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Microsoft’s Cortana is now available in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain

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Microsoft is bringing its Cortana digital assistant to a number of new countries today. Windows Phone Preview users in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain will all be able to access an alpha version of Cortana, alongside similar previews that are currently active in the UK and China. Microsoft is rolling out an update to the Windows Phone Developer Preview program later today to enable the additional languages for Cortana.

"Alpha means that Cortana is new to these countries," explains Microsoft’s Marcus Ash. "Most of the features in the beta version are available but some are missing or coming soon." Features like flight tracking won’t be available initially, and transit data is limited to big cities only. Microsoft is also holding back features like "how old is Britney Spears" for reference data, but the company says it will enable this soon. Cortana will also show European soccer data, and local "chit chat" jokes. Microsoft’s Cortana expansion follows just days after the company enabled some festive chit chat responses. You can now ask Cortana if it likes Christmas, or any of the following holiday-related questions:

  • Do you like Christmas?
  • Happy Christmas!
  • Tell me a Christmas Cracker Joke
  • Do you want anything from Santa?
  • On the first day of Christmas
  • Humbug!
  • Do you want anything from Santa?
  • Happy Hanukkah
  • Happy Kwanzaa
  • Happy holidays