Today Microsoft has finally rolled out Windows Phone 8.1, a smartphone operating system upgrade, for Nokia Lumia. Last year, Microsoft acquired Nokia's Devices and Services business for $7.2 billion. The 8.1 consists of a set of incremental updates for Windows Mobile platform, which will be delivered in chunks over next few weeks and months. Following are few new capabilities being introduced in Windows Phone 8.1;
Windows Phone 8.1 has quite a few Wi-Fi features for enterprise users; enhanced WiFi authentication, optional server certificate validation, blocking Wi-Fi hotspot connection, report if user connected to any hotspot, etc. For non-enterprise user, Wi-Fi Sense might be an exciting experience as it intelligently connects your device to available hotspots and keeps hotspot details for future.
Cortana is an opt-in voice activated personal assistance, which exploits power of artificial intelligence and data science. It makes use of personalized user data and activities, updates its model (being continuously trained over time). Consequently, Cortana can make better predictions about user actions or possible suggestions which user appreciates. Microsoft believes, Cortana will successfully challenge Apple's intelligent personal assistant, Siri. So the hope is Windows Phone 8.1 together with Cortana will bring back great feedback for Microsoft Mobile platform.
Microsoft claims to have most security mobile operating system, not sure how valid this claim is but the 8.1 supposedly has upgraded security architecture – it prevents malware, jailbreaks, email leak, etc. Enterprise user might be very happy with some of these features.
Upgraded Look and Feel:
Microsoft claims 8.1 brings smooth transition to better look and feel capabilities – in Windows Phone 8.1, the Start Screen Background would be also your Desktop. This is not a bad addition. However, there seems to be a little inconsistency on large and small screen phones. Microsoft might fix this in later Cyan upgrades.