Microsoft's Siri competitor to be called Cortana - Report

Sources says virtual assistant for PC, Windows Phone, and Xbox to be named after Halo character.

Microsoft is currently developing Siri-like virtual assistant technology under the name Cortana, GameSpot sister site ZDNet reports. The technology will be able to learn and adapt using "machine-learning technology" and the "Satori" knowledge base that powers search engine Bing.

Cortana is, of course, the name of the artificial intelligence character from the Halo series who appears in holographic form throughout the franchise.

"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," the site reports.

The Cortana technology is being developed for the PC, Windows Phone, and Xbox, the report stated. It has reportedly been in the works for some time, though Microsoft has been intent on keeping it under wraps until it had something revolutionary, instead of evolutionary, to show.

This report tallies with another from February, when The Verge heard from sources that the Xbox One will feature natural-language detection said to be similar to Apple's Siri service, which allows users to ask questions and see results in real time. In an Xbox context, players could ask, "What are my friends playing?" and their friends list would appear.

The Xbox One launches on November 22.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

253 comments
therogerwilco
therogerwilco

Really wish they would make something else, voice anything sucks ballsack. (siri sucks anyways)

retsmot
retsmot

"machine learning technoloigy" sounds scary.

unshackled ai. :D

fattass21
fattass21

i hope its half as good as cortana from halo. i do hope this is a major first step in going into AI :D

Hurvl
Hurvl

"Microsoft has been intent on keeping it under wraps until it had something revolutionary, instead of evolutionary, to show" Most companies claiming to have something revolutionary merely has something evolutionary, if even that.

I don't know about this, but perhaps this will lead to advancements for people who care about this kind of technology.

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

get it voiced by jen taylor, and then we're talkin.

sortilegus
sortilegus

Will she be ridiculously oversexualized like in Halo 4? Digital bewbs are sew hawt.

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

I'm already sold on the name.

ColdstoneX3
ColdstoneX3

this seems, impressive....makes me wonder where the future of Operating Systems will go

SOLDIER-No2
SOLDIER-No2

I'm not much of an Xbox or Microsoft fan, but this is awesome.

nini200
nini200

I go Rampant on the track!!! Ramp ramp ramp ramp, ramp ramp ramp ramp rampant on the track

Ayebang
Ayebang

Again, I heard another function that ps 4 cannot deliver and again ps 4 fanboys said it is useless. lol

csx105
csx105

If I can't fuck it, I don't want it.

bmart970
bmart970

Okay, but make it worthy of that name.

BFKZ
BFKZ

Embed it into the Kinect 2.0.

twisted_outlaw
twisted_outlaw

Know how often I've used Siri in the year since I bought an iphone 5? None.

TheAmazingYeah
TheAmazingYeah

Sold my iPad because it was gathering dust.  Getting a PS4 and waiting on Xbox One.  My iPhone 4 is fine for what I need.  All of these statements are rendered moot.  I will be spending all of my money on a LumiaSurfaceBox.

dman123_1
dman123_1

this..... is actually kinda dope.

jblp
jblp

Seriously is this dude just trolling Android users? He must be, right? He can't be this stupid.

grove12345
grove12345

really comparing it to Siri? Thats like comparing PS4 to Nintendo. MS is more concerned with Google technology at this point than apple. Actually MS directors admitted to Siri is a toy, Google Now is an actual tool. And they are looking more into what Google Now has to offer. People guessed the program would of been expanding on Bing.

Weird how MS is using the "Xbox" and gaming titles for their projects. MS music is now Xbox Music. And now a video game character might be the "AI" for your phone/tablet/computer. 

02050muh
02050muh

wow! change the name and maybe voice of Siri made people goes crazy over microsoft? a lot of times, i don't get these people. its not like you are going to be MasterChief or something (yeah! you wish!)

IvanKavinski
IvanKavinski

So ironic...  Considering Bungie was "acquired" by Microsoft after Halo was shown off FOR MAC by Steve Jobs at a Mac Expo.  Seriously!  Look it up!

Bowser05
Bowser05

Haha if they actually use Jen Taylor's voice, I'd talk to 'Cortana' just to have fun.

so_hai
so_hai

It's a great idea. Also, it is a name that Asiatic languages can pronounce naturally.

MrACRedwine
MrACRedwine

This is the smartest choice MS has made since Windows 7 was released IMO.

GameFan1983
GameFan1983

%#*@ you M$, never even thought about your tablet, now I'm sold.    

burnteyeball
burnteyeball

haha that is pretty darn awesome. They should try to get the voice now.

epicalex95
epicalex95

No Microsoft! Don't play that trick so I get your tablets! Damn, that is slightly awesome.

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

Now this is the future I want!!!

Hurvl
Hurvl

@sortilegus Enough people here seems to think so. In that Kojima article about making characters more sexy, several commenters wrote "as a guy I approve of this". We can't know how the majority feels about this, but non-over-sexualizing isn't as profitable I'd think.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@grove12345 Several people here are positive about this merely because they recognize the name. Microsoft is a bit grey, beige (or any other dull color), but Xbox is a product that many people recognize and either love or hate. Adding Xbox and video game character names onto other products will increase the attention, interest and curiosity among customers. It may be mostly young people who care know/care about it, but companies have been after young people for a very long time. It's not like there's lots of 40+ people with disposable income, no screw them! It's the youth of today that matters!!!!!!!!!!!!

jawslover
jawslover

@02050muh No, they're going crazy over MS because this is a cool idea. People can hate on Apple all they want, but Siri is a great feature, convenient, immersive, and just plain cool. If MS pulls this off this could be a great thing for Xbox and Windows phone alike.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@IvanKavinski False. Halo was multiplat for Windows and Mac, from the beginning. Jobs happened to be the one who showed it off. 

And, it was STILL multiplat for mac and windows. You jackass.

jblp
jblp

@MrACRedwine I can imagine the meeting. They've worked long and hard on Windows 7, but just not so certain if it should be released. I mean, Windows Vista was out at that point and what's the point? But they say hey, let's choose! Choo choo choose to release Window 7 because why not!!! MrACRedwine rejoices at the solid choice.

moesuir
moesuir

@Hurvl @sortilegus so everytime I say Xbox On, very large digital boobies would appear on my tv screen? Could be an interesting feature :)

frylock1987
frylock1987

@jawslover @02050muh  

Or...ya know...you can just go onto the internet and type in out whatever you want to find out....you can even do that through you're phones web browser.