New Video Shows Microsoft “Assistant” Cortana In Action

CortanaMicrosoft will be introducing its Siri and Google Now/Voice competitor Cortana with Windows 8.1 in April. The new “intelligent assistant” will eventually be available cross-platform, although launching on Lumia Phones.

The name Cortana comes from a character in the game Halo. It was originally thought that Cortana would look like her character in the game (see image right). However it now appears “she” won’t have a face or a body.

Cortana is intended to help users discover and search for information as well as providing Google Now like personalization and “predictive search” capabilities. The problem with the latter is that Microsoft doesn’t have as much data as Google does to power anticipatory search and recommendations.

For that reason, upon set up, Cortana takes users through a battery of personalization questions. The blog UnleashThePhones posted a video (below) of Cortana in action. Among the questions Cortana asks users are the following:

  • What are a couple of the most enjoyable parts of your everyday evenings?
  • When you think about food, what’s most important to you these days?
  • What are two of your main motivations for going out to an event/activity?

Microsoft is also licensing Foursquare location data to help further enrich the Cortana experience.

Reportedly behind Cortana will be sophisticated machine learning and Microsoft’s/Bing’s “Satori” technology. Cortana will supposedly enable “deep personalization” of device experiences from mobile to the PC to Xbox.

However to be more than simply a “Siri impersonator” or “me too” product, Cortana will need to obviously outperform Siri and Google Now. That remains to be seen.

It appears that Cortana will in a way compete with Bing. It’s not clear however whether Cortana is intended to become the dominant UI for “search” on Microsoft devices or whether it will operate more like a Google Now product that includes Bing search but offers different use cases.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Microsoft | Microsoft: Bing | Microsoft: Bing Mobile | Microsoft: Bing Satori | Microsoft: Cortana | Microsoft: Mobile | Top News

Sponsored


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide