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The virtual assistant war is on: Microsoft's effort to show off Cortana tackles Siri to the ground. Cortana handles...
The virtual assistant war is on: Microsoft's effort to show off Cortana tackles Siri to the ground. Cortana handles people and places, anytime, with the first update to the Windows Phone 8.1 it's rolling out in a few months' time. The update will tune up Cortana and it will pimp all Windows Phones.
As Cortana was built to feel like a normal person, and not a computer, Microsoft is thinking of adding some features to suit Cortana's personality too. These additions will enable Cortana to make impersonations, which is considered to be one of the digital assistant's fundamental advantages.
If the digital PA sounds like a person, the user is more likely to connect with it and share, and by sharing, Cortana becomes more intelligent. Microsoft even went as far as interviewing real PAs in order to get a glimpse of what they encounter in their day-to-day activities.
The updates also make Cortana more language proficient, and US users can sound more au naturel. With the upcoming one, the virtual assistant will understand its users more clearly when performing their searches. So, whichever choice of words users have, Cortana will be able to get the hang of it and deliver what they need.
Cortana's latest update will allow its users to speak to her hands-free when driving, and to snooze reminders. Cortana is also said to come in more countries, with the update, like the UK and China. Cortana's beta version will hit Canada, and its alpha version will reach Australia and India.
A great deal of consideration is what Microsoft's team had in mind when updating Cortana. The best thing about Cortana coming to China is that the virtual assistant will show relevant information on the country, like the air quality and driving conditions. When coming to the UK, Cortana will support British English spelling and it will present information relevant to that region.
Apart from updating, Microsoft is also introducing new features. Live Folders allows users to create a new folder for apps only, and the way to do it, is to drag and drop apps, each on top of one another. Apps Corner is another new feature, that allows users to pick and choose any app and place it there, so when the app is turned on, only those hand-picked apps can be accessed.
In case the user wants the classic Windows Phone interface, a simple keying in a PIN will do the trick.
Microsoft's Cortana has stepped on the gas and it's way ahead of Apple's Siri. Apple's voice assistant can only perform simple tasks, like searching and text messaging, while Cortana is improving and steadily becoming more and more intelligent.