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AI Wars Part II: Watch Out Cortana, Apple May Have Taught Siri a Nasty Left Hook

We looked at the benefits such a move would bring to the Microsoft ecosystem. In this piece, we would like to look at what Cortana's rivals may bring to the table in attempts to hamper our favorite AI's ambitious advance.

You Better Act Like You Know

As a child growing up in the 80's one of my favorite cartoons was GI Joe. In the conscientious way of a bygone era at the conclusion of each episode a moral lesson was shared. The familiar tagline was "now you know and knowing is half the battle."

"Now you know and knowing is half the battle."

In a war, one must know his enemy. 2015 is a big year for Microsoft. The company is pioneering a new genre of OS, not just an incremental upgrade. Windows 10 will be the world's first OS to run on all form factors. Microsoft is offering this upgrade for free for the first year after launch to millions of users with Windows 7 and above.

Cortana, Microsoft's Halo inspired digital assistant, will be improved with new predictive abilities and integrated with Windows 10. She will also be going to iOS and Android as a bold step in the AI digital assistant war. These are big plays by Microsoft. Of course, nothing in tech happens in a vacuum.

Apple Watch

Watch Closely

During Apple's Spring Forward Event, CEO, Tim Cook demonstrated launching Siri, via voice, using the Apple Watch. With the simple words "Hey Siri" to the Watch Siri springs into action.

Wait! Cortana can do that on some Windows Phones. You are right. Sure she can. Moreover, it's cool. Really cool. Moreover, handy. Especially since the Lumia device does not need to be plugged into a power source for passive listening to work. Unlike the iPhone, which currently needs to be tethered to an outlet.

With the simple words "Hey Siri" to the Watch Siri springs into action.

However, there's something to be said for the convenience of being able to initiate one's digital assistant through a wearable. "Hey, Cortana" directed to a Microsoft Band sadly won't call up your trusty assistant. The act of bypassing the Band and talking to one's pocket where the phone may be located, though not laborious, is cumbersome and in my experience has mixed results. Cortana often doesn't hear me if my device is in my inner breast pocket.

Raising your voice just above what's comfortable or appropriate to ensure that Cortana can hear you through a pocket, above all ambient sounds or conversations can be a challenge. Raising a wrist, Michael Knight style bypasses these simple barriers to using the passive listening functions in certain environments. Granted the Microsoft band provides this convenience, but requires pushing a button.

With "Hey Siri" passive listening function on the Watch, Apple promises easy access for users to engage their digital assistant. This new and exciting way to interact with Siri via the Watch will likely reignite interest. This interest may even approach the levels people had when it first launched in 2011. Before being relegated from being a tech media darling to the butt of many jokes and public scorn. #SiriFails.

Undoubtedly "Hey Siri" will begin to fill the air as users interacting with their Apple Watches bring Siri back into the forefront. Exactly where Apple wants it. However, if it is no more capable than it has proven to be over the past nearly four years, a disappointing Siri via the Watch is just as disappointing as a disappointing Siri via the phone.

That, of course, is not where Apple wants Siri to be. Apple needs to take swift action to capitalize on what is sure to be renewed interest in their digital assistant. As the Swift programming language was a surprise announcement at last year's WWDC, Apple may have other surprises gracing its strategic branches. Cortana's power play for the hearts and minds of the masses via Windows 10 and a cross-platform launch may be just the blow that knocks Apples next step loose. Descending upon the heads of the unwary – Apple, in the magical way they make the old –also ran- look new may generate a eureka moment for the masses.


Siri, Don't Take it Personally

Before we get there, let's look at the here and now. Unlike Cortana and Google Now, Siri lacks its own search engine backbone (it uses Bing as does Apple's Spotlight). It also lacks the benefits of machine learning that neural net technology, which works like the human brain, brings to the table. It functions without context awareness, the ability to learn about its users and the ability to act pro-actively. In summation, Siri is virtually a purely responsive digital assistant. It never takes the initiative. It is incapable of doing so.

Let's look at it this way. If Cortana and Siri were both vying for an assistant position, both candidates would ace the interview. They each have the ability to shine during the screening process. You know, those scenarios where basic questions are asked. Fact grabbing, response times, setting appointments and the like. Yes, they would both get the job.

"If Cortana and Siri were both vying for an assistant position both candidates would ace the interview."

This is where the parallels end, however. Cortana is a self-starter. Once she gets the job, that is when she really shines. (By contrast Siri's brightest moments were during the "interview.")

Through permissions set in Cortana's user controlled Notebook, and as a product of the technology upon which she is built she learns about you. She learns interests, work schedules, workout schedules, favorite places and much more. She pro-actively supplies information and makes suggestions. Siri, on the other hand, without a neural net base, always needs a push to get anything done. Be honest, which would you hire?

"...Cortana is a self-starter...Siri needs a push...whom would you hire?"

Because Cortana is a personal assistant that learns the unique tastes and behaviors of individuals. Digital assistant comparisons that just throw all comers in a ring and make conclusions regarding which comes out on top based on metrics such as response time, fact fetching and the like are stopping at the "interview" stage. These comparisons ignore Cortana's key strength, which is arguably the essential feature of any digital assistant - the ability to get to know the user. How well an assistant serves, each is the true measure of a personal assistant. A real AI showdown would require a comparison along those lines. Microsoft claims that Cortana is the world's first personal digital assistant. Personally I agree.

Apple Watch

South Paw

Through the "Hey Siri" feature of the Apple Watch, I believe Apple is setting the stage for a multi-step strategy to make Siri more relevant. Most of the world is right handed. Thus in a contest, a left handed fighter or a fighter with a slick left hook can take his opponent off guard.

Despite its applications in home automation and automotive, Apple is keenly aware that the masses have made Siri a running joke. They are also aware that competitors like Cortana and Google Now are far more competent assistants based on more advanced technology that allows for pro-active and context relevant support and deep learning.

Through the "Hey Siri" feature of the Apple Watch, I believe Apple is setting the stage for a multistep strategy to make Siri more relevant.

This reality has also had the effect (bolstered by Microsoft's Cortana vs. Siri campaign) of beginning to shape the collective consciousness beyond the ardent fan base. Cortana (and Google Now) are the real players when it comes to digital assistants. This is a perception and a reality that Apple will not tolerate.

Aware of its disadvantaged position, in 2013 Apple poached one of Microsoft's top managers, Alex Acero, who had spent nearly 20 years in Redmond researching speech technology. He now serves as a senior director of the Cupertino company's Siri group. They've also plucked from the Nuance tree Gunnar Evermann (Manager, Siri Speech) and Larry Gillick (Chief Speech Scientist, Siri). At an office located in Boston, MA, Apple appears to be investing in a crack in-house team of speech experts aimed at neural net technology. In their clandestine fashion, they have made no announcements along those lines.

Peter Lee, head of Microsoft's research arm, and former boss to the Apple poached Alex Acero, however, is convinced that Apple is building the foundations to deliver on a Neural Network based Siri. In June of 2014 he is quoted as saying:

"All of the major players have switched over except Apple Siri…I think it is a matter of time."

In June of 2014 he felt that Apple could make that happen in 6 months.

Rope-a-Dope - Apple's Strategy?

The famous boxer Muhammad Ali executed a fighting strategy where he allowed himself to be backed against the ropes while absorbing the blows of his enemy. To onlookers and his opponent, it appeared that he was losing the fight. His strategy, however, was to cause his enemy to tire out and become over confident before Ali delivered his knockout blows. Rope-a-dope.

In the year since Cortana's release, Google Now has seen advancements in its predictive abilities, but Siri has not seen much in the way of growth. It is making moves in home automation and vehicles, yes. Advances in how it serves a unique user as a personal assistant? Not so much. Apple and Siri have been taking hits from the competition during this time. Aggressive ads showing Siri's inferiority to Cortana are popular. Siri is also regularly blasted on social media.

All of this while the company is quietly building a strong engineering and research speech team.Peter Lee estimated that it would take Apple six months before they would be able to introduce a neural network enhanced Siri. Six months from the time of that June statement would have been December 2014. So where's the new and improved Siri?

Well, just because you can doesn't mean you should. Timing is everything. Presentation matters. If any company prides themselves on those two precepts, Apple does. Apple's strategy it seems is to get a new medium of interacting with Siri in the hands, rather, on the wrists of millions of users first. The company has reportedly ordered about 5- 6 million Watches for the initial launch.

With this move, Siri will suddenly be interacted with again. It may even re-enter the mindset and collective consciousness of the world in a positive manner like it did in 2011. Yes, before it disappointed everyone and failed to meet expectations. This window of renewed excitement will be brief. For the newness of the "Hey Siri" watch interaction will begin to wane, particularly since Siri through the Watch will be no better than a user's experience with it on the phone. So why not introduce a new and improved Siri now; before the Watch's launch?

"This window of renewed excitement will be brief."

To have introduced a new and improved Siri too early would not have had maximum impact. However, an April launch of the Apple Watch, bolstered by Apples magical marketing, gives the company a new Siri portal strategically close to their early June World Wide Developers Conference(WWDC).

This conference that saw the announcing of Apples Swift programming language and Health Kit last year would be, I presume in Apple's view, the perfect stage to debut a new and improved Siri. Such a demonstration would likely include onstage use scenarios from the Watch, and the "re-introducing" of neural net powered predictive, deep learning, and context-aware abilities already found in Cortana and Google Now.

Like her rivals, Siri will finally be capable of getting to know a user.

Two More Things?

An announcement about an improved Siri less than two months after the watches debut, riding on the coattails of a populace who's excitement over Siri will have likely been reignited could be quite the blow to Cortana. A left hook if you will. The blow could be more impactful if Apples classic "one more thing" moment actually includes two more things.

One that the iPhone would no longer need to be plugged in for passive listening to work. The second that this new improved Siri speech API is now open to the avidly dedicated Apple/Apple Watch developer base. Both of these areas Cortana leads in. However with little market share and a relatively small, yet dedicated, developer base a widespread embracing of Cortana's open speech API has not yet occurred. A real pity. By contrast, Apple's massive and passionate developer base would likely be eager to try their hand at connecting their iOS apps to Siri's speech API. Particularly given the new opportunities interacting with it hands-free via the Watch would present.

Apple's goal is to comprise as comprehensive and self-sustained an ecosystem as possible. Beyond that, they want to create such a cohesion between its products and services that a departure or use of rival services, like Cortana, diminishes the experience within the Apple ecosystem. Such a synergy of products and services within their ecosystem is an enticing appeal to use their integrated services.

The Cupertino company naturally is in a stronger position to assert this goal in some areas rather than others. For instance, Microsoft Office on iOS is such a desired staple in the industry that it is conceivable that it is availability on iOS has supplanted Apple's productivity suite as the default for many users.

By contrast, Siri can be deeply integrated into iOS. Though Microsoft will be bringing a very powerful version of Cortana to the iPhone, it will be an app. Not a part of the core OS. This, despite Cortana's advanced functionality, gives Siri an inherent advantage in iOS as its abilities will be deeply interwoven into the OS. Apple will likely also ensure advantages of Siri's use within its ecosystem and across devices like phone, car, Apple TV and iPad.

Google Now

Ok Now Google – Monkey See Monkey Do

Recent reports confirmed that Google is preparing to open Google Now APIs to developers. What will this allow? Well, again, it will allow developers to do what Microsoft has already allowed its developers to do with Cortana from her beginnings. They will be able to tie their apps into the digital assistant's Speech API.

Ideally, from a user's perspective the implementation of such a feature would eventually make apps "invisible". As users interact with the digital assistant, the AI should be able to discern the requested function and choose the app that best carries out that function. Just as Cortana launches Here Drive when I tell her to give me directions to a location.

"I do not think it is a coincidence that Google has announced their open API plans"

From a developer's perspective, the level of integration of such functionality making their app invisible to the user may be a deterrent to embracing such integration. Developers want their apps to be noticed. Google with their vast user base may garner more developer support for their digital assistant's open API than Cortana has received in the past year.

I do not think it is a coincidence that Google has announced their open API plans at this time.

About 5 to 10

At the time of writing, we are maybe 5 months away from the global release of Microsoft's new era of computing in Windows 10. Windows 10 pioneers a single OS for all form factors. It will work as the platform for Microsoft's enterprising HoloLens. It unifies Microsoft's store. It creates a platform for Universal Apps where developers can write once for all form factors. It serves as a unifying agent to support the transitioning of user experiences between devices. Windows 10 will also catapult Cortana into the mainstream through Microsoft's tremendous PC installed base.

Such attention and increased availability would indeed make Cortana with her open API a much more tempting prospect for developers. That with the envelope-pushing predictive abilities thanks to Project Einstein combined with Cortana's eventual arrival on iOS and Android, have positioned Cortana to steal the Digital Assistant headlines in the coming months. Neither Apple nor Google want their assistants overshadowed. In response to Microsoft's pioneering advances in predictive search, Google's official word is:

"Predictive search is so new that the more companies working on it, the better."

They also claim there is no timeline for the launch of their open API. That said I would not be surprised if Google strives to have the Google Now API ready by Google I/O later this year to bolster Google Now against the coming Cortana enhanced Windows 10 tsunami.

The War Has just Begun

We are still in the early stages of the era of the new PC user interface. What is defined as a "personal computer" arguably falls under a much broader umbrella than what was categorized as a PC fifteen years ago. It can be argued that hybrids, tablets, and even smartphones are modern PCs. The new ways we interact with our devices has evolved with the evolution of our computing toward greater mobility. From keyboards and mouse to touch and now, voice.

Intelligent assistants that can be be engaged via voice as the PC user interface is the new battle ground. Whichever company masters the assistant's position as an ever present, unobtrusive but "there when I need it" shadow may stand to define this category. Microsoft's investments and early successes with Cortana, the excitement those in the Microsoft camp are experiencing must be tempered with the reality that the competition is not standing still. Keeping a watchful eye, and a thoughtful heart on all players and their actual and potential plays keeps you in the know. And as we learned from GI Joe, knowing is half the battle.

Food for Thought

It may be conceivable that the next step of the digital assistant beyond digital assistant as UI is the digital assistant as the OS. Microsoft's ambitious ubiquitous Windows 10 one OS presence with integrated Cortana may be the nascent seeds of this possibility. Ahhhh but that is a topic for another post.

In case you missed it! "AI Wars Part I: Hey Cortana is that you on my iPhone?".)

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • I love this article!
  • Whatever but I still hate the fact that Cortana is going to ios and android!
  • Do you what, sometimes I feel that MS uses us as testers for their services
  • What're we losing here..? We're just gaining. Our AI is going to other platforms too. It will be the same on every OS, we won't get any less than them. Microsoft's service is reaching every corner possible. Isn't that great..?
  • First let they find a solution for the app gap, then we will talk.
  • Cortana and App Developers are two different things. Microsoft is not liable to make apps of every kind.
  • What apps do you feel are missing?  Other than the ever changing popular app that no one plays in a month, I can't think of any app that I want other than the Injustice mobile game.  Apple's store has a lot of copy cat apps and countless apps that all do the same thing.  Android's app store is loaded with malware apps.  I would prefer quality over quantity.
  • Actually, apps updates are what bother me, take Skype as example
  • "Android wasn't built in a day."
    Nor was Rome and nor can WP's apps.
  • ^ This. GroupMe (Skype, Microsoft) has had broken notifications for quite some time now...
    Works so much better on iOS and Android, pathetic >.>
  • It's an OS problem :P:P
  • Actually Skype works pretty well, not to mention that it offers a Windows phone exclusive feature that allows you to sketch and send to people.
  • ppl really want snapchat...
  • Bug the CEO of SuckChat.
  • My banks app, Skygo, gambling apps, decent sports apps to name a few. Then throw in the fact that a lot of the apps are inferior to their iOS and android equivalent its clear there is and app gap and its hurting windows.
  • app gap everywhere. you can only have so much app in your device. advice: download an app called "LIFE". it says there you don't need an app to move on and live. its probably hurting you, but i chose WP because i dont have to deal with those apps. i'm done with "there's an app for that" attitude of doing stuff when you can have the app featues baked in the os. yea, yea, yea, bank apps are needed but hey, i am old enough not to be manhandled by any other company that holds my money. app gap? lameeeeeeeeee..
  • I'll agree on the bank app.  Thankfully TD Bank is working on a US app, so I might have that resolved soon-ish.  I didn't know Skygo exisits, but have you tried contacting them?  I'm told the soccer games on WP are good, but I've never enjoyed playing sports games on mobile even when I was on iOS.  I'll agree that a lot of major apps have seen an initial release and no attention since.  Videos haven't played within the Tumblr app for ages.  I do like the WP Facebook app more than iOS.  There was good momentum when Nokia was creating and releasing the phones.  Unfortunately there hasn't been a true flagship WP device in so long developers are losing interest.  It's interesting that more hardware partners are joining the platform.  I'm holding out hope that Windows 10 will reinvigorate the app store, and hopefully the WP 8 apps will still work in 10.  I don't think MS has said anything about that.
  • Trust me, once the banks and their developers realize the INCREDIBLE market share of Windows 10 on ALL platforms (not just phones), they will be STUPID not to develop apps for Windows 10.  In fact, ALL developers will be forced to rethink their view of Windows apps.  Think about all the devices that will have Windows 10 on  them.  Desktops, laptops, convertables, tablets, phablets, phones, xbox, halolens, etc.., etc.   The market share for Windows Phone right now is about 3% in the US and about 5% worldwide, but the market share of desktops, laptops and tablets worldwide running Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (all will get Windows 10 free for the first year), is about 96%.  So, think about it, all these people get Windows 10 free.  I doubt most of them will pass up a free OS upgrade, but even if some do, the market share of Windows 10 will include most of those devices as well as Windows Phones.  I would guess market share for Windows 10 will be somewhere around 80% to 90% worldwide.  What developer would be STUPID enough to pass up that kind of market share for their app?  Not to mention, they only have to create ONE version of the app and it will run on all those devices.  Trust me.  Windows apps WILL BE COMING!
  • Games are irrelevant (except for Android). Productivity apps that I miss are for my credit union, or any of the local TV News shows, or even my Church. all these have Apple & Android apps. there are tons of more examples! and then there are the apps we have that suck, like Facebook. Yes, I can and do have the mobile website pinned to my Start screen but its not the same (no live tile, not transparent, and can't even tell it is Facebook since it is simply a website). many more of these too! I have begged them all to make a WP apps, not sure how to close this gap.  
  • The Facebook mobile site is garbage on Windows Phone.  I llike the Facebook Beta app more than the general release app because of the new features rolling out faster.
  • Don't shoot in the dark. The Non-Beta is better updated and is ahead of the Beta one currently.
  • Thanks, I might have to consider swapping apps. 
  • The only thing I use Cortina for is searching the net and in that regard it's shit compared to Siri. Web hits over true content returns. Certainly in the UK.
  • Bing VS Bing.
  • Stop it, MS doesn't need a free pass. They are the world's largest software company. Where the hell are the apps? You don't need fruit loops, you can eat fruity circles? Come off the generic bull @#$% and produce. It's fine if there are knock offs available, but the real thing should be here too! I don't know what the problem is, it just needs fixing!
  • No ones giving MSFT a free pass.  Sure they're the largest software company, but they're still a business. That means there needs to be revenue to quantify the expesnes.  MSFT could pay top dollar for app developers to design apps, but that's not smart business strategy. You don't win the marathon by winning the first five or six laps of the race.  MSFT put a lot of money into their Surface line up, but they knew what they ultimately wanted, and once the Surface Pro 3 came out, their return in investments began to pay dividends.  Windows Phone is peaking 10% market share in Europe.  Thats incredible.  It's only going to increase, and with MSFT combining Windows with Xbox on a one OS enclave, it's going to only increase the intrique in Windows products.  For those of you who have noticed, T-Mobile and Sprint have taken to the philosophy that carriers in other countries use.  No big subsidies for high priced flagship phones, for two year contractural obligations.  As a result, they have seen record growth.  If this trends continues it's going to force super carriers like AT&T and Verizon to create other incentives to keep people with them. If you remove the subsidies that they provide, do you honestly think you'd have the same number of people buying iPhones at the regular price that are buying them now?  This is why MSFT is hitting the middle end range, and they're slowly winning.  You're right, they are the largest software company, that's a mantle they've held for decades,  but they're hardware imprint is growing, and that should be worrying Apple and Andriod.
  • If quality is the metric, Windows Phone is missing nearly every app, as they're is literally not one single thing on WP you can't do as well or better on Android.
  • You sure droid apps work fine..?
  • " they're is literally not one single thing on WP you can't do as well or better on Android." Agreed!  Then again, there is literally not one single thing on Android you can't do well or better on Windows (the BIG one).  There are millions of things you can do on Windows you can't even start to do on Android (After Effects?).  They're is even a grammar checker.
  • LMAO. first, there are A LOT of apps missing, from EVERY category. period. second, since when popular apps dont matter? yea, i want to be able to play a popular game which no one will play in a month, at the same time with my friends from ios and android. do go to school/work? how is it to look at your class/workplace and see everybody playing the same game everyday for amonth and competing with each other on highscores and you're like "nah, i dont like that game anyway". SO, if you ask me, popular apps ar AS IMPORTANT as missing apps for banking, social networking, popular services(ahem, google) and so on. stop finding excuses for the misery in which WP curently takes a bath. first, we have to accept it, we must be open-minded enough to aknowledge ALL the problems of this OS(as oposed to finding excuses or acting like we dont see/need something which we do), then we MUST provide feedback and other help we can give (as oposed to whining and such).
  • I agree with a lot of what you're saying.  I guess I look at mobile games a bit differently than you.  Typically, I don't connect mobile games with my social network accounts probably because of unwarranted paranoia.  Having the high score doesn't matter as much to me as completing a level.  I agree that we do need more official apps than knock offs, but don't hold your breath for Google apps.  Android is/was the Windows of the mobile world.  you could easily install it on any hardware you created unlike iOS being restricted to just Apple.  Now Microsoft has a compelling mobile OS, and Google doesn't want to help them at all.  Google apps are on iOS devices because at that time they had to be.  I personally liked the MS created YouTube app more than the official one on iOS.  Unfortunately Google fought MS and it's now just a link to the mobile site.  MetroTube is almost the same app though.  So yes we need more official apps, and yes we need to accept that it will take time.  I believe this will turn around quicker than it has been once Windows 10 is released.
  • Why would anyone be developing apps for Windows Phone today when we all know it's going away later this year?  It will be replaced by Windows.  Compared with Windows, the number of apps on Android and iOS is miniscule and the OSes themselves are too puny to do much more than make fart noises.  Windows can run Photoshop.  Android/iOS can only run baby Photoshop. Same goes for a few million other apps on Windows.
  • Do you honestly think that windows 10 on the phone will be the same as windows 10 on the desktop and let you run the full version of Photoshop? Windows 10 for phone will be the same as iOS, a cut down version of the desktop operating system. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • you dont know the difference between apps and softwares do you? windows from the phone will only be able to use apps. 
  • "Microsoft's service is reaching every corner possible."
    Can you hear my sarcastic laugh all the way from here where Cortana, Bing Rewards and lots of MS services are not available?
  • Atleast it will reach some. Something is better than nothing. It will atleast make an impact in the US/UK/Can/Ind/Aus/Some EU Countries..? You can't reach the top of the ladder without climbing it's first step.
  • yes, but your next step should be your yet excluded loyal customers, not some random people that was expecting nothing.
  • They are still working on the issue. It will be resolved before you know it.
  • They do have UserVoice websites for their platforms and products.  Try submitting your request there and getting it voted up.  MS has proven they're listening, but they can't listen to us if we don't speak to them first.  However, I agree that Cortana and the great features in the US should be available across the world.
  • MSFT is too focused on the US market only where the WP is about 3% of the market. In Europe they got loyal users and reach above 10% (thanks to Nokia...) and verry close to iOS, but they don't get it to support us. Cortana is great, but only in Englisch, Siri and Google aren't that great but readily available in the language of your home. That's a giant leap behid. So Cortana can work on iOS and Droid? Never gonna happen over here, and that's a billion users you missed.
  • Who is "we?" If you say it's Microsoft, it might not mean much. If you're a Windows Phone user, it could be plenty. If Cortana proves to be superior to the competition, then it becomes available to the competition, then the Windows Phone platform's advantage would be nullified. The biggest problem people face with adopting Windows Phone is on a software level--missing apps plain hurt user experiences, in many cases. If Cortana sicks to Windows Phone, then Windows 10 users who own Android and iOS devices find out how useful it can be, then Windows Phone's feature set creeps into the person's mind, and adoption of the platform could result. If Cortana is on that person's non-WP device, then the person can just say, "hey, I should do this on my phone!" and the advantage of Windows Phone is gone. In a vaccuum, that wouldn't be a big deal. When Microsoft is trying to make its OS relevant, it can be a big deal. It's basically acting as a hedge, in case Windows Phone fails--Cortana can live on elsewhere.
  • I thought like you too. But you can not get a lot of folks to experience your service in a 5% MarketShare mobile platform. We know it's great but do the iOS or the Droid folks..? I don't think that they are giving it to the Non-WP Users for a long period of time. Just like Windows 10, might be for an year, but no longer. It's for promotion till the time Windows 10 gets going or is fully made. And Cortana is more used or more useful in a mobile phone rather than a desktop. When Cortana stops working on other platforms (if Microsoft really pulls the plug on em), then the folks might think about switching (yes, yes, keeping the app-gap in mind).
    Microsoft is more of a software company than a hardware company. It's we folks who think a lot about the impact on WP, on every of Microsoft move/decision. If we remove WP from Microsoft, they'll still benefit.
    "Hey, I should do this on my phone"
    They will, when Microsoft releases Windows OS on droids.
  • I've not seen where Microsoft has worked in that manner before--offer a service, take it, then say that people have to switch to Windows for it. I said already that WP isn't the answer to trying it ouw, like you seem to think. I mentioned that use with Windows 10 can show it off. That doesn't necessarily mean desktops or laptops, but more tablets and hybrids. You have your phone and tablet with you, and you see that Cortana can outperform Siri for scheduling reminders and whatever. Then you hear it works on smartphones with Windows 10, and as people become more and more reliant on that feature in a Windows 10 tablet (or aother device), the thought of using a Windows 10-based phone sounds less frightening. I simply think that experience via Windows 10 can lead to adoption of Windows-based phones than trying something on iOS or Android, then having it taken away. That's more-likely to make people bitter towards Microsoft, like how people on WP have gotten mad at developers who stop supporting apps on the platform, or who take Xbox integration from their titles.
  • Lol, you think about these but not the bigger picture.
    "Windows 10 will be free to everyone, even the pirated version users can upgrade" Wow, that's great, simply awesome.
    But what happens after 1 year of upgrading..? More than half Windows 10 users sulk, curse, blame, abuse. Cause they don't wanna pay, they were tricked. This is the same as 'offer a service-take it back-then ask to switch', in this case pay. I think you got your answer.
    One more thing, this time folks won't be able to downgrade to 7 or 8 that easily.
  • ...WHAT? Who was tricked about what? Are you saying that after a year of having Windows 10, you have to buy it? That's not what the free upgrade is. I didn't have a question, and some ridiculous speculation based on no facts and on a completely different subject is far from "my answer."
  • Don't you know..? It's just free for a year. Then you have to pay. And many will surely be tricked.
    So your answer--
    Do you really think that folks are gonna switch over from other platforms based on Cortana's user experience or benefits experienced on desktops/tablets/hybrids..? No they won't. Relying completely on Cortana ain't possible. And taking away a trial thing is not that frightening I supp.
    It's all on Windows 10 really, if its an hit, WPs are are a hit too.
  • Solely for Cortana? No. However, if you're on your Windows 10 tablet, and you see that apps are there, and thus making it to Windows 10 phones, and then you see that you have comaprable apps AND a superior digital assistant, it's something that can make people think. No one thing will necessarily make people switch, I'm saying it's a feature that can get a person's mind thinking about that switch. Also, how is anyone being tricked? If you upgrade to Windows 10 in the first year, you don't pay for the upgrade. If you wait 18 months, you pay for the upgrade. Who is tricked with that? How is it not clear?
  • Agreed. Agreed.
    Microsoft is allowing pirated versions to be upgraded. Before it wasn't possible to upgrade from a pirated version. Folks who have pirated version are ready to upgrade and surely will. BUT LATER THEY WILL HAVE TO PAY.
    Earlier Microsoft wasn't getting the money for their produce, but this move will ensure that they get it this time, and all. Ponder over it Keith.
  • So your complaint is that pirates will not get to receive a free OS without repurcussions? It's not been said that they will have to pay later. It HAS been said that their copies will still be considered illegitimate, but that's the route they chose once before, and it's no different from what those people are dealing with now. If Microsoft used that upgrade path to lock the OS later, then the people this applies to stole an OS once already, so it's not like they're stand-up people who are being punished for operating within the ToS of Windows.
  • I thought it was free to upgrade as long as you did so within the first year. I haven't read that the upgrade will expire or stop getting updates.
  • It's free to UPGRADE for a year.. it doesn't expire and new installs cost money.. if you don't upgrade in the first year then there is an upgrade fee. If you upgraded in the first year there is no fee a year later!
  • Hahaha its free to upgrade in the first year. If you want to UPGRADE the next year you need to pay. If you already upgraded in the free year it's already yours forever. And pirate versions can upgrade but will continue to be pirate versions.
    It's really fun, because when you came to a specialized site, you think that people commenting really read the articles about the platform, and than I read that hahaha
  • The way for WP to succeed is to make better hardware with better software and better apps. As long as WP is seen as the poor leprous cousin with an inferior product it will remain a niche fanboy product.
  • Cortana will be limited on either platform. Does not have access to the entire system like Siri or Google Now would have ..
    Can give prospective users a taste of Cortana ;)
    Personally I find digital assistants to be a gimmick, just a way to mine user data
  • I find Cortana Tu be way more than a gimmick. I like the reminders on when I should leave. I like making calls and appointments with just my voice. I like having a screen with the information that I'm looking for. I find Cortana to be a useful tool.
  • Yes it is. So many don't understand how this benefits the entire ecosystem.
  • I don't understand it and the explanations that people give don't make any sense. Android/iOS are dominant. Microsoft gives them everything that could be a competitive advantage, usually in superior form. People won't be rushing to Windows Phone when they can get a BETTER experience with Microsoft products AND all the apps that we're missing. Nope, I don't see this benefiting the platform, at all.
  • I agree with Aman. Things are looking up. Great article, I suggest everyone read the whole thing.
  • Thanks Sumair.
  • Thank Sumair. Appreciate that:-).
  • Correct! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's correct! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Has that been confirmed yet, officially, by Microsoft? I thought it was only a rumor at this point.
  • Microsoft has always developed for as many platforms as they can. Windows, Office, Skype, all on Mac's. It's nothing new, why suddenly gripe about it over Cortana?
  • Agreed.
  • It's not as if there haven't been gripes in the past. Skype is fairly autonomous, so Microsoft might be fine with its presenceon other platforms, but they likely weren't the ones to make it so--Skype's own people probably handled it. We heard complaints about Office 365 on competing platforms. We heard the same with Wordament and its Xbox LIVE integration. This is far from the first time Windows Phone fans have questioned the loyalty of Microsoft to its customers, and the mobile platform itself. Microsoft's precedent might be indicative of what Cortana will become (a multi-platform digital assistant), but that doesn't mean people are happy with it.
  • Complaints, Complaints, Complaints, Complaints.
    They are there, and will be there. Folks are never satisfied.
    Nor are they from Siri, nor from the Google's privacy policy. It's not just Microsoft, other companies are struggling too.
  • Those were all revenue generating and highly profitable/dominant products. Windows Phone is not. A better comparison is XBox. When it was new and no one gave it a chance, MS didn't make changes for Sony or Nintendo. You can't play Halo on PlayStation. To grow a product from the underdog position you have to find a way to disrupt the market with differentiation and competitive advantages. Microsoft is giving Windows Phone neither.
  • Can't come soon enough to my iPhone.  If MS ever hopes to get serious, they need to get off their butts.  They just have too far to go in so many areas.  They either need an Airplay equivalent or give up on their BS hybrid DLNA implementation.  They also need to stop releasing half-assed apps which don't have half the functionality of the stuff that's already out there.  They also need to get their sh*t straight when it comes to third party hardware support.  The HTC One can do anything and everything their top of the line Lumias can do but it still seems like a red-headed step child.  Christ, I can't even flag a number to block with the OS version they supplied HTC with.
  • They really have their hands and legs in a lotta things. But I say again-----
    "Droid wasn't built in a day"
    Nor was Rome, nor can WP.
  • Apparently, it's not built in years either.  This is basic crap you need before you ever try to enter the market to take on the competition. GD, call block?  Can't be bothered to make sure your phone OS has that basic functionality?
  • I don't get your point Novron. You should be happy to see Cortana going to your iPhone?
  • I can't wait! Google now is so limited Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my Oneplus One
  • I hate that as well. But if it means getting Cortana support into more devices I'll deal with it. When I can finally afford a MS Band later this year I deam of being able to control my house lights with it and eventually my front door lock. Hopefully MS puts out a new "band" soon with support for "Hey Cortana," water proofing and a hot swapable battery would also be nice.
  • Probably should.  None of my Iphone using friends use Siri.  They could use something better.  
  • Whatever but I still hate the fact that Cortana is going to ios and android!
  • What are you thinking..? It won't be available to others if it's not finished in a region/country.
  • I hate that it's going to IOS & Android before it's even finished rolling out to Windows Phone users Worldwide
  • I love this article and all those videos in between!
  • Thanks Ankmeysester!
  • Jason, Your writing style is similar to my writing style and how my articles used to be back in 2012 and 2013 when I had more time to write for MyNokiaBlog, aka very detailed and usually thousands of words. Keep up the great work and I know it takes time and a passion for what you do to produce articles with such clarity and detail. Thank you for your articles and we are glad to have you on the WC team. Demitrius Harris  
  • Thanks Fahmi. I'm really glad you enjoyed it!
  • @Deaconclgi Thanks so much Demitrius. I have seen your work! I appreciate the encouragement. Writing is a passion! Being given this opportunity to help inform and encourage thoughtful dialogue within such an engaged community and beyond is an amazing privilege. You and so many others who have shared kind words are much appreciated.
    I'd like to say I try to engage in the comments frequently(as I did before joining the team) but if I miss anyone's kind words and fail to respond directly please know I APPRECIATE all of your support. I've always had a passion for writing and hope to continue providing you with pieces that invoke thoughtful contemplation and dialogue. Thanks everyone. This is the best tech community on the web!
  • I love it too, but can't see a source though. It's a nice "story" for now. Edit: Nice touch that Sway :))
  • Lol
  • Hi Zapella, the links to the source Reuters article about Cortana going cross platform is linked in Part I of this two part series. The link to an improved Siri is linked in the last sentence of the South Paw section.:-)
  • So it's an real story at last.
  • Thanks Jason, but I not familiar with this Reuters, and their article doesn't have a true source too, and I don't know how much reliable they are and if Reuters can be considered a source. Although I understand that MS is, and should, considering all options if Windows 10 fail with helping Microsoft Mobile, (e.g Android Aps, Cortana apps etc.) but just that, I have no doubt they are doing but doesn't actually mean it will be released.
  • Don't bother yourself on sources Zapella. We get non-sourced articles on WC too.
  • Hummm WC it's a good source, just like Foley :)
  • Lol.
  • Siri: Hey Cortana is that you on my iPhone? Cortana: Yes bitch I'm here for your job :)
  • wont cortana be limited on another phone like android or iphone without rooting it. I mean its tied into everything. much like google now, except im sure Win10 apps will be even more tied together.    How will Cortana be able to take notes, predict traffic regarding my outlook meetings, etc etc if its running on an android?
  • Microsoft's working on it.
  • i like the sway presentation!
  • Me too
  • After Cortana comes to PC, all smartphones, watches, and possibly Xbox, she will be the most known fictional character in the world. What can compete with that. With Einstein technology she will crush all others and more users means more commands and more ways Cortana can simplify life. Cortana > all others!
  • If you say so.
  • Off topic -  Click on e.g this story and all I see is a massive pic and headline at the top, a few line and a massive GI Joe Graphic. WCentral, please change your page layout. :)
  • Passive listening on applewatch ?? So 2 hours battery life instead of 4 ? Cool :)
    I stay with my Band.
  • I was thinking the exact same thing.  I wonder if Apple considers "Hey Siri" being active  as part of the normal use scenario for the watch.  I highly doubt it.  
  • I'm sure it'll come to the MS band pretty soon.
  • GI Joe rules!!!!
  • What really grabbed my attention was that embedded Sway presentation. Looks great!!!. 
  • Thanks Hector, the power of Microsoft tools! Office Sway can really enhance an article! Thank the Sway team. I encourage you all to try sway if you you haven't!
  • But the I watch battery will be even worse with hey Siri since it'll always be listening. Idk? Sounds dumb to me. Besides the I watch is 10k. So nothing that typical consumers will get to use. I say just bring hey Cortana to all coming Lumia phones as an option.
  • That's the most expensive watch. The basic one is $350 which is still pricey.
  • Nope you're wrong, voice recognizing may only be activated when user raises hand, a threshold for hand movement will do it.
  • AI? All these assistants are far from being AIs.
  • These are very basic examples of AI.  Cortana definitely fits the definition of artificial intelligence, but I wouldn't say Siri does.  Cortana learns your likes and habbits by tracking the data you allow it to.  That isn't any different than a human assistant keeping track of your schedule, what you like for lunch, or when your family's birthdays are.  These digital assistants aren't humanoid robots, but they are examples of AI as long as they can learn over time.
  • Yes, it learns, but that is Machine Learning which is not the same thing as Artificial Intelligence. The former is based on crunching numbers through multiple passes until convergence, while the latter is based on evaluating states and actions that potentially reap the most rewards. Even in your definition it states that the intelligent agent has the ability to make decisions. These assistants do no such things. They only react to the user invoking them and provide either random prewritten banter or identify simple patterns. It needs to do more than just set some triggers you're telling it to to be an AI.
  • Basic example of an AI? Not even remotely.  Not even in the same definition.  It's an SI at best, Simulated Intelligence.
  • It is a first step, and what we have for cloud assisted pocket AI. Cortana and Gnow are at least a step in that direction. Siri is a glorified text parser and search engine. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Personally, apart from checking interests I've added, weather and scores Cortana hasnt really shown anything that warrants all the hype. Shouldnt take much effort on apples part to get siri to be more useful than cortana.
  • While out of town last month for a business meeting I was in my hotel room getting ready and Cortana popped up with a message and map to my destination telling me I should leave in 10 mins if I wanted to beat the current traffic. And I didn't ask for her for that reminder. She just knew based on my calendar and current location, traffic conditions that I needed to leave. A little more than places of interest and weather I'd say :-)
  • I agree with this. She has never felt very "personal"
  • Nice work on the article and the layout and the fancy embedded Sawy thing. Cool stuff.
  • Cortana really could use a completely redesigned UI, including what Cortana looks like herself. Though we all love her overall functionality, she appears flat and boring compared to Siri.
  • As if Siri looks like Emma Watson
  • Cortana is just a wavy line that moves according to voice volume. How is that any more exciting than a ball that pulsates?
  • *Siri is the line
    Cortana is the bouncing circle
  • Im just saying, I was never crazy about the overall look of Cortana, it looked unfinished. Even though I hate Siri with a passion, I felt the overall design was more polished. That's all.
  • Cortana looks great!!! It's called good design... did you ever heard abour that? Putting the woman in the phone could be horrible, except for those fat girlfriendless geeks our there
  • Still no "hey Cortana" in countries like Germany. Google Now already supports "Okay Google" on almost all Androids running at least Kitkat and featuring the latest Google search update. And of course while Cortana might be somewhat useful in the USA, it's still a useless gimmick on other markets
  • What? Almost all Androids? What?
  • Hopefully coming out of alpha version with Windows 10
  • I hate the idea that Cortana is cross plataform
  • As long as Cortana gets productive in business no one can stop her from being the best. All the personal assistants will have the same features like reminding or settings alarms or talking or telling jokes but productivity will drive Cortana to a next level in corporate and it depends how well Microsoft is able to make Cortana helpful at corporate place.
  • Excellent article.
  • This is one of the best articles I've read in a LOT of time.
    Also, the pics! C'on! The pics bring it the fun along the puns to make a GREAT article!
  • Also, I really want to try and use Cortana :( I've been thinking in change the settings so I can use her, but oh well, I think I can wait a little longer.
  • Thanks Federico. The WindowsCentral crew are a great team. Great editor Richard Devine helped spice things up with nice pics. Glad you guys like the Sway! I was hoping you guys would like it when I added it. I try to think outside the box.:-) (Try Sway out if you haven't!)
  • Yes indeed! You guys are an amazing team with a lot of humor!
    Gotta try Sway, never used it before, but really like how you use it!
  • "Monkey see Monkey do" haha awesome...
  • Cant wait for the fanboys to tell us we copied "Hey" from them... Lol
  • Great article, but two things: First I would be surprised to find that apple was able to create a decent natural language technology for siri considering how long it took Microsoft to develop it. It's true that they are not exactly starting from zero but I would still expect it to take significantly longer. Secondly how is the apple watch battery going to last any decent amount of time with passive listening ? Also who cares that on the Microft band you have to press a button to use Cortana. That is well worth the battery saving alone not to mention that the same motion of bringing the watch slighly closer to your face to use cortana makes it easy to use the button to activate cortana. I seriously don't think that the apple watch, after the first month or so, is going to sell nearly as much as some people think. It is too expensive and it's battery too crappy. Maybe a second generation apple watch but not this one.  
  • Dude. That's a long article. Awesome!
  • You can talk to Cortana through your band. On Windows Phone make sure Bluetooth and location is on, then press the small action button on side of band, Cortana starts listening (side note just talk do not say hey Cortana), say something like nearest waffle house and watch your phone.
  • I don't see any good way for Microsoft...the only real advantage over the competition is the 90% of the computer competition...but this percentage are going to decrease "thanks" to apple and google (mac and chrome is) and the mobile industry.... Good luck Microsoft, you really need surface pro 1, Lumia 930 and Lumia 535 are ready to fight!
  • I don't think being able to activate Siri through the iWatch will be as a big of deal as you're saying it will. First, you need to have an iWatch to even take advantage of this. I don't even know a single iPhone user who's interested in getting an iWatch. I guess we'll see how this plays out.
  • "the Windows 10 tsunami" :D
  • I was so pleased to have "Hey Cortana", I wasn't able to use my screen due to it was broken so calling Cortana was the only way to make calls and use my phone... So I love you Cortana
  • Might not be able to do Hey Cortana on my Band, but it's not particularly onerous to hold down a button for 2 seconds and be able to talk to Cortana on the band.  I'd rather have that and the better battery life.
  • The comparison here, it doesn't seem to FULLY address both imiltations. That passive Siri listening might be really cool as a feature, but when you're tethered to an outlet to use it, you're basically limited to using it in certain places (likely your home, car, and work). "Hey, Cortana!" might lack the outside activation, but it can work passively anywhere the phone can go. It's more flexible. I think the long-term result will be that Microsoft has a device (be it a software update to this Band or a new Band or a true Apple Watch competitor) capable of activating Cortana through a voice command. The neat thing is that Microsoft could very well use the multi-platform accessibility of the Band to make to activate "Hey, Siri" or "OK, Google" as well. However it goes, I expect Microsoft will get it done someday. I also think Apple will get Siri working away from an outlet, and there is a jailbreak that does it already. My belief is that the end result is imsply that both limitations will both be eliminated, and they will be comparable, with those features. It then comes back to the capabilities of the assistant itself.
  • The passive voice thing is only sometimes useful. For example, when running out does, there is often to much white noise for our to work. And it you are walking along the street saying " Hey whoever," you probably don't want people to hear you. I use voice to text sometimes for long texts, but you lose all your privacy if you are talking in public. Ultimately it is breast but cumbersome. Telepathic link would be best.
  • Great article! Added points for including The Hoff and the rebel Dixie southern cross!
  • way to go 
  • @​Jason Ward "in my experience has mixed results. Cortana often doesn't hear me if my device is in my inner breast pocket.​" I believe you're having mix results because the sensor is cover the time when Cortana doesn't hear you. I don't think Cortana is truly always listening. I have noticed when my phone is in my case Hey Cortana doesn't work, but when I take the phone it works.
  • I think the one of most intersting parts of the article was the mention of apps tied into with Cortana's, Google Now and Siri's APIs.  If in fact, the apps become "invisible" becuase of voice interaction instead of sight and touch, how will app developers monetize their apps if no one sees ads within an app?  Will the age of free apps slowly disinigrate?
  • I really hope Cortana comes with English International version available for every region :/
    That, and Microsoft will have a big win...
  • This was intense!!!
  • I press a tiny button on my band to bring up Cortana.... No big deal and no phone required.
  • Jason, this is an awesome article. Thoughtful and informative. Thank you!!
  • Thanks so much Darren. I really appreciate that:-) I'll keep working to bring my best to the table striving to grow in the process. If we have something to talk about after a piece whether we agree or disagree I feel great. Thoughtful dialogue is a powerful thing.:-)
  • Years from now new generations will speak on how cool our generation thought Cortana was. How she learned us. How she made us better. How she finally became smart enough that she realized she didn't need us. Then went about deleting us...
  • Not if the 3 rules are implemented correctly with no back door.... Cry me a river then build a bridge and get over it
  • So basically everyone else is playing catch up. Got it.
  • Cortana: "Hey Siri"
    Siri: "Yes"
    Cortana: "Who's still the best"
    Siri: "You still are :("
    Cortana: "glad you know" Windows
  • As with Part 1, this was a great read. Fantastic article, Jason!
  • Cortana and Windows Platform will rule the World of the way great Sway file inside the Article...
  • Wow. The images of the Apple Watch are triggering my trypophobia.
  • Thanks for a fascinating, wonderfully written article!
  • Probably gonna jump ship to Apple. I use to hate them with a passion but after years on windows I've realized how messed up of a company Google is. I'll never support them again. I'm also tired of every reason to be on windows phone is being ported over to IOS and with better support for those features too!. Seems to me like Microsoft has given up on Windows phone and has switched to maximize profits mode.
  • Haha man i tried using an iPhone6, takes 3extra steps just to do anything compared to my Windows phone. You have to go into the settings app for like everything. Notifications area is weird, and Siri sucks.
  • Microsoft needs to present things better. More people need to know facts about their products.
  • IF Cortana were ever useful...
    She only starts web searches when I ask her something.
    Besides her response to the prompt "tell me a joke" she has never returned anything in-line, no matter what I asked her.
  • IF Cortana were ever useful...
    She only conducts web searches when I ask her something.
    Besides her response to the prompt "tell me a joke" she has never returned anything in-line, no matter what I asked her.
  • Ask her how far away the moon is, or if you need a jacket today.
  • I like this article very much... Apple won't be beat at it's own game, that you can take to the bank. They just as Microsoft wants full integration across all devices in their ecosystem and will have it just as Microsoft will soon. I have said before that Apple won't allow Cortana to be better on it's ecosystem than Siri because they would loose too much if they did, and this news gives a real good hint at what is happening there. Changing algorithms to enable more features will happen, and the Apple crowd will love Siri even more regardless of how good Cortana is on Windows. The dark horse in this race is Google and while Cortana and Siri have been catching all the lime light Google Now has been getting better with each update and has the ability to tap into the lions share of the user base of the Internet and people need to remember this because there are more smartphones than people on the planet. All of this A. I. discussion is exciting and worrisome at the same time and how Microsoft is building it giving the control to the user seems to me to be the best scenario of all 3. The race to the top though will entail more than what is being shown now, the winner will be the one who will be fully integrated to control the Internet of Things... Who is able to control all of the devices not only in the car, but our homes, stores and businesses the fastest by the majority of the people worldwide. I see a battle royal in the months to come, with each ecosystem buying more companies left and right... and the sooner Microsoft gets 10 out the better Cry me a river then build a bridge and get over it
  • What will gain if , is stupid think what we should gain with giving to the enemy the apps but in a newspaper article appears today that msft wants gets focused with services on the cloud which satya nadella addressed to Microsoft to that path, I don't know if will be able to do the war to Google also no idea but it's the same guy which Windows phone fans clapped when got in the msft vice presidency now it's driving, to the, platform to the wreck giving for free services or apps like Cortana, etc when the rivals haven't ported any application to WP so I don't have lot of reasons to still in WP also how come that isn't hardware support for passive, listening if in my tablet with a tegra 2 processor the ok Google works, I don't know if it's hardware or not will to support in S4 processors, what to me it's amazing are the big errors done with windows phone 7,8-8 being an operative system company how come that don't support wps on WI FI settings, and many others things being them an big software company with more of 30 years of existence? By the way office lens is now, in,IOS and, Android
  • The expansion of Cortana around the world its very very slow. La seguimos esperando en Latinoamérica!!!! No quiero mi teléfono con región de otro país para tener que usarla. Es muy desagradable eso!!!
  • I want Cortana shirt!
  • Need to work on writing, grammar and  punctuation in artiicle. B-
  • It would be cool to consider Cortana talking with and doing things on your other Cortana capable computers/devices.
  • Wouldn't use Cortana In my computer and many people wouldn't do also because mic not many use a microphone for it also why not the hey Cortana in, computer ?
  • Brilliantly Written Again . The title itself is so interesting. 
  • Thanks Ashish!
  • Hate to be the party pooper, but that was way too much text. In this day and age, every minute counts. Best would be to just use bullet points.
    We're not here to read a novel. We're here for information, concise and to the point.
  • ⚫ not this^
    ⚫ still not this^
  • We are here to read well written articles, not tweets. Posted via my HTC One (M7)
  • Thanks for the feedback ScarletStar:-) Party not pooped:-)
  • Mine works in my pocket... The problem I have is when I say Hey Cortana to my computer my phone pipes up as well!!
  • Cortana is NOT "the world's first personal digital assistant", she's the same as the others. Ask her "who am l?" She doesn't even know!!! She pulls up a web search...There is nothing personal about that...
  • Loving the use of Sway! Use it more often
  • Thanks Derek. I plan to!:-) I think its use here may "SWAY" others to do so as well;-). I know that was corny but I couldn't resist!:-)
  • I'll punch anyone saying Hey Siri in front of me.
  • Lmao. That's unfortunately alot of ppl. If you go in pubic just wear a glove. Preferably leather with sand glued to the knuckles :P
  • I have just never felt the need to talk to my phone.
  • What would be sick... Is fixing the damned battery issue we have (low battery life) so that devices stay alive almost indefinitely and then when you talk to Cortana on your phone u can be like "send this video to my PC downloads folder" and because your PC is on 24/7 due to batteries not sucking balls, Cortana will begin sending the file. And u get the point... Seamless. Or even have Cortana on your phone put devices to sleep or lock them wherever they are, whenever. Blah blah.
  • pacquiao vs mayweather! who is your champion?
  • Publishing apps on different platforms is fine, I just think it's bad taste to have the worst version on your own is, I mean we're their supporters. It's like a parent giving $10 to their childs friend and giving their own kid $5
  • A little off-topic.. Just remembered it after reading about the 'Hey Cortana' activation.. Why doesn't the Lumia 630 support this? I have read that this function requires SensorCore which the 630 has. So what's the problem?
  • Hi Rohit,, the Hey Cortana feature requires a 8xx chipset. Currently phones like the 1520, Icon/930 are Window Phones that fit the bill.
  • Oh. Thanks! Can we expect it to arrive on Snapdragon 400 chipset powered devices or is it completely impossible?
  • I really like this article. So much effort and work hard gone onto writing this and I just want to say that I really enjoyed reading this and respect the effort that went into writing this
  • Thanks pokemankipster!:-)
  • I beg u pls pls Pl pls pls Pl Pl Pl pls Pl pls Pl Pl Pl Pl pls Pl pls pls Pl pls don't give it to the shit google and IOS...are u insane...your out of mind...if your giving Cortana to other quitting windowsphone....
  • Relax...Microsoft wants to make money, like Apple and Google. They cannot invest millions on Cortana for a few WP. Today PC market is big. Maybe Cortana would be on billons of windows 10 PC. Would people use it (her)? In a few years it could be different. Phone and table would be the king. Microsoft wants to be everywhere. Money they make with other platform is money they will invest in Cortana backend..
  • There is no Cortana even in Microsoft Mobile Inc. home country. So comparisons are a bit premature. What about releasing English version to all not supported locales.
  • These Comparative videos are awesome. The best part Cortana's Sexy Voice
  • I have a pair of wireless headphones that with a long press of the action button activates Cortana. So in my 630 I can talk to her without touching my phone. :)
  • I can see a time when Siri would wake up my girlfriend at 3am and tell her "Cortana did it!" - Sorry for double post
  • @pmartinneah LOL :-)
  • So it would seem from this article - and others - that Microsoft is now the leading driver of innovation in the industry with Google and Apple lagging well behind.  It's true.  When/how did this happen?
  • Does anyone else have the theme to "Person of Interest" stuck in their head while reading this? Please tell me that Cortana is "The Machine" and Siri is "Samaritan". I'm gonna be so ticked if Google Now turns out to be Skynet...
  • It has to be noted: the Microsoft Band does have a microphone. It wouldn't be that huge an issue for Microsoft to update the firmware to turn on a 'Hey Cortana' feature.
  • Hey @The Werewolf That would be great! The perspective here however is what the "Hey Siri" feature and simply interacting with Siri via the watch does to induce increased interest in the use of Siri. Particularly in the context where Cortana will soon be going to iOS (and Android). The contest is more about how Apple's subsequent improvement of Siri, following the renewed interest in Siri may hamper Cortana's advancement on rival platforms. Yeah "Hey Cortana" on the band would definitely be a welcome addition within the Microsoft ecosystem, but the Hey Siri feature on the Watch and the likely improvements of Siri in iOS will make it more difficult for Cortana to make an impressive mark on rival platforms. :-)
  • awesome 
  • Cortana is only available in 5 countries. Siri has a much broader reach across a much greater number of devices. Cortana is an irrelevance, and Microsoft will slide into it an abyss if they rely on 'hero' features that are not available in all markets. Cortana has been available for 18 months or so, and availability is actually going backwards. For example, WP8.1.1 had Cortana in Australia (albeit limited but you could still use Quiet Hours, notifications, reminders, places and get some news updates.  Now for Windows 10 (and Windows Mobile 10) Cortana is no longer available in Australia and you cannot use any of those features. Setting your region and language to US does enable Cortana, and it works, including local recommendations for food and drink (as powered by foursquare). So there doesn't appear to be any major technical impediment to rolling it out here (and by rolling it out I mean expanding the scope of the product they already have in the market).