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Cortana can now tell you about new movies, plus you can 'Pick the Winners'

If you are using Cortana on your Windows Phone or Windows 10 preview device, you may want to dive into Settings > Interests to check off some new categories. It looks like the Cortana team has finally delivered on some new items for Cortana to follow, and we are excited to see how they work.

Sometime in the last few days 'Showtimes + Trailers' (found under Movies) and 'Pick the Winners' (found under Entertainment) were added to Cortana's information repository. Users can then enable the categories and the personal assistant will keep you up to date when there are changes.

Pick the Winners

So what is 'Pick the Winners'? Unfortunately, we do not have a real-world example yet to test, but under the category description Microsoft notes the following:

"Predict who you think will take home the top prizes"

Cortana then has an enable/disable toggle for the 'Winner Picker'. If we had to guess, this all ties into the Bing prediction engine and trying to see how well you do, possibly like a mini-game of sorts. We will have to just wait for the next event to see how Microsoft makes use of this interest.

Showtimes + Trailers

'Showtimes + Trailers' is a little more straightforward. Here, Cortana will evidently display showtimes and trailers for new movies, with options to enable or disable either category. Being movie fans ourselves, having the latest films show up in our Cortana feed should be super helpful. Regrettably, at the time of writing this interest has not refreshed, so we cannot see yet how it all works.

Jump into your Cortana settings (Main screen, menu button in the upper right corner) to get started on adding these new interests to your feed. Let us know what you think! We should note that these interests are likely only in the US at this time, seeing as Cortana is still in Beta.

Thanks, Micah S., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • I'm in love :(
  • Cortanas my bae
  • I'm glad to see Microsoft is really making Cortana more and more personal and engaging. I really think she can be Windows hero feature. Especially as she integrates deeper into Microsoft's products and services'- i.e. Browser, Office Tools, Operating Systems, MSBand etc.
    Windows Phone: The Halo Effect – Halo Destiny: Cortana, Her Story Continues With You
  • Y cuando va a estar disponible en México???
  • Para este año ya debería de estar disponible.
  • Exactamente lo que queremos saber desde hace mucho tiempo... Pls Microsoft and @LumiaMexico let us help you improve Cortana from the almost permanent alpha / beta state XD
  • En realidad todo latinoamerica
  • La verdad creo que ya se tardaron bastante en dar mas soporte a otros países. Ojala nos tomen mas en cuenta a los latinos!
  • Just an English comment passing through
  • Siri can speak Brazilian Portuguese now. Is your turn Cortana
  • You're right!!
  • Yeah she can. But its awful. Really. I prefer to wait some time longer rather than to have this horrible type of Cortana.
  • It either hasn't rolled out to the UK yet or it's US only because I can't see it at the moment
  • Pick the winner is on my L925 in the UK.
    There's also a cricket world cup section which I didn't know about.
    The movies and trailers section hasn't turned up yet though.
  • I can also confirm that "pick the winners" has appeared on my 1020 UK too. Movies I suspect is US at the moment though.
  • Same here
  • Cortana is the best! Can't wait to get back to Windows Phone, but I have to wait till April when my contract is up.
  • What are you using right now?
  • Moto G.
  • Where the hell is my W10?
  • On your computer?
  • Not in Canada. Currently the only options for Canada are "news" and "weather" and the news doesn't even work correctly. It's okay though, because Canada hasn't had a flagship since the 1020.
  • Can you buy a phone at some US retail and use on Canada?
  • Yeah. Not impressed with Cortana due to its limited coverage with other countries. Personally, Siri and google now are better at least they're widely available.
  • Right now Cortana in Canada is in Alpha, lots of missing feature compare to Beta. Change the setting to US and you got all the interest up to date.
  • Yeah, I haven't been very impressed with Cortana's extremely limited rollout.  Microsoft doesn't seem at all interested in improving this state either.  They'll occasionally pop in a few new features for the US region, but that's it.
  • This is exactly my complaint.  I understand when it "takes time", but Microsoft seems the be the only company that can't reach feature parity with other countries.  Apple and android devices have tons of features in Canada here that are available in the US.
  • George Clooney voice: US only, what else?
  • What are you talking about?
  • Fine... But Cortana needs to be able to set a timer. I come from Siri and its the one thing I used Siri for all the time. Love windows phone but the basics need to be covered to win over the masses.
  • Does this feature actually show you a countdown timer on iOS and is that the feature you need? If you don't need the countdown timer than just ask to set an alarm for x minutes and this will give you the same result. Mind you to make it easier for people coming from other platforms Microsoft should look at adding this feature.
  • Yes Siri shows a timer. I know about the alarm but it really is an awkward workaround... Lots of people complaining about this and it's becoming harder to defend its absence.
  • Have you guys tried using ?
    That's where all your requests belong...
  • Funny that you can't make a comment to help a guy out and then Bluesky2112 clearly explains he has looked at other avenues to voice his view... And the question was let us know what you think about Cortana in the comments. So BlueSky2112 was well within topic. So how about you just chill out and move along instead of a making a stupid smart ass comment like that.
  • Hey Daniel, I love the new changes on this site BTW.
  • Thanks! We're always looking to make it better. Still have some tweaking left, so hopefully it'll get even better.
  • I've also gotten another category: "games for me". How long has it been there?
  • All these Cortana features are US only, Microsoft please give Cortana Alpha in Australia some love. It has not been updated since the beginning.
  • Same in Canada. Been trying to use Cortana more but there's not really much point as it is...
  • I posted similar gripes in the previous post. Exactly my same thought. This Cortana thing is overrated I reckon unless they release it globally.
  • And this is why Cortana (highly overrated IMO), and other Microsoft services will always be second rate compared to apple and googles offerings. 2015 and still with the US-centric focus, with a vague "coming soon" thrown to other territories. I honestly wonder why anyone outside the US uses any Microsoft service when they are all so poor.
  • If Microsoft still doing that US only terms, will be not succeed. I really don't understand why they still doing this. Oscars predictions for my Bing search from Mexico didn't showed me any prediction. Is really so hard making this little things available around the world??
  • Yeah it would be nice to see Australia get some extra love with Cortana seeing Windows phone's market share is increasing here.
  • They have added some new features in alpha in India (flip a coin) but most are still absent. Even in my notebook there is only news and weather.
  • I have a new Lumia 830 - it is impossible to add a new category to Cortana. I didn't select the full list at setup and I only see two categories. I can add an interest underneath those two categories but I'm stuck with only those two. Reset phone to default twice no change - cant add a category - hoping Win10 allows.
  • I believe your Cortana is in Alpha. Change to US setting to get Beta.
  • Did it - reset country and language to US. Cortana is ALIVE! WOW! What a difference. Thanks so much for the suggestion.
  • When will cortana speak and understand dutch?
  • With all the stuff she can do, I'd totally give her one of those huge ass tiles they have in the Win10 preview on my 1520. As it stands today. I use the search icon to pull her up.
  • I see nothing on my Att 1020
  •    The update must be slowly rolling out because it's not on my phone yet.
  • Why hasn't WindowsCentral posted about Cortana reading ALL instant answers now?  For example she FINALLY reads the time, and reads all responses now that have an instant answer from Bing.  This is pretty big as it was a highly requested feature, especially for hands-free use.
  • I have the update but how the heck I use it?
  • Very interesting that ms is putting all this effort into a product that is only usable in the us where market share is low. How about developing it for countries where WP has a decent market share?
  • I've already added to my interest but not seeing anything new. Can u please share some screenshot with the new feature in action?
  • No updates for alpha version in India ..
  • No movies, only pick the winner on my UK L925
  • Go global or go home.
  • Did no one else get Cortana asking you to predict Oscar winners? Cause that was clever
  • Cortana has been updated with visual improvements for weeks the ring is centered
  • She keeps getting better :)
  • Still NO CORTANA for central Europe so...  
  • I wait for my Love  here in Germany to , Cortana where are you ??
  • cool
  • Got Pick the Winner on my UK CV 1020, nothing else so far. Good to see Cortana's capabilities expanding.