Just yesterday, we took a look at a leaked screenshot showing the UI for Microsoft’s answer to Google Now and Siri slated for release on Windows 8.1: Cortana. Well, if a picture is worth a thousand words, this video must be worth at least a thousand words times 30 frames per second times 2 minutes and 21 seconds. Continue past the break to take a closer look at Cortana.
The first thing you’ll notice is that this build retains the name “Cortana.” While this is not yet released to the public, it is now highly likely that the application will bear that name once in consumer hands. Next, you’ll see that Cortana can be launched one of two ways: either accessing the Cortana app through the start screen or pressing the hardware search button.
Upon launching Cortana for the first time, it asks for your permission to remind you about relevant items based on data that Microsoft has collected about you—essentially just like what Google Now has done for quite some time now. But rather than simply learning about your habits organically, Cortana asks you a few questions to help understand you a little better. These include what you enjoy doing, what food you like, what you would like to learn about, and so on. It also asks for what you would like to be called—Master Chief, of course!
Unfortunately, the video neither demonstrates Cortana’s voice recognition nor does it show off its speech generation. However, Microsoft’s back-end for Cortana most likely not yet enabled. So while there’s a lot to be said about Microsoft’s progress thus far, there’s still much that is unknown.
It’ll be exciting to see if Microsoft can make a splash with Cortana. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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