Cortana looks like it will do more than just listen to what you have to say
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New leaked screenshot suggests "Cortana" is not just limited to voice interactions

It's no secret that Microsoft has been working on a voice-recognition-based assistant to rival Apple's Siri and Google Now that will be included in Windows Phone 8.1 (aka, Blue). What is somewhat surprising, according to a newly leaked screenshot,  is that the assistant, which goes by the moniker "Cortana," does not appear to be limited simply to voice interactions.

Windows Phone Central first revealed the existence of 'Cortana' as a Siri competitor yesterday, though most major new outlets overlooked it.

A newly-leaked screenshot shows that there is more to Cortana than we first thought

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley wrote a detailed article today going into depth about Cortana. In it she details what you can expect in the upcoming digital assistant on your phone. The service will be powered by a concoction of services within in Microsoft. It will be part “Satori” knowledge repository powered by Bing, part Tellme, and other services within Microsoft to create your digital Cortana.

Mary Jo Foley goes on to explain that Cortana is just the beginning of a makeover to the entire “shell”. That shell consists of the core services and experiences that will be powering the next generation of Microsoft’s products from Windows Phone, to Windows 8, to Xbox One. But Cortana is going to be core to that shell and she’ll follow you wherever you go in the Microsoft ecosystem.

But don’t think for a moment that the shell is just the Metro interface you see in front of you when using Microsoft’s products. Instead here’s Steve Ballmer explaining it:

“Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world. Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it.”

We might just get our first glimpse of Cortana in early 2014 when Windows Phone 8.1 launches. Until then, the leaks will keep coming. Speaking of leaks...

Later, the Verge's Tom Warren tweeted out a picture showing the Cortana settings page, which included some non-voice related options. The first is the ability to add weather alerts to your alarms. It's a handy way to prepare for you day first thing in the morning.

Next is the option to sync your calendar at a certain time every night. Presumably, this is for non-Exchange calendars.

And lastly, the screenshot shows the option to prompt you to add your spouse or significant other to your start screen. This option could be related to Facebook or other social media outlets that allow users to fill out such personal information.

Also of note in the screenshot is a notifications section, which will likely be part of the Notification Center that we caught a glimpse of yesterday, along with multi-tile select.

Cortana first turned up by name on a Nokia Lumia 920 that purchased on eBay and was running Blue. It was initially thought that it would just be a voice-controlled personal assistant, much like Siri, but it appears that it will be much more than that, deeply embedded into the core of Windows Phone.

So why hasn’t Windows Phone had a personal assistant like Siri or Google Now yet? Mostly because Microsoft is waiting to do something revolutionary, instead of evolutionary in that space. From what we’ve seen of Cortana, she is very much going to be revolutionary.

From what we've seen and know at Windows Phone Central. Cortana is going to be revolutionary. Bing search on Windows Phone won't be the same as it's been. Instead, hitting the hardware Search key will bring up Cortana, from there you can automatically begin speaking or type your request. But Cortana won't be isolated to the hardware key, she'll be throughout the entire Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. Give her the option and she'll be able to read your text messages to help you add calendar reminders and more (there will be limitations, as the not everything could be acted on by the OS).

Cortana will leave popular Siri in the dust. We have already seen what Microsoft has done with voice functionality on Xbox and Kinect, and what they do with Windows Phone will be incredible.

Clarification: We should also note that those screenshots posted of 'Cortana' are from the zApp for internal testing. The actual UI for end-users will not look like that and is currently in flux for final layout.

Source: ZDNet, the Verge

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Comments

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Sam Sabri says:

Dear Microsoft, I don't care how much you have to pay Jen Taylor... but she absolutely needs to be the voice of the digital assistant. And you absolutely need to keep the name as Cortana. If not for me, think of the children. (But seriously, do it for me)

mjperez100 says:

that would be tits!

+920 for Cortana! (and her voice)

Vlad C says:

http://www.g4tv.com/videos/61420/halo-4-cortana-actress-mackenzie-mason/
 @00:25
"Wake up chief! I need you!"
 
Siri doesn't stand a chance!
 

MikadoWu says:

Screw this..... Yo Microsoft you keep talking about Unifiing Platforms Start HERE. 
Give us Jen "Cortana" on all our Devices.  My Xbox One and Surafce Pro need her too.

JaySharp13 says:

they are already planning this. It just needs to be perfected before they rollout to all.

Windows Blue coming soon will be Microsoft's step at unifying the platforms... They also said: "Cortana is going to be core to that shell and she’ll follow you wherever you go in the Microsoft ecosystem." They weren't talking about your phone... they were talking about all the services... So that would mean that everything Microsoft will be implementing Cortana into every service at some point in time... I am really excited to see how Cortana turns out at that point!

Most probably Microsoft’s Cortana will launch Skynet  one day /S  LOL…

pranav rai says:

I have never played Halo, but this made me look cortana up, and I agree - the name has to stay, and the voice :D 

ymcpa says:

The will stay even if Microsoft changes it. It will be like Metro. It doesn't matter that Microsoft had to change it. We still use it.

John20212 says:

Absolutely Cortana has to stay, if Microsoft changes it they would be complete idiots.
 

Me too did the same and it was love at first sight

ryansstuff says:

920+
That will make it amazing.

ThePKReddy says:

I want an English accented woman :P Maybe even a hot Indian accent...yes..a hot Indian accent..

jason8957 says:

Southern trailer trash accented woman for me.

kvell36 says:

I want eminem for my phone's voice lol

onysi says:

are they really going to use her or just the name? 
hopefully theyll add a guy and be another xbox character. 

Bob Shiska says:

John-117 isn't as catchy.

Stadifer says:

Microsoft owns Master Chief as well... If you want a male voice they can make it happen.

icallshogun says:

If they wanted to stick with Halo AI, they could use Roland from Spartan Ops.

ChrisLynch says:

Absolutely! To us huge Halo fans, it would be so much better than say SkyNet and the bazillion references from The Terminator universe.

Oooooor 343 Guilty Spark!

Duffau says:

If not master chief as the male voice, then Sgt. Reynolds (Nathan Fillion).

Uhh 343 Guilty Spark, anyone? That would be even better than Cortana, IMO.

sunnybyday says:

+100 .. One of the best things Microsoft has done recently. Using xbox/halo characters is just awesome. Hope and pray they continue with this name and don't come up wth something like "Microsoft personal assistant version 1" :)

I agree! Only MS can come up with such lame names as "Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 Blue with Integrated Personal Cloud Assisted Technologies XP - Cortana Version 1.0"

Cortana's been my screen saver since Halo 4 released. This is awesome news especially if Jen does the voice.

Skunkwurx says:

Yea but in all fairness Jen has a good voice.... she was picked out to be an AI after all... which is now the worlds most famous video game protaganists personal assistent... plus every halo fan worth anything would buy a phone just to have even if they keep using their iPhone so yes i would call it a good idea haha....

DaiaX says:

And they should add Cortana hologram on next generation devices ..

John20212 says:

that would be so cool, but I fear it would be at least 2050 until we see that adopted in the consumer space, if not later;

zukirin says:

Where's the petition because I'm about to get everyone I know plus the kids (200+) at my work to sign it just to make it happen. Me getting WP8 is already worth it, but this would just amazing @_@

I would definitely sign that petition! Cortana on my Lumia would be awesome! :D

kaynachtsman says:

Sam is right cortana on our phones :)

icyrock1 says:

Completely agree!
 
But I *hope* this isn't just a reaction to Siri and Google Now. I hope microsoft does something with it (IIRC, they said they wouldn't add a Virtual assistant until they could do something new and amazing with it). Hopefully what Motorola did with the Moto X showed them what Voice actions can do (Disclaimer: I'm a fan of iOS, Android, AND Windows Phone. I like ALL mobile platforms, and dislike being stuck in a single platform).

Andygoes says:

Sorry to ride this to the top, but this will be my new alarm clock:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIa2QdoFLRU
 
I just hope my wife doesn't mind too much.

theoldwolfus says:

+920. I cannot support this comment any harder. Do it, MS! I've been wanting this for years!

wpguy says:

But I can... +925

MrSimmix says:

I like Cortana but I think the male option should be Master Chief. That would be interesting....

mccasive says:

I'll with you bro, MS should used Master Chief as the alternative male voice and that would be very awesome. I have skinned my Surface with Master Chief's picture and it's been drawing attention wherever I go.

OMG55 says:

screenshots pleeaze

Ranjibi says:

Really? If you wanted a male AI on your phone I would think 343 Guilty Spark would be the perfect voice. But as for the female it should definitely be called Cortana and it should definitely be Jen Taylor's voice only. No halo fan would accept anyone else and hopefully Microsoft knows this. 

Gurggles says:

I will not be happy until I have the true cortano waking me up with "Cheif, I need you.".

John20212 says:

for now extract the audio from this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIa2QdoFLRU and use it as you alarm sound ;)

Prezdhill says:

343 Guilty Spark as the male counterpart?

Daniel Meek says:

how about an elite? Everything would be all backwards and modulated

Skunkwurx says:

Ok man repost that near the top.... that's a great idea... I love master chief but 343 would be EPIC as a male voice

venetasoft says:

+1 for keeping the name of Cortana

jfivieght says:

Think I would prefer Lara Croft

erzhik says:

Ellen Mclain (GLaDOS) please.

CheekyTaurus says:

+100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

ROFLMAO... "If not for me, think of the children. (But seriously, do it for me)"

NIST says:

I just told my sons about Cortana and they about shit themselves. "Everyone knows Cortana, that is going to be awesome!" I couldn't agree more. Definitely need her voice for it to work.

L0gic Bom8 says:

I WANT JEN TAYLOR AS THE VOICE OF CORTANA IN MY PHONE!!!

Dear Microsoft
As MS fans, we have taken a lot of hits.
Now let's deliver some punches.

Eirenarch says:

If one of the total morons that populate Microsoft's marketing decides to change this name I hope we learn who he was so we can lynch him. Cortana - the best name for voice assistant on MS platform.

Sam Sabri says:

It would def be someone in marketing that botches this. 

Ushae says:

I really hope they stick with Cortana. It's already a damn hit before it's even been showcased!
 
Do it MS.

ravi.tandon says:

I would also like an option of Mortal Kombat or UNREAL announcer.... Killing spree :)

Totally agree, that would be awesome.

Jeyrus says:

You would think Microsoft would keep it "Cortana." I could see them integrating it into xbox and all their services under the one name.
Plus it would make all the Microsoft fanboys happy. (pft like they care about that...)

rafi21 says:

Right thats what i really like about this idea! cause in halo, she really is everywhere in those systems!

Agreed should def be cortana with the real cortana voice. Nothing less is acceptable!

^this. Cortana talking to me would be awesome. have a "snarky" option as well.

Josh Harman says:

I don't know about the Cortana voice, I mean it sounds good to me but what about non-English speaking people?

Cortana will make evreyone to learn English!

Rubios says:

Halo is dubbed to plenty of languages... just bring those voice actors back.

Mingu7 says:

I'm with you 920% Sam!
 
Cortana is such a great branding to go with.  Granted, I played Halo and loved what the Cortana character added to the storyline and the humorous comments as you played the game.  And yes, it totally helps that Cortana is an AI construct that happens to look totally bodacious :)
 
I am LOVE LOVE LOVING this new info.  Cortana looks to have the potential to school both Siri and Google Now.  And that's a good thing, because dispite the gimmicky bits of Siri, she can do some useful things.  And Google Now is quite clever in it's own right.  I give props when they are due.   Having Cortana be so deeply embedded and be multi-platform is killer!
 
The multi-device angle is very key.  I can't tell you how happy my wife was when her aging Lumia 900 automatically pulled down photo albums from her SkyDrive, including our wedding pics.

reloaded17 says:

Hoping for a nice Scottish accent aka the voice of Merida in Brave... That would be phenomenal.

Roger Huston says:

You know -Majel Barrett - the voice of the computer on Star Trek - The Next Gen wouldn't be bad either.  Not as sexy, but just as geeky.

Vulak'Aerr says:

She's dead. Jen Taylor all the way!

Vulak'Aerr says:

Somebody needs to get a petition going on this. It might be the most amazing thing technology has ever done for us!

KoreyTM says:

"Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world. Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it."
 
So Windows Phone is getting a Smart AI? Hopefully it doesn't go rogue and acquire a God Complex after too many years of use.

pookiewood says:

I'm going to have to go see how she sounds. (Only XBOX owner who has never played Halo)  From the picture she makes me think of how Viki from iRobot would look.
I'd be up for voice options though.  I'd gladly take Zordon from Power Rangers. ;) 

even though i only ever played the first halo, that would be sick :)

this is what i am hoping for. all the time i was reading this article i was afraid that i could read sth like 'cortana is just a codename'...

soutarm says:

^^^ This! Also, because we live in the future, it'd be nice if a small hologram of a naked woman come project out of my Lumia 920 so she can pretend to be Bing-ing the answers to things on a laptop.

pr0phecy says:

Hell even I want make a contribution if that is possible!! Cortana's voice on all my MS devices... Can this be wet dream possibly coming true? Microsoft, make this happen!!

Rubios says:

I don't even like Halo but they seriously need to keep it (her?) as Cortana.

12Danny123 says:

So excited to hear Cortana every morning on wp8.1 :D hope they keep the voice and name

Acbuono5 says:

Does this mean that they will also use Roland's voice as well if you want a males voice instead?

ravi.tandon says:

I want MK guy, choose your destiny, flawless victory, fight!!!

Mingu7 says:

LOL, nice one!

zeronoise says:

Actually even better, KI guy( since ms owns KI)...*ordering food* "what should I get" "ULTTTTTRRRRAAAAAAAA CCCCCCCOOOOOOMMMMMMMBBBBBBOOOOO"

Nice! Having Cortana with me will be awesome! Cortana is just as much Halo as Master Chief is. I don't think Roland has that status, or will.

Vistaus says:

Oh stop it WPCentral. In 2013 leaks are not leaks anymore; it's done on purpose.

12Danny123 says:

Um.....
this is a confirmed thing MS is doing.

@Vistaus You really, really need to stop pretending you know anything about this business. Because I assure you, you don't and your comment clearly reveals this fact.

These leaks are not done on purpose, I know because I know how we get the information. You don't. So just go back to reading the articles.

xconomicron says:

I agree with your comment to a certain extent Daniel. There are controlled leaks that are done specifically for hype and marketing. A perfect example: look at the EOS/1020 leaks back in June.

Jaskys says:

Yep i agree with you and Daniel.

wpgeek820 says:

Cool down, daniel

MikeSo says:

Yeah, where did that come from...?

Vistaus says:

First of all: that first sentence was a bit harsh.
Second of all: wow, you don't seem to have any sense of humor. I was just making a joke. But xconomicron is also right.

Cleavitt76 says:

Probably because your original post kind of suggests that the WPCentral writers lack the intelligence to know what is going on in an industry that they follow for a living.  If you were making a joke, you forgot the smiley face.
 
I have no doubt that a small number of leaks are actually intentional publicity stunts.  However, in most cases leaks show off the product in an unpolished state or in a somewhat unflattering way.  They also show off things that are experimental and may not make it into the final product.  Finally, they give away key strategy and inovation details to competitors long before the product will be available in the market.  MS Marketing department jokes aside, it's hard to believe that any company would do that to themselves.
 
I would be more inclined to believe a leak was fake if it came out 2 days before the official launch and showed the product in a perfect state.

Vistaus says:

Wow. First quite a few people on the internet tell me that I should drop those smileys in jokes because it makes me look like a child and now that I forced myself to dislike smileys I should use smileys again? Damn, what has become of this world where you can't even tell a joke without a smiley? Are you like that in real-life, always a big smile on your face when you tell a joke?

All in all I'm gonna drop this. Apparently, I need to decide on a site-to-site basis when or when not to use a smiley in a joke.

uopjo6 says:

Just do whatever you like and don't listen to people. Are you gonna rob somebody if someone tells you to? Its hard to sense the tone of context so you try to phrase it so readers know you're joking. Or else nobody knows you're joking and just being an ass.

M_Mike says:

Wow, don't take it personal.  But at the same time I enjoy seeing the feisty Dan Rubino.  You show pasion for your craft and that makes people keep reading.  

Nakazul says:

But will it speak Swedish?

MikeSo says:

Frågan på allas läppar!

The Dane says:

Or danish? Or will we at least get the option to speak English to her?.. Tired of MS locking down all the good features for people that aren't natively speaking English.. Most Scandinavians speak both English and the local language equally well.. So let us use the features instead of taking the decisions for us! :)

karelj says:

BORK BORK BORK.

Chef316 says:

A funny attempt at Swedish! Lol

They should focus on 3rd party software. Their own software is already good (sometimes meh), but 3rd party software is what's keeping people away from Windows Phone. If I can get all my games, and all my apps, for 1/2 of the price or less than anything else, why wouldn't I go with that (it being Windows Phone).

dalydose says:

This is important too. Windows Phone will benefit with an answer for Siri and Google Now. Besides, Microsoft is a large company. The engineers working on this will nit distract from other non-engineer, business types who negotiate with other companies.

Microsoft needs more than just "me too". They need killer differentiators for people to switch and this might be one of them. My biggest fear is that if it is amazing, that MS will port it out and hand it over to Android and iPhone users.

teaMJPx says:

Man. Can't wait to hear it in action... jejeje

ChrisDaFlash says:

^^^This guy is right ... Make me feel like Master Chief

kirklyt says:

Nice.! I just hope it'll be usable in all countries and not just the US on day one.

schlubadub says:

We can dream... It took almost 2 years for a lot of the WP7 hyped features to spread anywhere else. Even now they don't work properly i.e. Bing search, vision translate, barcode scanning (only QR & MS tags allowed). "Tell Me" is a frustrating experience too - I hope the voice recognition is vastly improved...

jdawgnoonan says:

Sounds amazing....and I want it now. :)

WinFan1 says:

I would preset my name as CHIEF.

xconomicron says:

I got chills of joy reading Tom's and WPC's article. Man...

Jeffrey Fox says:

I want her to address me as Master Chief.

But the real question is how long until she develops Rampancy?

WinFan1 says:

Hehe halo reference.

MrSimmix says:

Ha ha ha ha ha

Gurggles says:

6 years....and all she will do is scream at you incoherently.

karelj says:

So....its like being married?

Jeffrey Fox says:

I will not, allow you, to leave.. this.. PLATFORM!

http://youtu.be/ukBt8UItEVA

Josh Harman says:

LOL
...but no one keeps a phone for 6 years, so it should probably be fine.

Robborboy says:

Never because she won't be a smart AI.

WavingReds says:

I smell the beginning of skynet...named Cortana!!!

Jas00555 says:

DANG IT, WP CENTRAL, STOP BLOWING MY MIND!!!

WinFan1 says:

Imagine your phone saying "chief dentist appointment at 3pm". :)

Josh Harman says:

LOL
And then "We have to hurry!" when your running late.

Muessig says:

Note: "concoction" is a wonderful word - should use it more.
 
I'm really excited about this news, looking forward to what MS has in store here.

andymodem says:

I really want the voice of JARVIS.

Chef316 says:

The bummer about that one is getting tangled up with a Disney License to use "Jarvis". Would still be really cool!

houtex2380 says:

Yay yuh !!!! Finally some good news

lippidp says:

It has potential. I hope MS can deliver this without huge bugs.

kenzibit says:

Cortana as in Halo? Wow love the name :-)

arknu says:

And, as per Microsoft's standard, this will be completely useless outside the US. In Denmark we have neither Siri nor Google Voice. And that goes for most of Europe. Microsoft has huge oppotunities to leapfrog the competition by recognizing that there is a world outside the US. But, given their track record, that is unlikely to happen...

Xaphoon148 says:

Not quite sure they're aware of that fact...

WPCENTRAL.!!!

How the hell u guys find such stuffs?? Good work.! Keeps the leaks coming.!! 

I have been using TellMe and Kinect since they were first released and enjoy them, bit this news actually made giddy. (personal embarrassment) With moderate background noise TellMe is about 95% for me, I use it daily in all kind of ways. And my Kinect is in the higher 90's, I have not picked up a controller to navigate the dashboard or a video in quite sometime. Bringing all that function and adding personality, the idea just makes me happy, it is what my 10y.o. Sci-fi loving self dreamed we would have by now.

She got backed up on a floppy so they can use that

MrSimmix says:

Ha ha ha. She will be reincarnated as a Windows Phone personal assistant. I can't wait!

Gurggles says:

She's MIA....turns out she went back in time to create herself. Spoilers!

Voice options on windows phone are already better than others already. This is the only phone I've had where it will read my messages and reply back without even touching anything. Brilliant in the car

MrSimmix says:

I feel so badass when I use TellMe to read my messages for me and then reply for me.

theefman says:

Wake up, John!

Jeffrey Fox says:

John I NEED you, wake up!

THIS!! this will end up big if MS does it correctly, keep the name and use Jen Taylor's voice. please MS do it for me!!

Ultimateone says:

Excitement overload

Sureshr says:

yepp.. hope it wont be a trial version with lot of bugs....

abrabr says:

No offence but this article really needs an editor. This website's writing seems to be heading towards wmpoweruser's standards, and believe me that is not a complement.

Xaphoon148 says:

Cortana, please scratch my back

Reflexx says:

"Chief, there's traffic up ahead. According to past traffic patterns it should clear up in an hour. May I suggest that you have lunch now instead of waiting an hour?"
"Sounds good Cortana. I could use a steak."
"Okay Chief, for steak we'll need to get off at the next exit. On my mark.... ... .. NOW!"

Gurggles says:

But for this I'll need to buy the Chevy Warthog....

Sarang68 says:

Wonder if it will have the ability to auto reply to sms & also call out the incoming callers persons name?

Sarang68 says:

Hey. Thank you.

You'll have to wait for the Windows(Phone) 9 for fully functionality, though...even if the cloud is involved and that is totally separeted from the client (or terminal).
or
to put it in more positive way of thinking:
you will definately have Cortana 2.0
but it also needs a user interface revamp...
so it looks like you will get several version of it along the years - each better than the previous
Thre restricted "stupid" versions will evolve to higly sophisticated location and action aware AI
towards a Real Cortana
Only the Clouds is the limit! :-)
 

Sarang68 says:

Ha! So parsing your sentence there is a possiblity that one may have go for new hardware phone coz Windows phone 8 may not be upgradable to Windows Phone 9.

The reasons for WP7 <> WP8 were many, but lets concentrate on this one:
The Core changed!
They dumped the Core and replaced it with a more advanced one
One that is compatible with RT, desktop and even Xbox One
From Windows CE to real NT kernel Vista-series or NT 6.x
The Windows 9 is NT 6.3
so there is no real reason why it wouldn't work on any WP 8.x device...
but I don't know for sure what HW you will need...
you will always buy a new phone each year anyway, right
and it's 2015 earliest when the Windows(Phone) 9 arrives
better just
(to support the hard working Nokia/MS engineers in Finland: Espoo. Oulu, Salo, Tampere)
​buy the SD800 4-core / 2GB RAM model now:
Lumia 1520
and one more time:
it's the Mainframe behind it all or Cloud Services if you wish
(you still may need some graphics power to have a nice interface on your handset)
but yet again:
I'm not in charge of the "Cortana" project, nor do I know the details
and the future may change
"Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future."

Sarang68 says:

Thats exactly what I will be doing. Only wish there will be a trade in program for my 920 in lieu of 1520

mrdeezus says:

This sounds exciting but what I wanna know is, WHEN ARE YOU GONNA FIX YOUR CRAPPY ASS MUSIC APP?

ejb222 says:

I hope they nail it too. really stun people...just not in a creepy way :)

johnjaller says:

I would like to hear that Cortana support 3rd party application while google now and siri don't

hombreee says:

I do not know what is siri or cortana, but YEAH! :D

WinFan1 says:

in case you are being sarcastic HAHA and if not siri is a personalized voice assistant used on the iphone ipad and other things, cortana is a fictional character from the videogame series halo and the name of the voice assistant that is im guessing going to be much more advanced than siri, that microsoft is working on. :D

ryan_linz says:

"Windows Phone Central first revealed the existence of 'Cortana' as a Siri competitor yesterday, though most major new outlets overlooked it."
 
This is because you guys didn't make any kind of fuss over it in the article.  I mine through your site multiple times every day and even I overlooked it.  To me this is the biggest news yet on Windows Phone 8.1.  Very exciting.

mccasive says:

You couldn't have said it better, Wmpoweruser casually mention it in one of their articles yesterday acknowledging WPCentral as the source. I quickly rush to WPCental very excited to get the details here but after scanning through all the articles I only found disappointment as I couldn't see this information in any of the News items. This to me is the best news for our community in recent times and should be highlighted with red caps.

ryan_linz says:

And plus they put "major NEW outlets" lol prolly shoulda been "news".  I can't imagine how annoying it is for WPcentral to have all these nerds criticizing their every move.  That being said...I'm done now.  And for the record, I do actually like this website alot.

hary10000 says:

Boom! Finally something to be excited about, i mean seriously there should be a moment and it should be sooner that wp aligns (or better) itself with other OSs software featurewise!
Hope it (she) understands my pronounciation :P

Corvodin says:

I never played Halo, but I know who Cortana is, and this would be the shit, pardon my French. 

DaveGx says:

While this would be awesome, forgive me if I sense a huge let down by MS. Either it won't come to fruition as we hope it will, or it will be delayed, delayed, and then poof, shelved and forgotten.
MS has often proposed cool things they're working on, and often it leads no where.

Wael Hasno says:

Give Cortana with Taylor's voice and I don't give a damn If NSA will spy on me or not. I will still cry with emotion and happiness.

uselessrobot says:

I've never been a big Halo fan, but it would be incredibly awesome, on so many levels, if Microsoft stuck with Cortana for the assistant.

erzhik says:

Give us the voice of GlaDoS and I will bow before Microsoft.

daredevildan says:

Get this done! Also come out with a Xbox or Halo-branded phone and you've got a winner!!!

nekowhizz says:

Microsoft and Nokia are on fire lately... and now they are one, they will start to push out some truly compelling devices that'll make everyone else wonder why they still have an iPhone or an android phone.

I have been waiting on this for windows phone since day one, especially since day one of Windows Phone 8. I thought this would've been ready by the time Apollo released (or even an update or two after), but I've been trying to be patient. This is probably the biggest feature holding me back from fully enjoying my Windows Phone.

Luckily, there is Indigo and Maluuba, but those just still don't cut it like Siri and Google Now.

Rich White says:

Read anything on the Semantic web and you will understand Cortana. The Star Trek scenario is in full play. When I ask for "Lamb Dinner in Hartford" on a Thursday Night I should get a meanjngful verbal list of options to choose from and expect a reservation to be made. Its important for the computer to understand my natural language and preferences to perform machine-to-machine communication and fulfill my request. 
 
I first taught a course on natural language in SQL Server in 1999. That gives a clue as to how much trial and error has gone into meaningful (contextual and personalized) speech interaction. Novell Office had Dragon Dictate in 1996. I'll be happy if simple commands and natural voice readers are improved by 2020. They don't sound like Scarlett Johansen when reading text and commands are spotty given the reliance on so many third party apps. In that sense Microsoft needs a suite of tools that blows iMovie, iWork, etc out of the water. The minute you escape into a third party app the integration is sure to be awful until standards are devised. Even now, getting the cursor to read 10 emails without the endless list of CCs is a nightmare.
 
Love the idea. Still feels more like Active Desktop circa Win 98 than a must have product. The winner in this arena wins big.

abarzabar says:

Microsoft posted a video of what they wanted the tell me wanted to be back in 2011.
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-making-big-speech-bets-with-windows-8-bing/10303
With the recent rumor swirling, I'm starting to believe this video is pretty much what were going to get. It is going to be safe to say that this service will be on all your microsoft devices.  Microsoft is probably just waiting to finish it in it's entirety, instead of releasing for one device at a time, making a much larger wow factor.

sumton says:

cortana voice and cortana as service name please make it happen

Dexterrino says:

MULTIPLE VOIOCE OPTIONS!!!!!!   GLADOS FROM PORTAL GAME!!!

ltjordan24 says:

  If Cortana is as evolved as these leaks make her out to be, this is probably going to be the most exciting/creepy announcement of 2014. Throw in the new Kinect 2.0 sensor and you have the beginnings of The Matrix/Skynet. J/K. Not really. Lol.

Amazing! I'd love to have Cortana to be my assisstant xD GLaDOS and SHODAN version please...oh..maybe not SHODAN, she's creepy.

WinFan1 says:

im down for SHODAN!

koenshaku says:

Wow is someone at microsoft actually looking across the board for a change? omg what does this mean..

EJP86 says:

Very exciting news!

BK-one says:

I would to love to see this integrated with SQL server. I can say something like "show me all patients who have had an ex filled for amoxicillin between for the month of x and paid with cash.". That would be a game changer for programmers and customers.

Bloobed says:

Likely similar to Siri; fun for a week or 2, but will be largely ignored after that, especially outside of english speaking countries.

voice commands will be really awesome when they reach to the levels shown in the movie iron man. And I believe someday, that day will come and it will be such a delight to use them. I would not mind if my assistant was "Javis" from the iron man over "Cortana".

DaSchnee says:

When reading through all the comments here, you get the feeling that MS could milk a lot of money if they would offer additional voices for purchase. Nora Tschirner or Monika Gruber for me please. :D

smoledman says:

But the article also said we might not see it until 2016, by than Siri/Google Now will have undergone a similar renovation that Cortana will hardly be revolutionary. Cortana has to come out in early 2014 or else.

Stadifer says:

I love that Microsoft is making the nod to one of it's most popular XBOX properties for this service. I like even more that it looks like it won't be some glossy Siri clone;that Cortana actually will have some degree of control across all of Microsoft's platforms WP8, Win8, XBOX, and services (though I suspect XBOX One and no 360 integration). Here's hoping that Cortana comes with better text-to-speech voice capabilities vs. Siri. Not sure we are at a point where using an actual actors voice for such a function is feasible yet.
 
The key for Microsoft is to not drag their feet and get this beast out ASAP lest Apple or Google mature their own voice assitants and actually extend them deeper into the Ecosytem. As it is Google Now is already getting integrated across of Googles services and tools. Cortana needs to be that and more to make it revolutionary.

neo158 says:

I've been wondering if Cortana will be more than just what's in the article. Having notifications in the settings suggests to me that the revamped notification system, voice commands and rules are all part of the same thing!!!!

But will it be available outside the US?

Wevenhuis says:

We'll have to see if cortana is as good as its hyped up to be. In the Netherlands. We do not even have tell me yet on windows phone. although vaguely promised, even windows phone 8 does not have voice control or recognition services done for our country, so from our perspectieve windows will always be a half baked product. To focus on other better features I have more high hopes of a better integration of the wacom software in windows, because language support does seem to be present here. What are examples of better stylus integration? What about getting rid of the inkpad as a seperate entity for all stylus enabled apps and start integrating them in the app. E.g. handwriting recogntion within the text field of bing search and nog on the inkpad in bing. Add snipping tool within the api controls of bing search. Add an api overlay for online form to fill in fields using the stylus (nog like now every time with the inkpad app). Add the option to sign documents within webforms using inking api code. And finally start thinking about making a standardized format for sending ink notes that are editable. Currently not possible unless both parties use onenote (perhaps) or journal. Currently only pngs and jpeg formats are supported....but not editable.

Hope that the voice reconition will be better than it is now. Not being a native english speaker I have given up getting the phone to understand me, even though I am more or less fluent in english. 
 

The name Cortana would be awesome!

mayur89 says:

A Shut up call to people who disliked the Nokia-Microsoft Deal B) :)

crooza says:

Lol my name is John. So I'm the Master Chief.

Yes! 
We WP comm./ I am waiting for Cortana
Pls Microkia keep the name as CORTANA
She will be my next best friend or may be ........  
too excited! God fast forward us to 2014-2015

NOCTORNUS says:

Add to this story to the Augmented Reality Glasses from that leaked powerpoint and Cortana will stand alongside you too..

smoledman says:

It's just a config UI, no actual usages shown...

neo158 says:

It does show a usage though, rules!!!!!

Lumia 8x says:

When did wpc announce cortana yesterday??

All5horizons says:

'...even anticipating what they need before they ask for it.' If I change the name Cortana to Clippy this article takes on a whole new meaning. MS better get it right.

as147 says:

Here's my request, take it to the next level now. Don't have it wait for the user to make a request via voice. Have it as a true personal assitant by having it do what personal assistants do which is think and advise and assist.
 
Have it so when I wake up in the morning it tells me the few important peices of information I typically look for
 
"Hi Dave, it is 8am, Thursday 18th Oct, you have a meeting at 9:45 re the testing device at the High Street office, you have 12 unread emails, 10 came in whilst you were asleep, one of these is a meeting request from Dave re the new management meeting next month. The weather is a balmy 28 degrees with a shower due in the afternoon. The top headlines from your feeds are
Reuters, the markets are up
Techbuzz, MS announces a new personal assistant
BBC, the Eurozone is in crisis
NBC, Syria issues escalate"
 
This is what I call an assistant.
 
You can add multiple scheduled assistant moments as I call them, when you wake up, triggered by an appointment i.e. going to the gym, before going to bed (remind me what I have to do to prepare for tomorrow) etc.
 
MS you have the building blocks in your integrated Bing, WP, Windows eco system to do this. Please do so and do it quickly and you will leapfrog the competition and attract massive press and user adoption of those platforms.
 
It will blow away the competition, just make sure you advertise it well (don't think your marketing is very hot to be brutally honest).
 
Good luck folks.
 

Kristijan87 says:

This. ^^ And I would add, once the infrastructure is complete, TRANSLATION to all languages Windows Phone is currently selling. I mean, honestly, once everything is set up it's only a matter of recording the voice in different languages. I don't need Jen Taylor's voice in Croatian (which would be hilarious, probably), but I would like to have exactly this, a true assistant which would greet me in the morning and read me my schedule and everything. 

I'm already in love with Cortana!

Paybackxx says:

Maybe they could do a Halo Edition WP?

kleider1 says:

I don't care how much it costs, get Morgan Freeman to do the male voice!!!

Vulak'Aerr says:

Somebody asked her about this on Twitter I noticed. She said that nobody had spoken to her, and then the tweet immediately vanished. Humm.... I feel the presence of NDA here.

Julaayi says:

hope Microsoft integrates on{x}(yes that Microsoft app exclusive on Android) style custom recipes into the voice assistant...

Manny C says:

I really hope this stays under the same name and is voiced by Jen Taylor, that would be a geeks dream!

Bizk1d1 says:

My vote is for Navi from Zelda to be the voice....HEY

xconomicron says:

no. lol Navi was annoying in Zelda.  I pressed the A button without reading the text specifically just to shut her up. xD

Bizk1d1 says:

Haha I do agree, but it would be nice to have the option ;)

I'm pretty juiced for this.  WPC can you give us more details on what you've saw or heard?  It's like a tease.  I need more.

Ian Too says:

Us Mass Effect fans should be able to have Eva or Legion. ;-)

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