More details of Windows Phone 8.1 voice assistant Cortana emerge

Watch out, Apple, Siri has competition; this time it looks for real. Microsoft’s new virtual assistant named Cortana aims to be the best kind of hybrid between Android's Google Now and Apple's Siri. The Verge has published some information on how Microsoft wishes to make Cortana helpful, yet private, when it comes to being an efficient assistant.

 

The service will have a Notebook feature which will shape up to be the cornerstone of the virtual assistant. It will allow Windows Phone users to control exactly what information is being shared with Cortana. Notebook will go on to allow Cortana to get access to information like location data, personal information, contacts and even behaviour. Essentially, the assistant has been designed to keep a user’s privacy in mind. The control lies not with Microsoft or Cortana, but the user, as does the prerogative to share information. Every time Cortana learns something new about the user, it will ask before storing information. This can also be edited or deleted.

 

Of course, Cortana will try to aid you by answering your search queries and questions, as well as perform actions like setting an alarm or scribbling a reminder in for you. Cortana, named after the voice assistant in Halo, will also be able to guide users on stocks, weathers and other contextual, location based data.

 

Cortana will come with Windows Phone 8.1 but it is expected that the voice assistant will not have third-party compatibility right at the beginning. Quite like Siri, Cortana might remain work in progress for quite a bit. Hopefully, though, it will be far more effecting than the voice controls on Xbox One that require a set pattern of commands in order for it to work well.

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