I waited patiently for the official release and OTA download of Windows Phone 8.1 for my Nokia Lumia 925 smartphone. It arrived last weekend. However here in the UK we were informed that while the core of Windows Phone 8.1 would all be present and correct, Cortana would be absent. After seeing all the fun Cortana conversation YouTube videos and how smart Cortana could be that was slightly disappointing…
Initially we didn't know the timescale of Cortana's laggardly appearance in Blighty but it was recently revealed, via Windows Phone UK's Twitter account, that Cortana would arrive in about a fortnight. So it's pegged for the beginning of August.
Some thought it was odd that Cortana would be delayed for the UK. However it was theorised that the delay had something to do with the local service information and other geographic differences that the assistant has to be aware of to be a useful assistant. However it now comes to light that perhaps time was also needed for other changes to Cortana: reports say, as confirmed by @ThatMicrosoftGuy, that the UK's Cortana will not be voiced by Jen Taylor and will have a British accent.
For Halo fans in the UK that might be a bit of a disappointment, after all would anyone in the UK have difficulty understanding Cortana's voice as it exists now on WP8.1 devices in the USA? As it has been confirmed no Jen Taylor, it also means that we don't get Ms Taylor doing her British accent impressions either. So it will be interesting to see if Microsoft has a big name actor for the UK's Cortana or it will be just an unknown voice artist. By all accounts we won't have long to wait to find out.
In other Cortana news: Microsoft's assistant will arrive in China on 30th July. Not surprisingly Chinese Cortana won't be voiced by Jen Taylor either.