When things get tough, Cortana fails to offer Google Now and Siri a challenge

When we tested the three major mobile operating systems' respective virtual assistants – Google Now for Android, Siri for iOS, Cortana for Windows Phone – we found that while Microsoft's implementation was the most recent one, it was perfectly capable of offering its opponents a challenge. But what happens if you get real specific and ask some pretty tough questions? Two developers wanted to find out, so they created a random question generator with a library full of extremely hard questions, and their findings show that Cortana is seriously lacking when you want assistance with something less trivial than the weather...
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45 Comments

19. 87186

Posts: 312; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

Classic phonearena. Seems to me like they all failed. Great source for impartial news in the mobile industry. 2 articles regarding the MS band, with next to no real info about the product. But any chance to bring negativity towards to platform, you guys seem to leap at the opportunity. Cortana had been around less than a year, while the other to have had ample time. Instead of making that the focal point of the article, you pick on the NEWEST assistant that happens to still be in BETA. Nice. For Google now and Siri too have been around for this long, their performance should be MUCH better.

35. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Dude a lot of websites are like that somewhat biased, all in all Cortana is the best Virtual assistant in my opinion, asking some very tough questions that most individuals would never ask is only one aspect and a very minor aspect of a virtual assistant, what these guys did was ask questions the majority of users will never ask cause they know Google now would with, now these guys should ask about who does the best job at reminders etc. When you look at the different aspects overall of a virtual assistant Cortana is better they know asking very difficult questions that just about 0.02% of the population would realistically ask is where Google now would win and they use that to say which assiatant is best that is plain stupidity, its like saying that just because a marathon runner is better than the best at one leg of a race means he is best overall, that couldn't be further from the truth. Its who does the best overall in all areas of a virtual assistant that is the best.

28. SIGPRO

Posts: 2813; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

But where is the actual proof? Like a videorecording!

29. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Cortana's strength is in its virtual assistant capabilities, while I would indeed expect Google Now to fare better in online search queries. I'm less likely to search for advanced queries on my phone than I am to tell it to remind me of something or set an appointment for me. So a valid test in a way but, in my opinion, not very enlightening when it comes to real world usage.

30. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

Here's big news... Cortana - a virtual assistant - is not a Snapple Fact machine. I am using Google now, and it is NOT NEARLY as cohesive to carry out SIMPLE TASKS with my scheduling. This is not a pass for Cortana - which is still in Beta, FYI - but, for REAL LIFE simulations, all these "tests" are bull crap. None of these "testers" or even PA "authors" for that fact have USED Windows Phone. So your opinions, test results, and any other literature that is constructed is BOLOGNA. USE it. Immerse yourself in the platform (in its strengths and weaknesses) and then make a comment, write an article, conduct "tests" or reviews. I'm getting too old for this, seems like a bunch of kids are running around and running the show here.

31. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

I definitely agree with your points, but would leave out the accusations of the authors here or testers from the article. I'm sure they do use WP at least for testing and reviews, though probably not as their daily drivers. People have their biases, and many times it is ingrained, so don't expect for everybody to see things in accordance with your viewpoint or even objectively for that matter. It does suck to see that from a tech news site, which you would hope to be more neutral/objective, but it is what it is.

41. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

The thing is.....some ppl are all defensive...and missing the entire point of the article.. They were all asked...specific questions....nothing more, nothing less. Just like the last tests....its just a test for accuracy. Thats it. Not scheduling, not personality, nothing but accuracy. How hard is this to understand? And like someone said, like I said last time, use Google and Bing, ask each the same questions....watch the results. If you wanted to use WP for fact checking, better use Google services. A virtual assistant is supposed to help with fact checking too, right?

43. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

Yea, I get you. I am not trying to be defensive. My reasoning is that any Joe Schmo can "test" and "compare" two items. This is a highly "out of the box" test. Then the creative authors fish out these "tests" because it is material they can report on. Then they slap some biased title, or writing and hyperlinks to previous articles that have NOTHING to do with the actual "test" that Joe Schmo conducted. They just tie in Cortana/Siri/Google Now and broaden it out. Or Apple/Google/Microsoft... All I am saying is that as journalism goes for every day, smartphone using people... this test is irrelevant and this article is a poor representation of anything substantial. Maybe I should test for

32. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

Well if you guys want to see where things are going with assistance look no further then IBM's Watson. All of the assistance are basically indexers of the internet and thus complile information and say what its index closest answer to the requested infomration. Watson is completly different and is the first true assitant. For example a doctor can ask Watson "My patient has the following symptoms; how do you think I should proceed" Watson can analyze multiple different metrics including lets say in this instance medical records, medical libraries, pas cases to come up with possible diagnoses and solutions. Thats where we are headed.

33. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Agreed, Watson is a very interesting project. I actually wanted to get involved with it, but sadly did not get the role I applied for.

39. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

It is something MS is trying to achieve with the health stuff. Using the Cloud to do exactly that. And with their Azure platform, this is realizable. I could see IBM/MS teaming up because well, it makes sense.

40. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Does PA actually consider this news? Seriously have you gone to the site and tried it out? Not only that, it is a 'what you think' kind of %, Meaning with the same answers the percentage can be different. I would take the ability of actual useful reminders than telling me the answer to a math question, that anyone would ask, would actually have another form of getting it.

42. Xtasy

Posts: 284; Member since: Jan 13, 2013

For the people who say they don't use voice command that much try getting the Motorola Moto X phone and you will find yourself enjoying yourself asking google to do all types of things from listening to texts or responding, making phone calls or whatever it may be.. it uses touch less voice command so it's very useful.. I use it all the time

44. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

I agree that it is a very useful and fun feature. However it does take a LOT of getting used to. Not just the mechanincs, but breaking the norm you have created and changing the way you interact with the device is a paradigm shifting maneuver. Especially older pool of people, who are barely getting used to a smartphone... let alone telling them, "hey here's how to use your phone with just your voice." But once you get it rolling, it gets fun. Although it is just barely scratching the surface right now!

45. ruhul7

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 14, 2014

upload that video u have tested...
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