Cortana Becomes Official For Windows Phone 8.1

Cortana Becomes Official For Windows Phone 8.1

After months of speculation, Microsoft has confirmed that Cortana will be the Windows Phone integrated personal assistant.

Cortana's looming transition from Halo to the real world first came to light in September of last year, when word slipped out that Microsoft's answer to Siri would be nothing less than the famed AI from the hit Xbox shooter franchise. Of course, it won't be an actual hologram sprouting up from your phone, but Microsoft did throw a bone to fans by having Jen Taylor, who plays Cortana in the Halo series, provide the voice for the software.

But it was all technically just working titles and speculation until earlier today, when the official Windows Phone twitter account introduced Cortana to the world. It posted a photo of the software running on two different Windows phones, and then followed up with tweets describing a little bit about how it works. Cortana will be powered by Bing and "fully replaces" the Windows Phone search function; it can also be extended through third-party apps, and can "set people reminders linked to incoming emails, texts [or] calls."

"Real-world assistants use a notebook to track their clients' interests, so #Cortana will do the same," it tweeted. "#Cortana's notebook will show your interests - some she figures out automatically, like your flight home, others you enter manually."

Cortana will launch as part of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1, which will go live "in the next few months."

Source: Twitter

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As a Windows Phone user, thank goodness. However, it sounds like my biggest fear here may come true - those of us without the most recent models will most likely be gated out of this in an attempt to get us to upgrade. I no way on Earth I'm paying hundreds of dollars just to get a voice on my phone. I'm sure that is some fanboy's wet dream though :\

Edit: New phones get it first, but the update should eventually go out to everyone.

Does this mean that after a few years my phone will go super nuts and try to kill me?

I need a new phone but will stick with android. I'm familiar with it and and works well enough.

Cortana, Why did i buy a Windows phone?

I love how Microsoft is still trying to push "powered by Bing" as a positive thing, whereas most people view it as a warning...

I'll give them this much: Using a character from a video game series (and an M-rated one at that!) as the namesake of a feature in a thing that's not aimed at gamers represents a shift towards respecting video games more as a medium. Maybe not at Microsoft specifically, since that decision has more to do with corporate synergy, but in society at least.

Adam Locking:
I love how Microsoft is still trying to push "powered by Bing" as a positive thing, whereas most people view it as a warning...

OK, serious talk. What actually is it about Bing that people hate? I hear it being bandied about as an automatic punch line, like Call of Duty, but never anything specific. Is it actually a bad search engine, like Cuil, or is it more the threat of data mining from a company that isn't Our Lord And Savior The Totally-Not-Evil Google?

Hit me up when a phone has GlaDOS as the AI and then I'll be interested. Though I'd probably never sleep, fearful of my phone trying to kill me.

Steve the Pocket:
I'll give them this much: Using a character from a video game series (and an M-rated one at that!) as the namesake of a feature in a thing that's not aimed at gamers represents a shift towards respecting video games more as a medium. Maybe not at Microsoft specifically, since that decision has more to do with corporate synergy, but in society at least.

Adam Locking:
I love how Microsoft is still trying to push "powered by Bing" as a positive thing, whereas most people view it as a warning...

OK, serious talk. What actually is it about Bing that people hate? I hear it being bandied about as an automatic punch line, like Call of Duty, but never anything specific. Is it actually a bad search engine, like Cuil, or is it more the threat of data mining from a company that isn't Our Lord And Savior The Totally-Not-Evil Google?

I'm not certain myself. I started using Bing because they had a rewards program and I wanted some free MS points, but the more I started to use it, the more I realized it over Google due to a bunch of the "little things" that added up. i.e., presentation of search results, the ability to search within a website without loading it, showing most popular sub pages etc. It's really rather good. I'm of a mind that the scorn Microsoft gets these days for its "good" products stem from a few issues: 1) it's the popular thing to do, 2) no amount of goodwill will satisfy some people in regard to what are seen as their larger misteps, 3) despite the good products they put out, they still will fail on a spectacular level with others (GFWL... which I never had a single problem with, but I also realize I'm in the minority, apparently).

Steve the Pocket:
OK, serious talk. What actually is it about Bing that people hate? I hear it being bandied about as an automatic punch line, like Call of Duty, but never anything specific. Is it actually a bad search engine, like Cuil, or is it more the threat of data mining from a company that isn't Our Lord And Savior The Totally-Not-Evil Google?

It's not so much the fact that Bing is bad at all so much as the fact that it's rather unneeded. I've NEVER had a problem with Google. If you know how to use it, it can get you the answers you need almost immediately. Why would I want to use Bing searching or anything else when Google searching is just fine?

Loving my Windows Phone and glad this is finally coming.

Oh, look, another siri clone. Why did we need this again?

Steve the Pocket:

OK, serious talk. What actually is it about Bing that people hate? I hear it being bandied about as an automatic punch line, like Call of Duty, but never anything specific. Is it actually a bad search engine, like Cuil, or is it more the threat of data mining from a company that isn't Our Lord And Savior The Totally-Not-Evil Google?

well, its worse than google results-wise, is beign showed down the throat with everything microsoft does, and is completely unnecessary. You know, like yahoo search. Google already does everything the same or better and they done it first. There is just no reason for Bign to exist.

Also a lot of the hate may come from early bing days, when it was just attorciuos to the level of not finding major websites and stuff.

Wow Microsoft is really getting ahead of the competition. I'll have to look up more about this Cortana thing using Google Now voice search which has been available since 2012 :P

Also, how many people actually use automated voice commands anyway? I've never seen people use them unless they were making a point to show off. I only ask because so much emphasis is usually placed on these features, not because I think they're dumb

Arnoxthe1:
It's not so much the fact that Bing is bad at all so much as the fact that it's rather unneeded. I've NEVER had a problem with Google. If you know how to use it, it can get you the answers you need almost immediately. Why would I want to use Bing searching or anything else when Google searching is just fine?

Strazdas:
well, its worse than google results-wise, is beign showed down the throat with everything microsoft does, and is completely unnecessary. You know, like yahoo search. Google already does everything the same or better and they done it first. There is just no reason for Bign to exist.

I find this to be a rather disturbing attitude to have. Not only is it OK for a company to have a monopoly on a service if they do it well enough (well, "well enough" by the standards of people who lack the imagination to believe that things could possibly be better), but other companies should actually be condemned for daring to challenge that monopoly? Geez, you people would be right at home with the robber-barons of the early 20th century.

Steve the Pocket:
I find this to be a rather disturbing attitude to have. Not only is it OK for a company to have a monopoly on a service if they do it well enough (well, "well enough" by the standards of people who lack the imagination to believe that things could possibly be better), but other companies should actually be condemned for daring to challenge that monopoly? Geez, you people would be right at home with the robber-barons of the early 20th century.

I'm not "condemning" anything. This is just good business. If Bing gives me a good reason to use it instead of Google, I'll switch. Because that's how capitalism works, ya' know? Competition. And Bing's providing bad competition to Google.

Steve the Pocket:

Arnoxthe1:
It's not so much the fact that Bing is bad at all so much as the fact that it's rather unneeded. I've NEVER had a problem with Google. If you know how to use it, it can get you the answers you need almost immediately. Why would I want to use Bing searching or anything else when Google searching is just fine?

Strazdas:
well, its worse than google results-wise, is beign showed down the throat with everything microsoft does, and is completely unnecessary. You know, like yahoo search. Google already does everything the same or better and they done it first. There is just no reason for Bign to exist.

I find this to be a rather disturbing attitude to have. Not only is it OK for a company to have a monopoly on a service if they do it well enough (well, "well enough" by the standards of people who lack the imagination to believe that things could possibly be better), but other companies should actually be condemned for daring to challenge that monopoly? Geez, you people would be right at home with the robber-barons of the early 20th century.

Its not support of monopoly. Merely the "Why would i ever use an inferior service when the superior one is available as easily". there is no reason t exist for bing not because i want google monopoly, but because bing offers nothing that google already doesnt. If Bing offered something better - sure its a competition for the fans then. but as it is right now, why keep the inferior companies that bring nothing new? Why not instead encourage companies that bring something different to the table?

Well, I think I'd best be concerned if my phone had Cortana on it. We did all play Halo 4, right?

In all seriousness if Halo fans want to get a Windows Phone at least it's a nice thumbs up to them, even if it was just designed with grabbing Halo fans in mind.

I don't think I could care less about the Halo series but I happen to own a W8 phone and I think this is pretty cool.

I probably won't be using it anyway but I like the idea of it.

Huh, well that is cool. Finally a Cortana without unnecessary tits.

Steve the Pocket:

OK, serious talk. What actually is it about Bing that people hate? I hear it being bandied about as an automatic punch line, like Call of Duty, but never anything specific. Is it actually a bad search engine, like Cuil, or is it more the threat of data mining from a company that isn't Our Lord And Savior The Totally-Not-Evil Google?

it's just the ugly step-sister of google, it works... mostly.. but it has a gammy eye that rolls in it's head distractingly as you try to find results when all it wants to do is link you to wikipedia all day.

And it wont work in Finnish because out language is horrible. Also can we PLEASE have a choice to not have to use Bing. Every time I search anything with a vague term in it I get tons of porn...

Also I am going to swap to Galaxy or something. I am just not in the mood for all the overly controlled bollocks of W8.1 phone. I have had way too horrible of experience on my 7.5 that stopped getting support after 1 year of purchase and now when I send it to repair (It is registered to my mother's company so it has warranty agreement long as the contract stands) they just send me the newest version of 7.5 phone. They don't even bother to fix them.

 

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