Depending on the type of smartphone or tablet you own, the chances are you’ll stick to one voice assistant app for answering your questions. If you have an Android, you’ll use Google Now. If you have an iPhone, you’ll use Siri. And if you have a Windows Phone, you’ll use the recently released Cortana. They’re all programmed to answer your questions as quickly and helpfully as possible, but which one of them is the best?
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled Windows 10 — not Windows 9, as users were expecting — and revealed various Windows 10 features, although not all of them. Microsoft focused on assuring existing Windows users that it understood their main concerns with Windows 8, and showed off various user interface changes that are supposed to offer both future desktop and tablet Windows 10 users a much better experience than Windows 8. More →
Microsoft has been touting Cortana as a key reason for people to buy Windows Phones and by all accounts it’s an extremely impressive voice-enabled personal assistant — and now it looks like there’s one way it’s clearly ahead of Siri and Google Now. Nokia is touting a new series of products from connected home company INSTEON that promise to let you control key home appliances such as thermostats and Wi-Fi enabled cameras using voice commands issued through Cortana. More →
The closer Microsoft gets to unveiling Windows 9 and releasing its first Technical Preview of its next major desktop OS update, the more leaks revealing Windows 9 features hit the web. After posting videos showing how the new Start menu button is supposed to work, and detailing new features including the Notification Center and multiple desktop support, German publication WinFuture is back with screenshots showing the Cortana voice-based personal assistant in action for Windows 9. More →
Cortana is swiftly proving to be the most adamant sports fan of the mobile virtual assistants. First it was soccer score predictions during the World Cup — now Microsoft has updated Cortana once again to predict the outcome of every NFL game this season. In order to get a prediction from Cortana, simply ask “Who will win Team A or Team B?” (with your teams of choice in place) and Cortana will provide an answer. More →
Microsoft is back at making fun of Apple products in a new TV ad that stars Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, the two voice-activated virtual assistants available on iOS and Windows Phone, respectively. In the new commercial, Microsoft is actually using the verbal duel between the two assistants to promote the HTC One (M8) for Windows – a recently released high-end handset – by comparing it to Apple’s existing flagship handset, the iPhone 5s. More →
All three major mobile operating systems now have a virtual assistant, but there still isn’t a final verdict on which is the best. In fact, with such frequent updates, it might be impossible to ever declare a winner, but that doesn’t mean we can’t constantly compare the three anyway. Earlier this year, WPCentral posed the same questions to all three assistants at once in order to see which was more effective. More →
Microsoft has a new TV commercial for its Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana assistant in which it’s taking new shots at one of its biggest competitors, Apple’s voice-based assistant Siri. The new ad, titled “Happy Anniversary,” shows a smartphone user issuing certain commands to an iPhone 5s (Siri) and a Lumia 635 (Cortana), with only the latter able to recognize them and deliver appropriate responses. More →
Microsoft’s Cortana assistant has earned a good deal of praise in the early going and the company this week unveiled plans to make it even better. Microsoft says that starting this fall, Cortana will have access to a huge trove of academic information through a new Bing feature that will have “academic data tightly integrated and prominently featured on its search pages.” Microsoft says that this new feature will be part of its Microsoft Academic Search initiative that aims to make scholarly research an integral part of Bing search results and not its own separate category as we see now in Google Scholar. More →
You’d be rolling in money right now if you took World Cup gambling advice from Microsoft’s virtual personal assistant. As Business Insider points out, Cortana still has a perfect record at prediction World Cup elimination round matches after correctly forecasting the United States’ defeat at the hands of Belgium on Wednesday. There’s absolutely nothing mystical about Cortana’s prognostications, of course, since it’s making assessments based on a variety of tangible factors including team records, the weather and home-field advantage. Nonetheless, this is a neat feat for Microsoft’s version of Siri and we wouldn’t be shocked if this perfect record carried over to Friday since Cortana has predicted that Germany will beat France and that Brazil will beat Colombia.
Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, is one of the most impressive of its kind, outperforming its competition on an iPhone and a Moto X even in its early preview state. In fact, the early buzz surrounding Cortana has forced Microsoft to consider whether or not it would be worth bringing Cortana to more platforms in the future. More →
Microsoft has finally announced when Windows Phone 8.1 will be available to Windows Phone users. The major operating system update will bring, among other things, the Cortana voice-based, Bing-powered virtual assistant. On its support pages, Microsoft lists June 24 as the release date for the Windows Phone 8.1 update, revealing that it will be supported for three years, until July 11, 2017. More →
Microsoft’s recently unveiled voice-based virtual assistant Cortana, named after the popular Halo guide, will not be available to everybody, America’s Markets reveals. Since Cortana is considered an online service, only 13-year olds or older will be able to use the voice features of Windows Phone 8.1, as Microsoft has to abide to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that describes how much information children under 13 can share online without their parents consent. More →