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."