Microsoft has announced that its new mobile operating system will come with a virtual personal assistant that understands voice commands, learns about its user and looks really sexy :).
The virtual assistant which was named Cortana will be able to answer spoken questions and act on simple commands like “Wake me up at 7 a.m. tomorrow” in a similar way that Apple’s Siri and Google Now can do. Sexy Cortana appears integrated with its operating system even better than Siri and Google Now, which will allow developers to write apps that can be controlled directly by Cortana.
In some respects, Cortana seems to combine features used in Siri and Google Now. Like with Siri, users are encouraged to use the application as if it had a personality, and Microsoft is commonly referring to it as “she” and “her”. And it can also crack a joke.
The feature it takes from Google Now is that it is actively learning about its user. It works with place, people, and subjects that its user seems to care most about. Like Google Now, it can provides its user with useful information before he or she asks for it, such as time of flight, traffic information, or to feed your car. To do this, it also pulls information from emails and other services.
Microsoft even claims that Cortana is ahead of its competition, mainly due to several features. For example, Cortana can take commands from other installed apps, so that you can use voice instructions to launch a Skype call or search your Facebook friends.
Another interesting feature is called “people reminders”. For example, you tell Cortana “Next time I talk with my sister, remind me to ask her about her new puppy,” it will show you a reminder the next time you call together.
Sexy Cortana is currently in a beta-testing phase, and still need some improvements in areas like speech recognition.
Microsoft’s Sexy Cortana
Nice video presentation of the new windows phone 8.1 personal assistant:
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