The service update was revealed by Microsoft's Marcus Ash, the group program manager for Cortana on Windows Phone, in a post on his Twitter account this morning. Naturally, his post showcased how people can ask Cortana its predictions about matches in the current 2014 World Cup football-soccer tournament.
Microsoft recently started using Bing's search engine as a way to predict results on reality TV shows based on messages from social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It added predictions for the World Cup earlier this month. Microsoft stated how Bing makes its prognostications:
For the tournament, our models evaluate the strength of each team through a variety of factors such as previous win/loss/tie record in qualification matches and other international competitions and margin of victory in these contests, adjusted for location since home field advantage is a known bias. Further adjustments are made related to other factors which give one team advantages over another, such as home field (for Brazil) or proximity (South American teams), playing surface (hybrid grass), game-time weather conditions, and other such factors. In addition, data obtained from prediction markets allows us to tune the win/lose/tie probabilities due to the 'wisdom of the crowds' phenomenon captured by the people wagering on the outcomes.
What do you think of this new addition to Cortana and are you looking forward to using it as part of your own World Cup 2014 activities?