come? This is taking forever.
  • Give it to me in the UK! Hope this ain't some kind of trick...again...like Microsoft got used to do...
  • Any news. They said less than 2 weeks, Friday is 2 weeks, so less than 5 days.