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A First Look at Windows Phones’ New Digital Assistant, Cortana

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We finally hear from Cortana after the heart-wrenching ending of Halo 4.

Thanks to Gizmodo, we have finally caught our first in-depth look at the Windows Phone’s Halo-inspired answer to the iPhone’s Siri. Cortana can differentiate between locations and adjust your settings automatically to your own preferences based on where you are. Cortana has a notebook, which will store everything the program will learn from you, such as return flights you have scheduled for a trip, your regular sleeping hours, your likes, your frequent searches, etc. These nuances that Cortana learns about you will help the program anticipate your preferences.

Cortana, which is powered by Bing, will feature many aspects of Google Now and will function like a thoroughly-expanded version of Siri. A big part of the Cortana program is that it has a personality, which will remind you of Jen Taylor’s stellar performances throughout the Halo franchise.

Cortana’s notebook will differentiate it from Siri and other competitors. One example would be hitting the Cortana button and saying “Cortana, the next time I talk to my brother, remind me to tell him he owes me money.” The next time you speak to your brother, whether it be a text message, phone call or Skype, Cortana will remind you of this.

The Cortana digital assistant program will be included in Windows 8.1 for Windows Phones, which is expected to come out sometime in late April or early May.

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