Cortana says the darndest things (and she sings!)

This isn’t so much news as just something to chew on while you wait for the Windows Phone 8.1 bits to rollout in the coming weeks. Cortana, the recently announced personal voice-assistant app, is being programmed to have quite the personality. Much like Apple’s Siri, Cortana will not only answer your legitimate real-life questions, but she will respond with wit and humor when asked non-serious inquires too.

We spent a few minutes playing around with a recent build of Cortana, and the video above speaks for itself. We’re sure Microsoft will be adding even more amusing responses to her repertoire over the coming weeks. Likewise, we’re sure you’ll post your curious findings in our Cortana forums for others to enjoy.

Want to see more? Make sure you watch our exclusive Cortana video tour.



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akks says:

Im deleting nokia mixradio..

Bill gates my father no big deal ...   ;)

I love Cortana's voice. Hate when it transitions from Cortana to microsoft tellme. I know eventually tellme will be removed

HAHA good one! ;D

Nine days to update my lumia620

XboxOmac says:

Hopefully, what I want to see is that all of Microsoft's TellMe voice is gone and that it is all replaced by Cortana's (Jen Taylor) voice.

Lipe13 says:

LOL! Can't wait to have Cortana singing on my future Green 1520/Black 930 :3

afnan_mc says:

Have never been fond of bright colors in phones but the 930 just looks gorgeous in color. :D

hs k says:

I so wanted to get to build so that I could mug Elop after seeing that 930.

Lipe13 says:

I found the black 930 the prettiest, with the white one coming in second. I loved the colored ones but I didn't like their metallic borders.

Krishanu Dey says:

I don't like the orange one

aerosidinc says:

actually i love orange 930. it resembles the orange phone in the movie Her. may be nokia got inspired.

mjfadaway says:

I just asked Siri to sing me a song, and she said "I'd rather not". 

Mayur says:

You should have insisted...lol

rockstarzzz says:

Wait till Apple innovates how Personal Assistants can sing. /s

The_Lord23 says:

A new innovation!! A cosmic, space-bunny-light-jump-tele-zip-uberport forward leap in technology!!!!

RyanAMG says:

Sounds like marital problems

She sounds more human like when she sings. Try soft kitty Daniel.

ashram says:

now if you can pick a song for her to sing, that would be awesome....


toraji says:

Really wonder how well she will do compared to siri

ThePKReddy says:

Siri uses Bing, so it'll be on par if not better is my guess.

Since when has Siri used Bing? Pretty sure she uses Wolfram Alpha

nickros182 says:

shes used bing since day one.

neolp123 says:

since ios7 Siri is powered by Bing instead of Google.. Wolfram Alpha is used for analytical results

Viipottaja says:

Cortana, what is your favorite sexual position?

Ekon says:

^ My reaction exactly.

krAnthi209 says:

why dont u show if there's something like file manager...'file picker'? I personally dont require it so much, but my friend keeps on asking me,so...

huttch94 says:

there is a file picker for uploading files to websites inside of internet explorer 11, you have a selection from, pictures, music, videos, documents, ringtones etc...

krAnthi209 says:

yeah ...saw that before. I want to know if the integration of filemanager with onedrive  like on windows 8.1, is true

Is that Cortana saying more settings?

Rubios says:

inb4 rule 34 Cortana

psychotron says:

Dude. Seriously? Grow up.

Dude. Seriously? Its a JOKE!!!!!!

Reflexx says:

"The position that gets me furthest away from you."

920 internets for you. :D

Viipottaja says:

Haha, I am not the one referring to it as "She" constantly.

Mayur says:

What are you? 12? with spots all over your face?

sanshiro says:

Stay classy. 

wonder1070 says:

No it san diahhhgo

unnatixlr8 says:

Siri answers Steve Jobs to this question

WavingReds says:

Ask her what the fox says

avigyan says:

That's a crazy song.

sibeans says:

Haha, nice one!

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

bbennett40 says:

Unless I remember incorrectly, I believe Bicycle Built for Two was the first recorded song by synthesized voice. Neat that they picked that one.

Chef316 says:

I believe you are correct

Mayur says:

I believe you DO NOT remember incorrectly :|

t golux says:

Same reason it was sung by HAL in "2001: A Space Odyssey".
"OK Cortana, open the pod bay doors" . . .

SpaceyO says:

Everyone asks who her father is....I wanna know who her mother is!

Mayur says:

Melinda Gates?

RyanAMG says:

Come on its Lal

RyanAMG says:

Um Hal sounded male to me. I'm sticking with Lal from Star Trek.

Deepcoiler says:

...Dr. Catherine Halsey?  Because she is definitely Cortana's mother.

ArthJar says:

Cortana is a clone of Halsey's brain, not her daughter or her creation.

"Avaiable only in US for now"... M still in that pain..!!

PJ Suresh says:

Such a bad news for us :/

Tamer81 says:

I think it's a bunch of baloney! I can speak English better than half of the population residing in the US! And I'm Dutch with Turkish origins for gods sake! Why Microsoft why? You at least owe us an explanation! SMW, don't ask what that means!

I approve of this message.

Nik Rolls says:

Super easy to change your Windows Phone region.

Cortana why does George ponder so much?

pazces84 says:

HAHAHAH! that's a good one.

Mayur says:

Because his father told him to... lol

Ekon says:

Sounds like the voice is getting better and better with each video released. That's very good to see/hear.

Reflexx says:

Some of the funny answers are prerecorded sentences by Jen Taylor. The synthesized voice isn't..

Ekon says:

Ah well that explains it. I thought it may have sounded too good to be true. Thanks for the info.

applecup says:

Just as long as she doesn't start with the "I'm sorry Dave," we should be okay.

Mayur says:

She did during the keynote, one of the guy's name was Dave (David) and he asked her some question and she replied "I am sorry Dave, I can not do that" or something similar. That was good tribute to Space Odyssey and HAL. :)

emyzz says:

if I change the region of the phone to the U.S., I can use Cortana?

melvintwj says:

I'm thinking it's most likely dependant on the OS that is on the phone? Meaning if a phone in China will have a ROM made for China and likely won't have Cortana enabled, regardless of region setting.

husam2277 says:

No, I think it is related to the OS Region in the settings and not the ROM

Nik Rolls says:

Definitely regional settings, Windows Phone doesn't hard-code regional feature limits.

Nik Rolls says:

Yes you can. Windows Phone doesn't hard-code regional feature limitations.


Chef316 says:

She sings one of my favorite songs... Oh Danny Boy

sip1995 says:

I'm wondering if she knows some bad words.

theonedunn says:

Cortana, what windows phone does master chief use?

Joeul_Ramos says:

Question: what features will we get with the dev review?

sip1995 says:

All the newest features will be available in the dev. preview.

Joeul_Ramos says:

Ah ok. Cool! Thanks for answering

iAdrian23 says:

Can you ask her to sing you a song from say... Lana del Rey?

Jonas_H says:

I just hope that she will be as good as the US one when she gets released to other countries... Especially her speech quality is amazing.

hs k says:

Yeah, but anyway I'll using Indigo till then, I guess

Dainsley97 says:

This maybe a dumb question, but can Cortana get sports scores?

hs k says:

Yeah man, Joe belfiore did that on the build

Xsled says:

Had to ask twice, but yep she sure does.

Cortana do you marry mee ? lolzzz.....


Mayur says:

Cortana: "I am sorry, I can not do that. I am just figment of your childish imagination"

ZerHaTuL says:

When will be ready the REAL cortana´s voice?

Big Supes says:

Ok...I can't help but think of the scene from "Her" now when Samantha asks what he would do to her if she were there. . . :D

willboyce says:

Don't need to chill to enigma anymore

But it does not sound like cortana at all

cannon#WP says:

Cortana, where are the hoes?

medianemesis says:

On a farm or in the hardware supply store...

thenightfury says:

Is Cortana US only?....

coz according to this site it is...


Can anybody confirm if it is US only?

bashbaliga says:

Its US only for a long long time.

rockstarzzz says:

Yes US only till second half of 2014. Then UK,China. Rest of the world summer 2015.

danielgray says:

What about Australia, surely the language is the limiting factor? Bing us reasonable here..

sip1995 says:

But you'll be able to have Cortana by chaging the region on your OR Just speak in english (it's not a big deal).

No you won't. It's ROM dependent.

sip1995 says:

Geez, we'll be here in few days and you'll see that is NOT  ROM dependent.

Actually it is. Sorry to disappoint.

SleepyTheDon says:

Gimmicky but its still cool

bashbaliga says:

Yo Daniel, Is there ANY way to access Cortana on a non US device ?

Everyone, meet my new girlfriend.

Viipottaja says:

Is there a way to basically turn it off, so that e.g. when I hit the search button, I get to Bing and universal search without having to deal with Cortana's greetings etc. every single time? And only use Cortana when specifically hitting the Cortana live tile?

em003 says:

I hate that you got to press the microphone button everytime. I mean if you already started a conversation it should stay listening.

Mayur says:

That and always listening will come in future updates, hopefully...

glassadam says:

Yeah, I'm looking forward to future WP hardware that has the always-listening capability of the Moto X or even at least the nexus 5.

Ecurb87 says:

Found that annoying myself, but I'll take it and will still use the heck out of this feature.

Zomby Jeezus says:

I can't wait to get cortana in August...

No, he meant "I can't wait to get Cortana in August of 2016 because I'm on At&t :'("

tgr42 says:

As a bit of historical background...  ELIZA and her variants were doing these kinds of special case responses in the 1960s.  DECtalk was doing text-to-speech with singing in the 1980s.  So these are rather old tricks, but amusing nonetheless.

sumton says:

silly questions might bring more customers

Yangstax says:

Cortana will probably be integrated with MS/Nokia music and video apps down the road.  Give other guys a chance to sing. :-) 

neonspark says:

great now, that isn't really the kind of stuff I want to know. WP central, you obviously have access to it, why not show us what useful things she can do. you know what would be even better and more informative, mayb even, dare I say traffic driving article? A comparison chart.

Have Siri vs Now vs cortana. Tell me what each can do that the other can't. The sing thing is fine but guys, come on! you have access and we don't. get it together.

nitsuk says:

Cannot believe UK is not getting it until much later though we're getting Nokia Lumia 630 and 930 with 8.1 early!

Antistatic says:

So that's the point with cortana? A totally useless function, just used for answering useless questions without meaning!
"Who is your father Cortana?"
Oh my.... Microsoft should have focused on developing basic functionality before even thinking about cortana!

Steven Curl says:

Yup, because using all the other features of cortana is useless?

I'm sorry, but the calendar management, understanding your email and all the other things it was demoed on stage doing are impressive.

Antistatic says:

Well... I can read my messages and calendar, and write them myself.
A function like cortana is just a funny gadget in the beginning, and annoying when the times go by... And soon people will stop using it. Just like Siri on iOS, fun in the beginning but now i never see someone use it anymore...

icallshogun says:

Didn't see the hands on they did yesterday? Where they used it to search for a business, text someone, check in on foursquare, check the weather... you know, basic functionality stuff. It's pretty neat, you should check it out so you don't have to burst a vein over people having fun.

Antistatic says:

Exactly my point.... Cortana is just "fun", and will never replace normal input like texting manually.
And after a little while... People stop using it...
So why making so much fuzz about it then...

You know so much.

neolp123 says:

he is not wrong...

Voice assistants are fun to have.. you dont see peope using it all the time .. i use Siri or google now only when i am driving as it is useful that time. You dont have to operate your phone. But in normal life once the fun fades off, you realise that typing or operating manually is faster than using voice assistants....


JC Jean says:

For you it is worthless. I, on the other hand, have embraced voice to text recognition. I can honestly say that I speak and listen to my texts as much as I actually type it. I have a total of 1 1/2 hours of commute driving each work day, my car has bluetooth integrated. I am able to listen to my text messages and respond without ever touching my phone. I also work out for at least one hour a day now and I have one of those awesome LG TONE+ headsets so I am able to use my phone while running or between sets without touching the phone in my gym bag. With a truly integrated assistant that can help manage my calendar, set quick timers or even ask her to notify me if I have completed at least 10000 steps by 10 O'Clock, it would be amazing. I got so used to it that even when I need to send a three sentence text, I speak it without typing. Once you embrace the technology, you never want to go back.

nickros182 says:

and siri isnt used for the exact same thing?

Sin Ogaris says:

I don't know a single person with an iPhone that uses siri outside of jokes. Not a single person, I'm sure they are out there, but virtual assistants are a novelty, and one that Microsoft are kind of passed the fad on.

neolp123 says:

yup.. its Good to have.. but it is absolutely not necessary to have.. how many people do we see in public using Siri or Google Now?

I only use Siri or Google now when i am driving.. other than that i cant think of anytime Voice assistants are useful


MaXi32 says:

They don't use voice assistant because they are shy in public..

tgr42 says:

Shy, or considerate?

Steven Curl says:

Why have there been no Halo related questions asked of Cortana? I have so many questions about the flood, and the covenant!

That's the FIRST thing I'm talking to Cortana about!! HALO!!! :)

icallshogun says:

The only thing I need to know is if she can tell me if this cave is a natural formation or not. Ok, it'd be nice to know if she can bring the ship back up to combat alert alpha too.


gonza1520 says:


nickros182 says:

and siri doesnt do the same thing?

Xsled says:

Who was comparing to siri?

alfonz says:

US only :(


I hope they release it in Canada too. 

Dach21 says:

Question: How much data (KB or MB) does each question use?


This could be a big deal for people with small data plans.

Talbot690 says:

That's cool an all but I'm alil disappointed that's its not Jen Taylor's voice

AV2RY says:

Ask her what is the best phone. Back in days Siri said Lumia 900 was the best)

ask her for a joke please ;)

Sin Ogaris says:

Wake me up when Microsoft release it worldwide instead of fuckungup, yet again. You'd think with all those billions they'd actually spend a bit of it.

WolfRamHart says:

Cant wait to see if, us in Canada, will have any ways to get to cortana, or only a bing search button like it always been. I mean, why not leave it in english and able it.....wtf

swizzlerz says:

I bet it has to do with servers.... If there not in Canada it would be slower... What I wonder is how much of her is tell me networks...

EJCorcoran says:

Please tell me that the first song she sang was "Daisy Bell"! That made me spit out my coffee. I knew the Windows phone team had a sense of humor, but I didn't think they's do that. Way too funny. I wonder what happens if you ask her to "Open the pod bay doors"

KjBleau says:

Slightly more entertaining the a fart app

Techsticles says:

Wow, it's like living in the future, 2011. Guys, if we wanted iPhones, we'd have iPhones. Just make voice recognition work and stop the singing. 

kinaton says:

Cortana: what app is draining mt battery.
Reply : why me you silly person

kvsanal78 says:

Guyzz ,a bad news - cortana will not be releasing in India and some other countries until 2015 :(

kjnoel says:

Quick question. TellMe had male voices... Cortana is technically only female so there are no options for male voices right?

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kaiju_wars says:

I'm wondering if I will get cortana on my Lumia 1320 that's I have on AT&T?

chrispyogurt says:

The phrasing needs some work to sound more natural.

Saikrishnaaa says:

Cortana is not answering me corectly....rather it is searching every thing on bing....is der any solution

masmaster556 says:

If you say "guess what," she will sometimes say chicken butt

jagudi says:

Sam is better