Microsoft has officially announced that its Siri rival for Windows Phone 8.1 will be Cortana, Master Chief’s AI companion from the Halo series.
Jen Taylor, the voice of Cortana in the Halo series, will be voicing the app, which serves as a Windows Phone equivalent of iOS’ Siri. “Cortana is the only digital assistant that gets to know you, builds a relationship that you can trust, and gets better over time by asking questions based on your behavior and checking in with you before she assumes you’re interested in something,” Microsoft explains.
“She detects and monitors the stuff you care about, looks out for you throughout the day, and helps filter out the noise so you can focus on what matters to you.
“When you interact with Cortana for the VERY first time, she will start learning things about you… like your name, how to pronounce it, and ask for some personal interests,” the company added. “Once she’s learned a bit about you, Cortana’s home populates with information that is curated just for you. You’ll see things like flight information she’s found from your email confirmations, weather, the latest news, and even traffic information once she learns your commute routine, such as from work and home.”
Cortana will launch shortly in the U.S. as a beta, with an official U.S., U.K., and Chinese launch to follow in the second half of 2014. Other countries will have to wait until 2015.