Meet Cortana in this frisson-inducing video

Microsoft has just wrapped up their first keynote for Build 2014. In it we learned all about Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 8.1 Update 1, Windows on Devices and the future of Microsoft. Of course Cortana plays a vital role in that. During the keynote Microsoft had a video to introduce Cortana. You need to watch it.


Pretty amazing right? Check out our hands-on of Cortana



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MrA2Z says:

MS please give us developer preview today...
Couple of months ago I read somewhere that Cortana will be available in US only. Is it still the case?

any news about the dev? i want it badly :/

ItsMcDiddles says:

Heard around the 10th of this month.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

MrA2Z says:

10th of this month, too much wait. I hope Uncle Server will not be down due the load :)

No. They said at the keynote it will roll out in other countries after the US, and the dev preview will come out this month. No specific date iirc.

MS Please announce Cortana for Windows 8.1


I mean Windows 8.1, not Windows Phone 8.1

it runs on your desktop.

I heard it'll come next year. I just can't wait that long

Source? Are you sure? Me Gusta! :D


Also UK and China I think. There may have been another English speaking country as well as the US and UK, I can't remember.

vkelkar says:

1st in US and later expand its services

greg2k says:

Gah, it sucks that Microsoft continues to believe in this staged migration approach for every service they have. I live in Spain and would be delighted to provide feedback, run the service through any imaginable test, etc. But they don't seem to believe in worldwide rollouts

crise says:

That video is great. But I wasnt very impressed with all they showed for its practical use. I bet it will still have a looong way to go. Especially for anywhere outside the USA. Beta. :/

Notebook seems to be Cortana's biggest advantage right now. Google and Apple are certainly gonna copy that.

edoug says:

I gotta say, I didn't think the video was that great. More disturbing than encouraging! Tanks, shoving into lockers, a casket....all while learning about me????

Also, that baby looked nothing like me either.

elderjlward says:

LOL " The baby looked nothing like me."


elderjlward says:

CORTANA looks awesome! With its merger of Google Now and Siri features plus its own unique features Cortana might be the Next Big Thing. She's going head to head with Samsungs and Apple's full on Health and Wellness drive. I started a forum here: Can CORTANA and Windows Phone 8.1 Rule in 2014 or has Microsoft Missed the Boat on Health? What do you guys think?





bbennett40 says:

Disturbing was one of my reactions as well. The exciting part was just the last bit. ;)

simphf says:

And I didn't see any porn at all!

ItsMcDiddles says:


Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Neo Nuke says:

WOW. Beautiul. commecials shoudl look like this

Tomanband says:

this cortana video strangely reminds me of hal9000


"Hello Dave" ;)

I'm gonna make Cortana call me "Dave" for just that matter 

db4williams says:

That's what I was thinking! Lol

Did you see the keynote? "I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that..."

Tomanband says:

hahaha this is amazing, Cortana seems to be Hal 9000:

"Cortana sing a song" 

We are waiting for a long time:/

Hi cortana. Remind me when i install you that you are awesome and very stylish

Hi Cortana. Can you check the weather in Delhi..... in Kelvin yet?

ebin5 says:

What about file picker or file manager in wp8.1

Didn't show up yet. They didn't show many things about WP8.1 so far. Wish its there in their list.....

Arpit Mittal says:

as now cortana will be for USA, then my question is still can we get fetaure like quiet hours,etc. for other regions??

Won't Cortana be available globally in Developer Preview WP8.1 update? on 10th April?

Arpit Mittal says:

that I didn't know, but may be not if there will be available who want over the update(OTA) as it not contains Cortana.

That'll be the height of badness if its not included in the Dev Preview...

toph36 says:

You might need to change your location to the US.

paulxxwall says:

Wow that was a very good video!!

ladydias says:

For some reason I found the video slightly creepy. :-/

willied says:

As did I. Oh, well, I still look forward to it.

Oh I loved the video. I found it very smart and a perfect way to advertise it.

Same, it was well done.

The Monarch says:

"I'm learning about you."

Is that a threat? Lol

SwimSwim says:

That was actually kind of... Creepy....

icthusman1 says:

Really well done, but totally creepy. They also used the voice actor for Cortana it sounded like. Daniel's videos sound like it is the same voice as current voice uses.

rhythm215 says:

Will there be Cortana in the Developer Preview?

Mayur says:

and No, depending on where you live.

So you're saying we can't integrate our apps with Cortana if we don't live in US??? Or at least test them?? Doesn't make sense....

cddigi says:

Microsoft, your commercials are getting creepy...

graigsmith says:

i was thinking the same thing.  it was creepy.   instead of showing people how it could benefit them, or how they would use it..  they just went into creepy world, and then it's like hi i'm cortana..... que long silence, as you associate the creepy video with cortana. 

Edit,  they need to get some new marketing.    saying things like "now i'm learning about you"  and then playing video of the most private parts of peoples lives is NOT what you want to do to foster a sense of trust about your technology. 

I think it meant more "Now I'm learning about humans in general", but maybe that's just me

Robert Grant says:

"Now I'm registering your weaknesses"

"Do you want a donut, little human?"

John20212 says:

The video is epic; but I want access to Cortana outise the US for English speakers. I don't care about language localisation, but for people who are English speakers or just US people living abroad, why should they not have access to Cortana right away with the rest of the US.

It should be up to the user to decide if the US localised Cortana is sufficient not on Microsoft limiting it's access.

Also the most troubling part of the Cortana announcement was that there was not a single word on user privacy and how the info will be stored apart from the notebook feature. Also can you disable the cloud features and use cortana as a local phone only assistant if you don't want your info synced with the cloud or shared with Microsoft???


eruptflail says:

Well, if you speak, say, British English, Cortana wouldn't be able to understand you as well. Voice recognition is really hard to do, even the most subtle changes in dialect make a huge difference.

John20212 says:

Sure, I get that, but that should be on the user to decide, not on MS to impose a restriction. There are ton of US-english speakers outside the US.

Also they should build Cortana in a way that she can learn and adapt to your english accent; one could argue that the US-english in e.g. NYC is more similar to UK than to the south US accent; the point is even within the US the accents vary a lot, so this limitation is purely artificial.


eruptflail says:

They can't build Cortana to learn and adapt to a person's english. No computer is smart enough to learn phonology and morphology. You don't even know it. Cortana is good at voice recognition, but MS won't release a product and hear complaints about how "it doesn't work." It gives them bad press. Trust me, MS is doing the smart thing.

Until Bing is worth using outside the US, Cortana will be as useless outside the US - regardless of language.

utopiate says:

Bing is worthless outside of the US and I don't ever see it getting better.  Cortana will be the same.   I've been with WP since the start with a Samsung Omnia 7 and now a HTC8X but it is now clear to me that MS are really only interested in the US market.  The whole 'accent' argument for the staggered release is bs.  Some US accents are clear, crisp and not disimilar to a UK accent whilst others accents in the US are barely understandable as English.  The variation is huge so this argument fails.


I'm invested heavily with MS with 5 PC's all running Win8.1, a laptop and a win8.1 pro tablet however, as far as phones go I'm going back to Android as WP has taken too long to get here and I only see further delay for the rest of the world.  

Bryan Suazo says:

Loved it, stop with the creepy thing... Pussies

John20212 says:

It's only creepy if there are insufficient privacy protections, because without them how can you trust Cortana with your info?

Would you trust a personal assistant/secretary you hired without weting her and having her sign NDA? Especially in fields like law practice where breach of client confidentiality can land you in prison.


WhyFiNYC says:

They need to redo/omit the "Now I'm learning about you..." bit, because that comes off a little on the creep side. 

dougplanet says:

I LIKE that it's kind of creepy.

Not afraid to show a messy birth, some high school bullying, and a coffin.

It's actually a nice antedote to the 'sunshine and lollipops' feel of most Apple & Google 'aspirational' ads these days, and reminds me of the classic "Cradle to Grave" ad from the original Xbox.

MadSci2 says:

Dial F for Frankenstein

jcrs1987 says:

In the Joe belfiore's blog he stated the dev preview is coming in the first part of April

WavingReds says:

I smell SKYNET!

RackDaddy says:

I found the video to be very Google/NSA-like.

Cortana only knows about you what you choose to tell her. You have the option to add information in the Notepad, but if you don't want to you can leave it totally blank

RackDaddy says:

That's what we're told -- yes.  Guess we'll have to wait and see if that's the actual truth.

jcrus says:

Not so much creepy as stalker/evil villian like...."Now I'm learning about you...muahahahaha"

Mix of dramatic music and the overall dark feel of the video make it that way in my opinion. Still excited to get it on my phone though.

FilipStc says:

Creepy but can't wait :)

Yeah, I know right? Would love it if that voice was used.

Cortana seems the symbol orkut kkkk !!!

But is perfect I love cortana

neonspark says:

they really need to work on that speech engine. basically every presenter had to repeat themselves and apologize because predictably, cortana doesn't know WTF you're kinect, like windows phone.

psiu_glen says:

The current voice recognition is probably upper 90% for me already. Usually completely accurate, filters out other sounds, maybe a missed word. Even the music recognition (which I know is a different recognition process altogether), I've had it work in a noisy sports bar.

Could be hardware related (using Lumia 928, has 3 mics).

Adhesive Ray says:

Me too. I find myself clicking send before I even check it. it' spot on for me 95%+

lemonsteveo says:

It's almost like MS is fulfilling it's own prophecy and one day it'll evolve into the Cortana we see in Halo.  Mind blown.

John20212 says:

Indeed, I can just imagine a holographic Cortana in 2050 interacting with me just like in Halo; would be epic.


Susmit257 says:

Hi cortana , i want u , to slap all the android users ... Cant wait to have u ...

dancunder says:

I am so glad they managed to keep the Cortana name. Combination of cool, nostalgia and future invoking...

seattlebob says:

Skynet has a new name

mrolympia74 says:

Did anyone notice Jen Taylors voice in the Joe Belfiore Cortana video? I swear its her.

Sam Sabri says:

They used her for some pre-recorded bits. There's no reason why they can't roll her voice out over time.

jlzimmerman says:

That's not her voice.  Sorry.

Wow, that was terrible. If they took out the first half of it, it'd be decent, but with that 30-second mess, it's just a bad commercial.

Wael Hasno says:

I think I want to cry..

ItsMcDiddles says:

I felt that way too.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Want to? Oh... *feels awkward*

When is WP8.1 going to be released on already purchased wp8 devices?

Did Jen Taylor give her voice for this?

Yes, but they're still in the process of recording. The phrases she hasn't given are currently supplied by MS TTS, but they'll be replaced by Taylor's voice over time

Are you sure? Cos I didn't see any information about it, or any comments fron Jen. (Sorry if I'm wrong, I didn't search much info about it anyway)

She confirmed it on Twitter. I can't find the link though

Oh well, thank you then.

gonza1520 says:

Really? I'm excited for Cortana, but this commercial is ridiculous.

Can you plz tell me y I am not able to c any of the just wont open, moreover I cant even open google on my ie since 2hours back

reckoner04 says:

I'm so excited!

WPenvy says:

I think a transcendence tie-in would've worked a little better for the vid

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Except that would be negative, doubt they want to go the "AI taking over the world" route.

sManowar says:

Thrilling, inspiring, emotional, and creepy, all at the same time.

If only Jen Taylor voiced the actual app instead of just the commercial.

I take it you didn't watch the hands on video?

MadSci2 says:

Never mind that BS - where's my recipe for Gaspatcho?!!!

*tear* She's real.

XSportSeeker says:

Hi Cortana, could you NOT learn about me?
- I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

lorend says:


I certainly hope this 'feature' can be uninstalled or at least completely disabled.

txkimmers says:

It sort of said, "I am learning how horrible-and also sublime- you can be, Human." Hopefully she doesn't pass judgment at some point.

Soble says:

But no impact at greeting cortana....

Kane Gao says:

Did I just see a Spartan at 0:15?

Jazmac says:

Game changer.

aienjell says:

Wasn't thrilled until I heard her voice!!!!!

jibreezy1982 says:

"now I'm learning about you".. Few more years SkyNet will take over n we will be terminated, good thing Arnold lives in Cali..

uopjo6 says:

US only for now? That's the last straw man no more waiting for me.

That's what man! India got the biggest market for windows phone. Why only US.

Naren Parker says:

I hope that the Dev Preview will install the Cortana bits or atleast an option to enable it when changing the region. This can be easily adapted for everyday work as long as you can speak good English. Infact, I was wondering when Joe was saying that they need us to test it out extensively so that they can improve their backend, they should have mulled at a global rollout to atleast English speakers (native or non-native) so that the extensive speech inputs from all over the world can fine tune her abilities.

ciscog33k says:

Exactly. If you're not in US, just change the region. I did that for the bing homepage and the Cortana options showed up but they weren't there when it was set to canada. WP will likely work the same way and I'd expect most of its features to work pretty well after doing this.

ciscog33k says:

didnt care too much about it until today but Cortana looks awesome. And yes, I'm thrilled about the name.

Also, the video was really cool.

Can't wait until rile 10th!

Kinda has a manly voice. Granted she only said a couple words.

This cortana feature not coming to India before 2015? Is that a rumor or true? *crying in the corner*

viralgajera says:

No cortana in India????

Cortana only in US? MS disappointed me.. :(

Jack Larson1 says:

The only thing that I would love even more was if Cortana had the eyes like the administrator from ODST. Didn't someone buy the rights to the face though?

nlm says:

Anyone else thinks that the blue circle looks more like the Monitor to me?

"You need to watch it."

Actually, no I didn't. That was a waste of time.