Over here in Android land we have Google voice search and Google Now, which is amazing. Then over on iOS and the iPhone they have that mean lady Siri. Now Microsoft wants to join in on the virtual assistant excitement with a new project codenamed Cortana. Which will likely come with a different name once it arrives on Windows Phone devices.
ZDNet had a few details this week to share on what is being called Microsoft's next-gen digital virtual assistant. Apparently back in June a Nokia with new and unreleased software sold on ebay and had some funky apps installed, and one tipped off the interwebs about Cortana.
People familiar with the matter are stating that Cortana will be the next logical step for Microsoft, and reportedly give Siri a run for its money. Which is nice, but surely it won't compete with the impressive and continuously growing and improving Google Now, but they need to start somewhere.
Then there is further evidence as Microsoft's soon to be exiting Steve Ballmer mentioned a new service-enabled shell in the works. And was quoted saying it will be based on, “the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world.” And that a family of devices will use this "deeply personalized" system. Sounds a bit like a virtual assistant to us, and we're not alone.
In case you didn't catch on, Cortana is the artificial intelligence character in Microsoft's Halo 4. So yes, bread crumbs all lead to the same place. It will be interesting to see how they deliver this, and how it will stack up to Google Now and Siri.