Windows Phone 8.1 to Include Siri-like Personal Assistant Called “Cortana”

The app/service will be the core of the platform's user experience

Redmond-based software giant Microsoft has been long rumored to pack some exciting enhancements for its Windows Phone 8 platform, and it seems that a personal assistant will be one of them.

Codenamed “Cortana,” it should arrive to devices in the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 platform release, allowing a more natural interaction with devices.

Basically, it would be for Windows Phone what Siri is for Apple’s iOS, WPCentral reports. The news site also adds that Cortana is, in fact, an overhaul to the TellMe service.

However, it appears that this will be more than a simple personal assistant for Windows Phone users, and that the entire future core services of the platforms will be built upon it.

In fact, ZDNet notes that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has already hinted at the changes that will be made to the platform’s shell.

“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,” he said.

Apparently, Cortana will not only allow users to interact with their smartphones through voice commands, but will also aggregate info from a variety of sources to deliver a richer, deeper app experience.

The personal assistant will take advantage of Microsoft services and technologies such as Bing Satori and TellMe to be always ready to respond to users’ requests.

Microsoft Bing’s director Stefan Weitz did confirm back in July that the company was working on a Siri-like service, but also said that it wouldn’t be out very soon, as WMPoweruser explains.

However, 2014 seems to fit the suggested launch timeframe, and Windows Phone 8.1, which is rumored to arrive next year, might actually include it. What remains to be seen is how well it will fare when compared to the competition.

More details on this will certainly emerge as the release date of Windows Phone 8.1 approaches, so keep an eye on this space to learn the news.


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