When Microsoft launched its Cortana voice recognition assistant for Windows Phone at Build earlier this year, we were disappointed that it wasn’t available in Australia. That will change soon: as of next week, an alpha version of Cortana for Australia will become available to Windows Phone Developers.
The alpha forms part of Windows 8.1 Update, which also includes support for live folders. One important point: at this stage Cortana won’t have Australia-specific accent recognition or vocabulary. As Microsoft’s announcement blog post explains about the alpha, which is also available to developers in Canada and India:
This early adopter program will be opt-in and give people the ability to try Cortana using English language models from the US and the UK.
That could make a big difference: Cortana US coped very badly with my Australian accent when I tried it. Nonetheless, it’s a step in the right direction.
Windows Phone 8.1 Update brings Cortana to new markets + new features [Windows Phone Blog]