Microsoft expected to reveal Windows 8 updates at conference in San Francisco

The Associated Press

FILE - This Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 file image shows a pre-release version of Windows 8.1 on a tablet in Los Angeles. A new, yet-unnamed Windows update is expected this spring, just months after the Windows 8.1 update came out. (AP Photo/Ryan Nakashima, File )

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Meanwhile, Windows Phone 8 came out with a thud some 17 months ago. One of its biggest drawbacks has been a lack of apps available for the system, compared with Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Microsoft is starting to catch up on that front. It has also updated Windows Phone 8 three times since its release to add features. The upcoming update is poised to be the biggest of them all and might get a new name, Windows Phone 8.1.

The release comes as Microsoft prepares to buy Nokia's phone business and patent rights in a 5.4 billion euro ($7.4 billion) deal. The transaction should be completed in the next few weeks, pending regulatory approval in Asia. The deal already has approval in the U.S. and Europe.

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