If the latest rumors hold true, Microsoft might add every major requested feature to Windows Phone with the Windows Phone 8.1 upgrade.

windows phone 8 2 Windows Phone 8.1 to have notification center, personal assistant, and other requested features

Windows Phone 8.1 – codenamed “Blue” – has been rumored to include a dedicated notification center, and The Verge believes it will act in mostly the same way as Android and iOS in that it will be accessible via a long swipe down from the top, but will also give access to quick settings via a shorter swipe, along the lines of Ubuntu Touch. Also included in WP 8.1 will be the “Cortana” personal digital assistant – it will replace Bing as the default search interface, allow users to interact with voice or text input, and have conversational interaction and the ability to learn context-aware data, with features such as reminding users about upcoming appointments and the time one would take to reach those appointments (a feature Microsoft can implement well thanks to its access to Nokia’s Maps services).

Windows Phone 8.1 will also add features like VPN support, separate volume controls; Microsoft is also rumored to be separating numerous built-in apps like Xbox Music and Xbox Video, so it can update those apps more frequently without depending on system updates, something Google has been heavily doing on Android. Meanwhile, Nokia is reportedly busy prepping two devices that will take advantage of Windows Phone 8.1 – one device is codenamed “Goldfinger” and will include a “3D Touch” system that detects “off-the-glass interactions, while the other device is “Moneypenny,” which will take advantage of the on-screen buttons that Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to introduce

Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to be officially unveiled at Microsoft’s BUILD 2014 conference in early April, but the time frame for when the first major upgrade to the OS will be made available to consumers is unknown at the moment. It might not happen until late into 2014, but the inclusion of the aforementioned features in Windows Phone 8.1 – and hopefully smaller incremental upgrades in the coming months – might just make people forgive the rather long wait they would have endured till then.

ViaThe Verge