One certified success story of the Microsoft’s mobile platform in the past few months is Cortana, the digital voice assistant that debuted with Windows Phone 8.1.

Although only available in the United States upon launch, users quickly found out that they could access the service from outside the country, from any market actually, simply by changing their location settings on their smartphones.

Microsoft is coming good on their promise to bring Cortana to more markets later this year, and at the same time the company is adding in requested new features to the service too.

Cortana regularly gets revised and updated with new options, but this one is going to please a lot of users. Redmond has made the assistant easier and quicker to use by introducing a new hands free activation feature.

Basically, you will be able to launch the assistant without unlocking your device and then pressing the search button to bring up Cortana — you can do so by simply saying “Hey Cortana”.

This is essentially Microsoft’s version of “OK Google”, meaning the digital voice assistant on Windows Phone will be actively listening for user commands similar to how it is on Android devices.

The upcoming Lumia Denim firmware update will introduce this feature to Windows Phone 8.1 Lumia devices, and surely the various third party developers will also get access to the API so that they can integrate this feature into their Windows Phone handsets.

Hey Cortana, good going!

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  • Black Eagle

    This is a good feature. Great while driving or cooking.