Windows Phone 8.1 to have Siri-like voice assistant named Cortana

With iOS users being helped out with the smooth-talking Siri and Android users having Google Now to fall back on, Windows Phone seemed to be missing being on


With iOS users being helped out with the smooth-talking Siri and Android users having Google Now to fall back upon, Windows Phone seemed to be missing being on the bandwagon. Not anymore. According to reports that have emerged, Microsoft seems to be prepping a new digital assistant.

The assistant named Cortana is apparently inspired by the video-game series Halo. Named after the AI in the series, the voice assistant will reportedly be a part of the next version of Windows Phone 8.1. Traces of this voice assistant had been available even in June but barely any attention was paid to it, according to ZDnet’s Mary Jo Foley. The feature was named “zCortana” back then, the “z” indicating that it was in test mode.

Windows Phone 8.1 to have Siri-like voice assistant named Cortana

Halo-inspired voice assistant Cortana for Windows Phone 8.1

 

This week, however, sites that have been closely following in on Microsoft’s newest update to its mobile operating system are in consensus that Cortana is on its way. The Cortana feature on Windows Phone will apparently work just like Cortana did in the video game series. It will learn and adapt to your behaviour over time. It is set to be more than just an app that will let you interact with your phones naturally. It will aim to be a shell that will be central to Windows Phone, Windows and Xbox One.

Hints to Cortana’s behaviour lies in a memo sent out about Microsoft’s reorganisation by CEO Steve Ballmer. He hinted at a family of devices powered by a service-enabled shell." The shell will be more than an interface. "Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world. Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it,” he wrote.

The technology is set to be incorporated from TellMe, a company acquired by Microsoft back in 2007. Thanks to this technology, Microsoft had been able to launch an app for Windows Mobile back in 2009 that let users dictate text messages, dial phone numbers and search the Internet via voice commands. Since it came a couple of years before Siri, Microsoft took a dig at Apple when it launched its own voice assistant in 2011, despite the fact that Microsoft's own app compared to Siri was rudimentary. With the release of Cortana, Microsoft may just have more ammo against Apple's beloved voice assistant.

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