Microsoft has announced that Windows Phone 8.1 device owners will be able to ask Cortana to predict who will win games in the upcoming 2014 National Football League season, with those predictions powered by Bing.

Users of Cortana can simply ask 'Who will win the Seahawks or the Packers?' and Cortana will reply with her prediction.

You may remember that Bing and Cortana teamed up to offer predictions of who would win the games in the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament earlier this summer. Now that ability has been extended to NFL games. Microsoft says:

"For pro football, we model the respective strengths of the teams by examining outcomes from previous seasons including wins, losses, and the very rare tie outcome (two games since 2009), factoring in margin of victories, location of contest, playing surface and roof cover (or lack thereof), weather and temperature conditions, scoring by quarters, and multiple offensive and defensive statistics. In addition to this prior model, we identify fans on Web and Social sites and track their sentiment to understand the aggregate wisdom of this expressive crowd. This introduces data which statistics alone cannot capture, providing real-time adjustments which surprisingly can capture injury news and other substantive factors in win probabilities."

Naturally, Cortana and Bing are predicting that Microsoft's home team, the Seattle Seahawks, will win the first game of the season against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, the first official game of the season. What do you think of Microsoft adding NFL game predictions to Cortana and Bing?

Source: Blogging Windows, Bing blogs