Windows Phone's “Cortana” to compete with Siri and Google Now
Talk of Microsoft and its ambitious plans for a digital assistant that will rival iOS' Siri and Android's Google Now is not something new. Quite the opposite, actually, we've been getting hints, on and off, since 2011. The reason for the delay is that the software giant wants to hold off rushing into the space – Microsoft wants it to be truly revolutionary. Of course, a statement like that does sound better than admitting that the idea has been riddled with numerous delays and reiterations of the software, but we'll have to wait to see which one it is.
Luckily for Windows Phone fanciers, the current status-quo is, reportedly, about to change, and soon. According to ZDNet, among others, Microsoft's Siri-like assistant will be called Cortana, the AI you're sure to remember if you have played Halo. The first few clues left behind by Microsoft were discovered in a Nokia Lumia 920, bought off eBay, which for some reason ran on a developer build of Windows Phone 8.1. Said build had a 'zCortanaApp' loaded, where the 'z' in front indicates that it's an early experimental version.
According to ZDNet's Mary Foley, Cortana will be at the core of a new “service-enabled shell” for Microsoft platforms, something that then CEO Steve Ballmer talked about in his July memo on Microsoft's reorganization. The idea is that Microsoft wants Cortana to do more than simply what we've come to expect from virtual assistants:
Ambitious. That is, if Cortana actually makes the cut and, indeed, makes an appearance in GDR3 – the next major WP update.
Early version of Cortana Fullscreen
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Early version of Cortana
1. Penywyz (banned) (Posts: 255; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)
Being a massive Halo fan this is epic. If they use the same voice actor from the video games, and bring along the app support I'm sold.
7. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2957; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
WP is surely growing by the day.
I'm not sure if the older version of Lumias will support it but it feels like Microsoft was waiting to acquire Nokia and then hit it with everything they've got.
I believe there's more coming.
17. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3427; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Yeah I have to agree. This is pretty cool. This is the coolest feature on WP period.
How long until Android gets a crack at this. I would love my Google Now to sound like Cortana, for sure.
18. Dr.Phil (Posts: 813; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)
It does look like a very cool feature and one that I can say I'm very excited to see the end result. Over a year ago I commented on this site that I wanted to see a voice assistant UI similar to something like a 343 Guilty Spark (what can I say? I'm a fan of the little blue hovering orb). Even though this isn't exactly that, I'm still very excited to see a voice assistant UI that people are familiar with and would enjoy listening to.
19. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3427; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Exactly, I would also like my Voice Assistant to sound like Optimus Prime, Lara Croft, Chubacca, (Yeah I understand him), Woodstock, Scoobie Doo & Vegeta from DBZ. Ohh and Mordecai also. lol
That would be so cool, if I could change voice on the fly so I could customize yet another aspect of my phone.
+1 for a GREAT POINT!
27. a_merryman (Posts: 510; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)
I'm in for GlaDOS, thats all I need. I guess it would be fun to have Indiana Jones or Jack Sparrow....but I'd rather have an "AI" take over as my voice assistant, with all her snarky comments included.
20. designerfx (Posts: 63; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)
nobody buys windows phones, so this doesnt' mean much.
2. makoskn (Posts: 4; Member since: 12 Sep 2013)
You have caught my attention Microsoft now please make this happen!
3. CardiWPfan (Posts: 129; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)
Exactly, what I was going to bring up!! You beat me to that request my friend. Step aside Google and Apple, this is what competition is all about. If Microsoft is going to do what I think it is going to do. This is going to be EPIC!! SHUT UP AND BRING ON CORTANA ALREADY!!
4. SonyXperiaNexus (Posts: 373; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)
cool, cortana sounds cooler than Google now and siri, I hope it works just as good, windowsphone needs all the features and apps it can get
5. -box- (Posts: 3536; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Nerdgasm. I probably wouldn't use it but that would be a great way to capture the attention of any HALO fan. Best of all, gamers are not averse to spending money for new goodies, so it could lead to more phone sales.
6. chunk1x (Posts: 248; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)
But Cortana died. So, who the hell is this? :D
11. 1v1addict (Posts: 16; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)
Maybe Cortana will return, else why use a dead characters name as a new product name ?
22. clevername (Posts: 1401; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)
Just to keep a beloved character alive
8. MalakiMills (Posts: 255; Member since: 15 Jun 2010)
Halo was the only video game I went out and picked up at midnight, if I could have cortana talk to me from my phone I might just freak out.
9. papss (Posts: 2870; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
Huge halo fan so this excited me very much. Way to use what you have m$
12. frydaexiii (Posts: 1144; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
I call Halo Edition Lumia...Damn, never thought I'd say this but, if the voice is even remotely like Cortana, I would buy that...for a dollar
14. protozeloz (Posts: 5284; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
That name is wicked awesome, but on a side note I think the need to release it as soon as next version, yeah they are trying to make it really awesome but competition is not standing still, they are getting lots of feedback and adding features based on such feedback thus improving the current version of Google now and siri (at least Google now is about 10 times better than it used to be, and with the 800 allowing a always listen and a7 chip dedicated processor could mean better siri eventually) they need it fast
15. MojoDojo (Posts: 76; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)
Its not coming in the GDR3 update, but in WP 8.1 aka "Blue".
23. clevername (Posts: 1401; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)
This would be amazing. Good quad core for speed and cloud computing for natural language. Integrated in windows 8, and Xbox one through Kinect and ill be a slave
24. volcano (Posts: 220; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)
+100000 for cortana
i hope its more intelligent assistant than siri or google now
25. a_merryman (Posts: 510; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)
I still want Apple or Google to release a voice pack that sounds like GladOS for theirs. Thats not too much I think.
26. Timmehor (Posts: 599; Member since: 09 Mar 2013)
Why Cortana? Not to wreck the fun, but it sounds like a horrible brand name, ugh, keep it in Halo, not Windows Phone
29. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1176; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
Nicee.. very good.. and i will like mine, to sound like a , porn actress,, she'll be like "today is sunny, with a slight chance of horny" in a sexy tone :-D hahaa
30. Synack (Posts: 632; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
First command I would say: "Cortana, call me Chief"
Now everytime an interaction would occur she would keep calling me Chief just like in Halo!
32. TritonForceX (Posts: 52; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)
Come on Google. I know you would be the company to redesign Google Now to integrate either Star Trek's computer, or better yet, integrate K.I.T.T. to the phone. That would be awesome, but I'm also a 32-yr-old geek and the younger people are probably not sure what I'm talking about.
But still, Google, a car mode where you ask "K.I.T.T., send a text to Devon and play Iron Maiden!" Or, "K.I.T.T., take me to the best place to eat nearby." Having the voice lights and all on the screen.
Ok, I'm finished geeking out.
33. networkdood (Posts: 5248; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
If she appears from the phone to provide me answers then sign me up.