Microsoft is officially introducing Cortana, a virtual assistant akin to Apple’s Siri and Google Now, in its Windows Phone 8.1 update, The Verge reports
Cortana came to light last year after a Microsoft employee lost a phone that was running on Windows Phone 8.1, and the public got its first glimpse at the new software.
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Cortana, an animated icon named after the company’s popular “Halo” games, is replacing the company’s Bing search.
Like chief competitor Siri, users will be able to direct Cortana to address them as they see fit, whether by their names or a title like “Master Chief,” the Verge said.
Like Google Now, the new software will track things referred to in emails, the Verge said, such as flight information or reminders. A Notebook function in Cortana will allow users to create a folder of behaviors, locations, or other data that they want Cortana to access.
The Verge offered the only leaked screenshots of Cortana and what “she” looks like.
Microsoft users are ready to roll out a warm welcome to Cortana, provided she lives up to the hype.
“I hope this will have the effectiveness of Google Now with the personality of Siri,” wrote RogerMoore007 on The Verge. “If they have to pick one, then be like Google Now. Siri chit chat gets annoying after a while. Google Now just gets things done.”
Some made the Halo connection to the new Microsoft mouthpiece.
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