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Microsoft’s Answer to Apple’s Siri

April 03, 2014 | About:
Ravagadus

Ravagadus

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If Apple (AAPL) has Siri and Google (GOOG) has Google Now, Microsoft (MSFT) is not to be left behind as they now have “Cortana.”

Windows Phone vice president Joe Belfiore announced Microsoft’s new Smart phone assistant called Cortana at the technology titan's annual Developer’s conference.

Why “Cortana"

Cortana is inspired from the Xbox video game “Halo” which was a huge success for Microsoft.

For quite a long time, Nokia’s Lumia series of Smart Phones lost out to Apple and Android phones as it did not have a virtual assistant platform to assist users comprehensively like Apple’s Siri or Google’s Google Now, available on the Android platform.

Lumia users had to be content with the Voice Command with limited functionality like calling someone or opening Apps. All that will soon be a thing of the past.

According to Befiore “Cortana” is the first truly personal digital assistant who learns about me, and the things that matter to me most, and knows about the whole Internet,"

“Cortana responds to conversationally spoken requests or commands, using insights gleaned from calendars, contact lists, online searches and other smartphone sources to respond in a manner akin to a real-life aide” Belfiore added

One Step Ahead

Though it might seem that “Cortana” is merely a copy of Siri, in reality however, it has some unique features that are not present in its predecessors.

For instance, Cortana’s functionality covers third party Apps as well. So if you ask her what’s up with John, she can open John’s Facebook page for you or if you ask her about Italian Restaurants she can quickly retrieve the data from Yelp and give it to you.

Unlike Siri, Cortana has been designed to process and implement complex requests like reminding you to ask your friend about his Project Data whenever you call, text or Email him. It also asks for your permission to read your emails!

Cortana gets her own live tile in Windows Phone 8.1. Besides, she will also replace the search function powered by Bing, in the mobile OS.

Concluding Thoughts

Let alone Smart Phones, Microsoft has a billion-plus PCs waiting to be upgraded. That in itself is a huge opportunity for an app that is targeting windows.

The announcement of “Cortana” also coincided with Microsoft’s announcement that Nokia will release a set of low-priced Windows Lumia smartphones, starting in developing markets in Asia and India next month.

The much anticipated launch of Android powered Nokia X failed to meet expectations, in emerging markets. This makes this announcement particularly interesting, as Nokia badly needs to taste success with “Cortana” and its new Low-priced Lumia series Smart Phones if it has to successfully compete with Samsung and Apple Smart Phones.

About the author:

Ravagadus
Banker-Dreamer-Freelance writer

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