Microsoft’s Cortana: All the Advice You Can Stand

Written by Tim Haight

I'm VP of Technology Services for CGNET. I love to travel and do IT strategic planning.

March 20, 2015

Microsoft’s Cortana: All the Advice You Can Stand

We all know Siri, introduced by Apple. The user asks Siri questions, and Siri uses the web to try and find an answer. You can call Cortana Microsofts version of Siri, only Microsoft promises Cortana will do much more.

According to a Reuters report, Microsoft believes its combination of speech recognition, search and machine learning will produce an “intelligent agent” which anticipates users’ needs. For example, “Cortana could tell a mobile phone user when to leave for the airport, days after it read an email and realized the user was planning a flight. It would automatically check flight status, determine where the phone is located using GPS, and check traffic conditions” so that the announcement would be completely appropriate for the time and place.

Cortana should, therefore, also be able to remind high school students when to do their homework, specifying the assignments and due dates, and linking to the reading. Thus, it will probably become hated, like Clippy and Bob, Microsoft’s previous helpful assistants.

Just kidding. If Cortana fulfills its promise, it could be a remarkable technology, even if we have to become more mature to appreciate it.

Cortana was integrated with all Microsoft’s phones last year and will be available on the new Windows 10 this summer. In January, Microsoft announced Cortana for Windows 10 PCs and tablets, and Reuters recently reported that a standalone app for iOS and Android devices will follow soon.

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