Cortana is a really fun and useful feature on Windows Phone 8.1. She’s still a few centuries away from being conversational like in the Halo video games, but we’re big fans! Cortana is currently in beta for those in the United States, though many of you are using her globally after changing your region. And as a beta, Cortana will continue to improve and get better. Today we're getting a lot comments that Cortana sounds different. Does she?
Head into our forums and you’ll see a lively discussion about Cortana’s voice. A lot of you are reporting that she sounds different today. Jen Taylor, the voice actress behind Cortana, is actively recording with Microsoft. As the beta continues, you’ll hear changes in Cortana as she sounds more and more natural. Today it seems like a rollout occurred on the backend.
Microsoft is working with Jen Taylor to provide more of those witty one-liners, but also adding her voice to the overall Cortana vocabulary. Since this is a beta you’ll notice changes in Cortana as you continue to use Windows Phone 8.1.
Speaking of those one-liners, it appears a few good ones have been added or missed by the community. That same forum thread points out some things you should ask Cortana that we haven’t seen before. Try saying some of the following:
- Are you Jen Taylor?
- Are you a Democrat or Republican?
Not only does Cortana sound less robotic, but how she serves up answers appears to have improved as well. Hockey fans were a little put off when she confused periods for quarters. It appears her sports knowledge has been updated. We tested by asking her "What's the Pittsburgh Penguins score" and she responded appropriately by telling us the current period and score.
Anyways. Let us know if you think Cortana’s voice sounds a little more natural and less robotic. It does to us and she clearly responds with a higher level of intelligence for some questions. We're excited to see her knowledge grow and the service improve throughout the beta.
Thanks for the tip everyone!