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Microsoft May Be Readying a Siri-like Virtual Assistant Called ‘Cortana’

Posted on Sep 12, 2013 | Source: Techland

Siri and Google Now are both key features on the iPhone and Android, respectively, so it’s no surprise that Microsoft is thought to be preparing a virtual assistant of its own.

Both WMPowerUser and ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley have put pieces together from various leaks, rumors and public statements by Microsoft. It seems that this assistant will apparently be named “Cortana” — a nod to the Master Chief’s AI sidekick in the hit Xbox game Halo – and would allegedly attempt to leapfrog Siri and Google Now in capabilities.

Right now the details are pretty vague; the clearest idea of what Microsoft might want to do comes from soon-to-be-retired CEO Steve Ballmer, in a memo from July (emphasis mine):

Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world. 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.

That doesn’t sound like a huge leap compared to Google Now, the virtual assistant that’s built into Android phones. Google Now basically looks at your Gmail account, calendar, web searches and location, and serves up information that it thinks you might need.

Source: Techland

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