Microsoft announces Windows Phone 8.1 with ‘Cortana’, a personal assistant like Siri on Windows Phone. Cortana has been in development for several years and comes as a Microsoft player in the game of personal assistants led by Apple Siri and Google Now.
The name ‘Cortana’ comes from the popular Microsoft game Halo. The assistant is voiced by Jen Taylor. The assistant in Windows Phone will work for both voice and text queries.
Like Siri, Cortana will learn from user questions and will monitor user activity thereby improving its services. It will of course use Microsoft’s Bing as the primary search engine.
“It’s her view of you, but clearly you can just snatch it from her at any time and say ‘That’s not right, I don’t want you to know this’ or ‘I’m not comfortable with you reading my email,'” explains Ash. “So you have complete control over what she knows and she’s transparent about it.”
Entries in the Notebook are stored in the cloud, and you can share contact information with it, as well as your interests, home and work locations, and more. The notion of Cortana acting as a personal assistant with a notebook— as opposed to a creepy stalker — has been drilled into the team from the beginning, they say, quotes Macrumors
Cortana and Siri work in a pretty much similar fashion. You can use them to set reminders, call people, search the web, etc.
She can list down your appointments, reminders give weather forecasts and do a lot more.
The most interesting feature about Siri is the personality it has. You may even ask personal questions from it and get amusing and legit answers. Microsoft implemented the same in Cortana.
Unlike Siri, Cortana is open for the developers using a third-party SDK. Microsoft will go for a beta release for a few months until the product is ready.
Cortana will only be available in the United States as of now but Windows Phone 8.1 will be released worldwide in late April.
While Apple has experience in the personal assistant category on smartphones, Microsoft will no doubt be a strong and decent competitor to Apple Siri as well as for Google Now as expected.