Microsoft unveils voice assistant Cortana to rival Apple's Siri

SAN FRANCISCO Wed Apr 2, 2014 1:44pm EDT

1 of 5. Joe Belfiore, vice president of the operating system group at Microsoft, holds a pair of mobile phones featuring the new Windows 8.1 operating system during the company's 'build' conference in San Francisco, California April 2, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp on Wednesday formally announced it has developed a voice activated phone assistant feature called Cortana, a direct rival to Apple Inc's Siri.

The feature has been rumored for some months and a test version was demonstrated by Joe Belfiore, a Windows Phone executive, at Microsoft's annual developer conference in San Francisco.

The Cortana service, which can take verbal instructions to search the Web, set alarms, make calls and a host of other actions, is still in beta testing, said Belfiore, but will soon be a standard feature on Windows phones.

Belfiore announced that the latest version of Microsoft's smartphone software, called Windows Phone 8.1, will be rolled out to consumers as a downloadable upgrade in the next few months, and new phones running the software will be in stores by late April or early May.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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Comments (5)
mb56 wrote:
LOL… if it’s anything like other interactions with Microsoft, your session with Cortana would go something like this:

You: “Cortana, can you help me please?”

Cortana: “H3ll no, I can’t help you… but I will be glad to tell you what you’re going to do and how your going to do it…”

Apr 02, 2014 2:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mb56 wrote:
LOL… they’ve even trotted out a Steve Jobs look-alike or wanna-be to introduce it… so sad!

Apr 02, 2014 2:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TOTL wrote:
Isn’t Cortana the artificial intelligence that appears in the books based on the Xbox HALO game?

Apr 02, 2014 3:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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