Meet Cortana

April 3, 2014 in Daily Bulletin

Yesterday Microsoft announced Cortana for Windows Phones, its own Halo-inspired response to Siri and Google Now. Tom Warren took a look at some of the features which will no doubt soon be emulated across platforms and guide the development of personal digital assistants:

  • Cortana comes with a notebook that shows all the information that Cortana knows about you. A user can add, modify, or delete her memory by going into the notebook and modifying its contents.
  • It provides proactive alerts. When it figures out your favourite sports team it’ll let you know when they score or win. If it sees you’re in a new country it’ll automatically give you weather and currency notifications.
  • You can also insert triggers into Cortana. You can ask it to remind you to ask about a friend’s father the next time you talk to them. If you call, email, or text them it’ll then give you that reminder.
  • It’s educated on the finer points of grammar. If you ask for the ‘best restaurant near me’ it’ll give you only one nearby well rated restaurant unlike its competitors. To see a list of all the good restaurants close by you can ask for “best restaurants near me”.
  • Over time Cortana will build a social map of those closest to you. It can also be set to identify your quiet times where only the people closest to you are allowed to reach you.

Read more about its features over here, and find out what happens when you ask who Cortana’s father is, how you can get it to address you as Master Chief, and how this all ties back to Bing.

Source: The Verge