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.

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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.

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