Several sources have reported the possibility of a digital assistant that takes voice commands for Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices, going up against Android’s Google Now and Apple’s Siri. The rumored name of the voice-controlled feature is Cortana, after the AI character in Halo (it is still unclear whether they’re actually going to use her voice).
Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet reports, “Cortana will be more than just an app that lets users interact with their phones more naturally using voice commands. Cortana is core to the makeover of the entire “shell”—the core services and experience —of the future versions of Windows Phone, Windows and the Xbox One operating systems, from what I’ve heard from my contacts.”
To support her report, Foley cites the statement released by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer back in July, which reads, “Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world. Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it.”
If Cortana is indeed in the works, it will likely be included in the Windows Phone 8.1 update that is scheduled to arrive early next year.