Microsoft’s Cortana Voice Assistant Will Hit Australia Next Week

Microsoft’s Cortana Voice Assistant Will Hit Australia Next Week

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]


  • Yay! No more backwards dates, I’ll be able to finally put my Lumia back to the proper region setting! Personally I’ve had no issues with Cortana handling my voice requests, though I have been told I enunciate well so that probably helps. My partner tends to mumble, and had no end of trouble with Cortana’s voice recognition.

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