Microsoft’s answer to Siri: Cortana


Microsoft bounced back to the continuing smartphone operating system war by introducing Cortana, a personal digital assistant that functions similarly to iOS’ Siri and Google Now.

Cortana is said to be included in the upcoming release of Windows Phone 8.1 update, which will replace the usual built-in Bing search. Microsoft revealed to The Verge that Cortana will be represented by a circlar animated icon that will move when it’s speaking or thinking. Cortana will look through different services like Bing for a quick search and Foursquare for determining locations.

Another feature that Cortana will posses is the Notebook, which will allow Windows Phone users to directly control what information can be shared with the digital assistant. This privacy feature also serves as a guarantee to users that Cortana won’t freely access personal data unless told to do so. In addition, Cortana will also be capable of learning more about its user through search queries and general phone usage, prompting it to suggest specific actions according to the user’s routine.

Cortana, the artificially intelligent character that first appeared in Halo: Combat Evolved.

The cherry on top is Microsoft’s confirmation that Cortana will be voiced by Jen Taylor, the actress behind the “real” Cortana present in the Halo series–a military science fiction video game, which is now part of the Microsoft franchise.

Microsoft is said to showcase Cortana on its forthcoming Build conference where they are also expected to release a developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1.

Image source: The Verge