Cortana is still very much in beta and as such, we should expect some mishaps during these early stages of rolling out. Tonight, for some users, that scenario is becoming a reality.
Starting in the last few hours, a few Windows Phone users are complaining that Cortana is returning a witty error message when retrieving interests, aka the personal news and weather information displayed to users upon launching. Specifically, Cortana responds with "My suggestion well is dry. Try back later or add some more interests." Likewise, when you ask Cortana a question, she may respond with "I'm sorry, the internet and I aren't talking right now." strongly suggesting that Microsoft is experiencing some server issues.
Interestingly, this Cortana outage demonstrates just how reliant the personal voice assistant is on Microsoft's backend servers. The ability for Microsoft to dynamically update Cortana's features is also her Achilles' heel should anything happen back at Redmond. As a result, even asking Cortana to set an alarm may cause a failure.
Luckily, like all things powered by the internet, this is probably a brief downtime ending soon. There is no indication of how widespread the outage is, but it appears to only be affecting a small percentage of users (ourselves included)
Is Cortana working for you? Share your experience in comments.