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http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/16/5215484/windows-phone-8-1-features-notification-center-cortana

For the particulars, you've come to the wrong. place. Click the link above. For a morsel of biting commentary, read on:

There was a time in the not so distant past, when Microsoft along with everyone else, thought that a digital, personal assistant that you talk to, was a pretty stupid idea on a smartphone. Not long after that, they started boasting about their own assistant that could parse natural language requests. Unfortunately it proved to be woefully inadequate in side-by-side comparisons with Siri. Now, they are prepared to release their own, quirkily-named assistant, Cortana, in the next update to Windows Phone. Well, you know what they say: If you can't beat them, copy them, and pretend that you invented it. It is quite shocking how often that works.

The more interesting addition to Windows Phone will be the Notification Center. This is more than simple, lack of vision, reactionary, metooism, it is a complete about-face maneuver. I distinctly recall Microsoft and their fans being vocally opposed to the very idea of a Notification Center. They are not just late to the game; they didn't want to be in this game. However, like so many of their recent ideas, they have found that the public has rejected their vision of how a smartphone should work. So, once again, they are abandoning their failed vision, and adopting conventions popularized by the competition. It is like the Windows 8 Start Screen all over again. 

The problem with Microsoft is not that they have bad ideas from time to time, but that they believe in nothing. They seem to just be randomly trying things until they find something that doesn't make their customers angry. Eventually, they just throw in the towel and do whatever is popular on other platforms. That is not leadership. That is just survival. It is not the recipe for leadership in innovation. Still, if you don't like Apple or Google, but are envious of their products, get a Windows Phone. It will eventually get all the features you've been longing for. 

David Johnson

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