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Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Siri for Windows Phone

You may have noticed that each evolution of the Windows Phone operating system (and Android and iOS for that matter) contains minor changes and small steps in the right direction but rarely major changes. This is mostly so that Microsoft can keep the same feel and offer software that is intuitive to users of previous versions.

For example, there are often colour changes and slight changes to applications or accessibility options rather than completely new, headline features. This is our opinion anyway and it is about time we had something new and exciting from Microsoft.

The next version of the Windows Phone OS is looking to be slightly more extreme and exciting with the introduction of a voice assistant called Cortana (best name for a voice assistant ever). Cortana will have more detailed privacy settings than its competitor’s offerings, including Apple’s Siri, allowing you to really control how much information you want to share and how much information you want the assistant to have access to.

Regrettably, there is not a lot (yet) known about Cortana in terms of appearance and general functionality and usefulness. We know that the service will be accessible via a homescreen tile and that it will be integrated into existing Windows Phone systems. Thanks to a video revealed by Unleash The Phones this week, we’ve had a glimpse of Cortana in action. The video (below) shows how Cortana claims it can “help make life a bit easier for you” and, similarly to Siri, asks which name it should call you during your interactions. Cortana relies on an internet connection and a Microsoft account in order to work properly and understands natural speech, so you can ask it things like “what’s the weather like in Moscow right now?” and get an accurate answer.

See also: Facebook Messenger finally available on Windows Phone

With the name Cortana taken from the famous Halo series, this voice assistant has a lot to live up to and, to be honest, I’m quite looking forward to it. Hopefully, this will bring Windows Phone up to speed with its competitors and increase the system’s versatility. I just hope that Microsoft’s voice assistant does not sound like a robot and is actually as brilliant as it’s name, because Siri (although functional and offers good features) are just not cool.

Anyhow, what do you think? Do you own a Windows Phone and eagerly await the arrival of Cortana, or are you looking to abandon Apple or Android in favour of the Windows Phone? Let us know your thoughts on Microsoft’s new feature in the comments.

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