Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Microsoft Cortana : Siri-like assistant For Windows

Posted by Fahad Ahmed
Microsoft's Siri-like Cortana assistant is here.Microsoft is preparing to release its very own Siri alternative in Windows Phone 8.1. Few details and screenshots with some of the features of Cortana has been revealed, the name of Microsoft's digital personal assistant is 'Cortana'.

Microsoft's Cortana For Windows Mobile
It appears that Cortana will require a Microsoft Account to function, and it's activated after a set of questions and the ability to set what nickname the assistant will use to speak to you. Example questions include, "What are a couple of the most enjoyable parts of your everyday evenings?" and "When you think about food, what’s most important to you these days?"

After asking the questions, Cortana stores these details in its 'Notebook' and the voice and search functions are then activated. The video doesn't show how results are processed, nor what the voice of Cortana sounds like, but it does reveal a do-not-disturb mode or silent mode that Cortana will manage. Named "quiet hours", the feature will silence calls, texts, and other notifications during certain periods when it's turned on or set to automatically enable. Similar to Apple's iOS do-not-disturb mode, quiet hours will allow phone calls if a particular caller dials two times within three minutes, or if the caller is part of a favorite "inner circle" list. Text notifications can also be allowed through, or set to automatically reply during the quiet hours period.


Some of the Cortana animations are also seen in the video, where the circular interface bounces and spins when it's processing the request. Microsoft's list of questions, combined with a Notebook privacy feature, will allow the personal digital assistant to gather sufficient information and assist user with suggestions, reminders, and other features automatically. Microsoft is set to uncover Cortana completely at its Build gathering in April, with a developer release due at the same time.

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