Microsoft confirms Cortana will be localized for Canada in time for WP8.1 rollout

Daniel Bader

June 16, 2014 1:58pm

We expect Windows Phone 8.1 to be released for existing Canadian devices by the end of August, and while the software will surely be an enormous improvement for fans of the operating system, we were led to believe that Cortana, Microsoft’s advanced personal assistant, would not be localized in time.

Turns out that’s not entirely true. According to Microsoft Canada’s President, Janet Kennedy, Redmond is looking to have Cortana’s Canadian localization ready for launch this summer. Kennedy demoed the service on stage at the Canadian Telecom Summit during a lunchtime keynote address, asking Cortana for directions to the venue, as well as the current population of Canada.

During Windows Phone 8.1’s Preview period, only devices localized for the United States can use Cortana; those set to Canada will default back to the original Bing Search page.

  • Waqqas Khokhar

    That’s surely good news.

  • beyond

    Yes! I always hated long distance relationships with my virtual assistants

  • gwydionjhr

    If you read the article over at WP Central, it turns out the mother of the guy in charge of Cortana is Canadian, and she’s giving him grief about it.

    • JTon

      Haha. That’s pretty funny

    • Rias Gremory

      omg. That is hilarious

  • john chernichenko

    Hey that’s great, I’ll be able to use it on my…. right…. they don’t sell good Nokia devices here in Canada.

    • Gordon

      1020 might not be the latest, but I wouldn’t say it’s not good.

    • john chernichenko

      Yea but only on a Rogers contract or $700 out-right from them locked to Rogers. Telus took it off and now only the 625 is here.
      I love the 1020 and the camera is amazing, just not the provider and their $80 required plan starting tomorrow.

    • Gordon

      I didn’t realize Telus dropped it already. Indeed, the new plan requirements are awful and if it goes across the board I will be buying my future phones for the outright price.

    • Don Sod

      I’m thinking of getting the 925 for $500 or the 1520 for $600 off a reputable Canadian Cell shop …. just can’t decide!

    • Shimoner01

      I bought the 1520 on eBay unlocked for $500. The sellers name is never_msrp. It’s got a Hong Kong ROM on it; which isn’t ideal, but there isn’t one available for Canada, so what the hell. There is no duty, but you have to pay HST.

    • john chernichenko

      Well it’s either the RM-937 (International unlocked HK variant) or the RM-400 which is the American version but has limited bands to support Canadian providers.

    • Jalex

      Get it from HK, prices are slowly approaching to 500 and will surely drop to 400 by eoy

    • john chernichenko

      1520 is the much better option. The size takes a little getting used to but when you do adjust the phone isn’t lacking is anything.
      The 925 is just like a Lumia 920 only with a little better specs.
      What ever you pick I hope you like it.

    • Thoughtful

      You are right. Providers have atrocious representation of Windows Phones. Microsoft: please sell Lumia models, that providers don’t offer, directly to us. Thanks.

  • samic2046

    I hope the localization isn’t just ending every question with “eh?”

  • Don Sod

    I tried getting Cortana by setting my HTC 8x to USA but doesn’t work. Apparently an HTC issue from what I’ve read.

    • Entegy

      The issue is that OEMs and carriers can remove display languages they don’t want to support. It turned out a batch of non-American HTC phones removed English US as a display language, leaving only normal English. English US as the display language AND setting your region to the US are required to activate Cortana right now.

      With Cortana coming to the UK soon, this should be solved.

  • Jayson Merryfield

    I’m guessing/hoping that the WP 8.1 launch will be coupled with a whole bevy of new devices. I won’t upgrade to a 1020, but a 930 could get my early-upgrade dollars.

  • villain

    some day Microsoft is going to fix the staggered release thing.

  • Jalex

    By the end of August? Isn’t it going to get release in the US at the EOM? And let’s wait for Rogers to deploy it…. if we have it by the end fo september that would be remarkable…..
    I can’t care less about Cortana…. I think people talking to their phones or to any machine whatsoever look silly…. in fact I never even leave voicemails. True story.

  • Marc Ray

    Really excited about this! Can’t wait to use it on my lumia 920

  • Mitchell Leitman

    Well. 8.1 is here. Any ETA on Cortana?

    • Xaxxus

      aparently the lumia 6xx phones are getting 8.1 from rogers as we speak.

      The 1020 not yet. I have a lumia 1520, which isnt even supported in canada, who knows when ill be getting my update.

    • Mitchell Leitman

      I’ve got an AT&T 1520 running Cyan. I just want to hear Cortana with a Canadian accent.

    • Raj Singh

      Did you get 8.1 on the 1520 yet?

  • Xaxxus

    Well they were wrong. In fact were not even getting 8.1 on time. #yaycanada!