Microsoft shows off what you can do with Windows Phone 8.1 (and how!)

Windows Phone 8.1 is a massive improvement over its predecessor in just about every way. It’s crammed full of enhancements over WP8, along with scores of new features that fill in many of the gaps that were missing for too long in earlier versions of the OS. It’s not quite perfect yet, but it does, for the first time, feel like a much more complete offering alongside its rivals.

The first devices designed for Windows Phone 8.1 are now on sale, and the updated OS is starting to roll out to earlier handsets around the world too. Millions of users will soon have it in their hands, but many will be unaware of its impressive new capabilities, at least at first.

To help users to get to grips with Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft has put together a handy guide highlighting some of the best features that the update brings. The URL refers to it as an ‘emulator’, but this is a bit wide of the mark; it combines a list of features with simple, easy-to-follow demos that show you exactly how you can perform functions and tasks to get the most out of your handset.

The guide covers all of the essentials – from something as basic as making a call or learning about the Start screen, to introducing the Action Center and how Cortana can make life that little bit easier for you.

The site was spotted by the folks over at Coolsmartphone this weekend, although it’s not exactly clear how new it is. Nonetheless, whether it's brand new or a few weeks old, it’s a very handy introduction to some of what’s on offer in the OS, and a neat way for users to learn how to take advantage of these features.

Don’t forget to check out our own detailed review of Windows Phone 8.1 as well! 

Source: Microsoft via Coolsmartphone

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Dev preview, still no cyan or 8.1 final release. What the truck? My 520 is losing battery faster every day. This was supposed to be a seamless upgrade. Stop getting drunk, Redmond. You made a promise, now, so stick with it! At this pace, it's back to either Droid or iPhone for me. Get your dung together already!

Anyone else having trouble clicking the Cortana part of the demo?!!!

When I click on Cortana, I can't get to the damn tutorials, they slide away from the mouse, the demo is broken there. Fix that one asap Microsoft....

They should have this on touchscreen kiosks in phone stores. It's a pretty good guide, though I wish the videos would load a bit faster.

Who tests these websites? No way to go back to the main list without hitting back, and the entire photo section doesn't work.

Anyone else?

I'd like rather to get phone OS updates directly from them without waiting for manufacturer or carrier than some features that I would rarely use.

I just checked Boost Mobile's website to see what Windows phones they had to offer to go along with their $40 unlimited plan. None. Android, iPhone and Blackberry. Yeah, tiny market share Blackberry. No wonder Windows phone US share is low. Some important places just don't offer it, let alone feature it. Get it everywhere Microsoft. The average person isn't going to go through the trouble of tracking down an unlocked Windows phone somewhere else. They'll buy what's available from the prepaid carrier of their choice. Need more Windows phone!

I'm surprised how many people tie themselves down to such large and lengthy contracts. I always preferred buying a phone separately and having the comfort of a monthly rolling contract. Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent. I think over in the UK at least, windows phones, particularly the Lumia market, do have quite a large exposure now. Blackberry is probably 4th now.

seeprime said,
I just checked Boost Mobile's website to see what Windows phones they had to offer to go along with their $40 unlimited plan. None. Android, iPhone and Blackberry. Yeah, tiny market share Blackberry. No wonder Windows phone US share is low. Some important places just don't offer it, let alone feature it. Get it everywhere Microsoft. The average person isn't going to go through the trouble of tracking down an unlocked Windows phone somewhere else. They'll buy what's available from the prepaid carrier of their choice. Need more Windows phone!

If you look at Sprint in general they have almost zero Windows Phone products, they are hurting bad and probably don't want phones that don't sell. They even offer brand new iPhone 5s for $400 (regular price $650) on boost and virigin mobile just to get people signing up for the terrible service.

seeprime said,
I just checked Boost Mobile's website to see what Windows phones they had to offer to go along with their $40 unlimited plan. None. Android, iPhone and Blackberry. Yeah, tiny market share Blackberry. No wonder Windows phone US share is low. Some important places just don't offer it, let alone feature it. Get it everywhere Microsoft. The average person isn't going to go through the trouble of tracking down an unlocked Windows phone somewhere else. They'll buy what's available from the prepaid carrier of their choice. Need more Windows phone!

1000x this. Windows Phones are nowhere to be seen in the US, and Nokia was never big in the US in the first place. MS is still in dire need for a hero WP in the US to get the ball rolling.

The real problem in the US isn't marketing, or reviews, or apps. It's market penetration.

2014 and still no gapless playback - are Microsoft absolutely hell bent on making sure that their marketshare doesn't growth globally beyond 3% or something?