Microsoft is yet to detail what the next major Windows Phone update is going to bring. Windows Phone 8.1 or Windows Phone Blue will come out next year and so far not much has been said about it. There have been a few rumors here and there, just recently we heard that it is possible for the coming update to do away with capacitive buttons and replace them with virtual ones. “Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans” have told The Verge that Windows Phone 8.1 betas are currently being tested internally by the company and that this update is finally going to bring a notification center as well as a Siri-like virtual personal assistant.

This doesn’t come as a surprise though, as both possibilities have previously been rumored as well. Notification center is expected to be built into the next major Windows Phone update, whereas recently we heard that Microsoft’s “Cortana” personal digital assistant will also make its way over to WP devices. Apparently Cortana will replace Bing search and allow users to search using text input or voice. The assistant is said to support coversational interaction as well, just like Siri. Other features expected to be introduced with Windows Phone 8.1 include separate volume controls, through which users can control media and ringtone volume separately. VPN support for enterprise users and Smart Search results are expected to be included as well. Microsoft is expected to talk about Windows Phone 8.1 and its features in detail at the Build Developer Conference, which takes place in April next year.

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