live folders windows phone
An example of Live Folders on the Windows Phone 8.1 Start screen. The Photography folder is collapsed at left , and the Productivity folder is expanded at right. (Microsoft image)

Windows Phone users, your folders have arrived.

Microsoft announced the first update to Windows Phone 8.1 this morning, including a feature that will let users organize the Live Tiles on their Start screens into “Live Folders,” as the company is calling them.

It’s the latest example of Microsoft doing its own spin on features previously released for the iPhone and Android, as Windows Phone tries to gain traction against the larger smartphone platforms.

Microsoft says the update will be available through the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers next week, rolling out to existing Windows Phone customers in the next couple of months. Here are more of the features included in the update.

  • Live Tile Store updates will show updates automatically to quickly see what’s new
  • Select multiple SMS messages for mass forward or deletion
  • Apps Corner allows businesses to provide access to specific apps in a special “sandboxed” mode
  • Send and receive data through VPN on Wi-Fi and create your own VPN on home wireless for further enhanced security

In addition, Microsoft announced that it’s releasing its Cortana virtual assistant for China and the UK as a beta, and Canada, India and Australia as an earlier-stage alpha release. See this Microsoft blog post for more details.

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  • cybersaurusrex

    Looks pretty cool.

  • Patrick Husting

    i’m sure it is just me, but the windows phone screen above looks way to busy and distracting to a point of not wanting to use it. like marking is trying cram every app and function in to impress every possible usage scenario.

    • JamesSB

      Just change it to your liking. I use transparent tiles with a single background.

  • Guest

    Nice! I want you to know that I approve of this.

  • Jesus Angulo

    I don’t like it

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