Development on Windows Phone 8.1 is chugging along fine, without many official details from Microsoft. If anything, this new version of the company’s mobile OS is now probably nearing release.

And one of the key features in this new flavor is a voice feature (codenamed Cortana) that should handle personal assistant duties on smartphones — similar to what Apple and Google offer with their Siri and Google Now packages, respectively.

The folks over at Bloomberg have weighed in on this, and claim that the personal assistant is coming along great. In fact, the recent $15 million investment Microsoft made in Foursquare is actually to ensure that access to location based data will not be available to competitors. Home run!

You can read up on the recent deal with Foursquare here, by the way.

Anyway, the data from the social sharing site will go towards offering a contextually aware experience on Windows Phone 8.1, with recommendations, discount tips, and other such suggestions.

All based on the location of a particular user, of course, and whether he or she wants to.

The Verge also confirms this story, while adding that Cortana will be built deep into the mobile OS, which should allow it to read data from applications like alarms, calendar, calls, weather and more, in order to deliver notifications and context.

Microsoft may have been late to the voice assistant party, but boy, does the software titan want to make up for it or what?

Several vendors, large and small, to have Windows Phone 8.1 handsets in development with both Nokia and Samsung leading the charge. We should have more of an idea of what is in store for us at two important upcoming events — MWC 2014 and BUILD 2014.

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