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Microsoft introduces the Lumia Cyan upgrade

The Cyan upgrade includes a handful of features specific to the Lumia line to be added to the broader Windows Phone 8.1 upgrade.


Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled the new Lumia Cyan software update, a mix of Windows Phone 8.1 features and exclusive upgrades for the Lumia family, that will include new camera features and display settings.

Lumia Cyan will start rolling out around the world starting Tuesday and will be available for all Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices in the coming weeks.

The refresh could help Microsoft build up consumer interest in its handsets and operating system, as it struggles to claw up from a distant third in the operating-system market, behind Google's Android and Apple's iOS.

Some of the Lumia Cyan features include a simplified user interface for the Nokia Camera app, with easy access to editing and sharing features, as well as full-resolution zooming. The upgrade also includes a third column of customized Live Tiles, allowing users to more easily personalize their main-menu displays.

Those features will be added to a handful of Windows 8.1 capabilities, including the Word Flow keyboard that allows users to swipe across the display screen to write words, and the Cortana voice assistant.

Microsoft took over the Lumia line when it purchased Nokia's devices and services unit in April from $7.2 billion, as the tech giant added roughly 25,000 employees and moved deeper into hardware development.

The company is updating the Lumia line amid reports that it plans to take on big layoffs at the Nokia unit. However, the update shows that despite the expected belt-tightening the tech giant is continuing to support the Nokia business now that it's under Microsoft's roof.