Lumia 735 will go on sale October 2 with Cortana in tow

Microsoft announces when the first phone to include its Siri alternative Cortana goes on sale

Lumia 735

Microsoft has announced when you can buy its new Lumia 735 smartphone, and the good news is that you won't have to wait long, with it launching on October 2.

It shouldn't set you back much either, as contracts with the Lumia 735 included for free are expected to start at around £19.99.

Microsoft is hoping for big things with the Lumia 735, as it's the Redmond company's first smartphone that's attempting to tie in a number of Microsoft services together, coinciding with new CEO Satya Nadella's vision of 'One Microsoft'.

The Lumia 735 is Microsoft's first Windows Phone 8.1 device in the UK that comes with Cortana, Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri virtual personal assistant.

As with Siri, Lumia 735 users will be able to use natural voice commands with Cortana (who is named after a character in Microsoft's Halo series on Xbox) to launch apps, search the internet, make appointments and more.

While very similar to Siri at the moment, Cortana is currently in beta so we may see new features that differentiate it from Apple's virtual assistant in the future.

One Microsoft for all, all for one Microsoft

Other Microsoft services integrated with the Lumia 735 include Skype, Microsoft Office and Microsoft OneDrive, which comes with 30GB of free cloud storage.

Outside of Microsoft services, the Lumia 735 comes with a quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor running at 1.2GHz, a 4.7-inch HD OLED display, a 2220mAh battery and a 5 megapixel front facing camera designed with taking 'selfies' in mind.

Perhaps conscious that a phone packed with Microsoft services such as Microsoft Office might make it feel a bit dour and business-like, the Lumia 735 can be bought in a number of bright colours.

Whilst the Lumia 735 makes a big deal of its Microsoft background, there is one name that is conspicuous by its absence: Nokia.

This ties in with what we've heard about Microsoft planning to ditch the Nokia brand name.

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