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Microsoft’s Cortana is a real competitor to Siri

Microsoft just rolled-out Cortana, their personal voice-assistant app that’s somehow different than its main competitor from Apple’s camp. In order to give it a more human feel, the developers added a drop of digital personality and humor in the mix. While Apple has kept the voice behind the famous Siri assistant secret, Microsoft has chosen to revealed the name of the actress that gives life to Cortana.


Getting back to the voice. Microsoft has also revealed that the actress behind Cortana’s voice is the same actress that animates the same character from Halo games. Although Windows Phone users can hear many voices in the operating system (including some synthesized vocals), the company plans to include Jen Taylor’s voice in as many applications as they can. Inspired by the Halo video game, Cortana is the AI that will help any Windows Phone user to perform various tasks. Over time, the connection between the user and Cortana is getting more personal (so are the answers), since the app is gathering information about how the user is using the smartphone.

Greg Sullivan is a Microsoft representative and he said that the company believes in the future of Cortana. He also added that they will work on the digital assistant algorithms in order to create a version that’s closer as it can be to the one depicted in Halo. In a video demonstration of Cortana, the application was asked: “Who is your father?”. The answer came quickly: “Technically speaking, that’d be Bill Gates. No big deal. ”

With this move, Microsoft is probably trying to take a bite of Halo fan base and convert them from iOS or Android smartphones to Windows devices. Although the demo of Cortana seems promising, I don’t see enough reasons to switch from Apple, HTC or Samsung. But it will definitely add a new interesting feature to Microsoft’s smartphones.

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