Cortana picks up image support for Halo-themed questions

It looks like the Microsoft Cortana team is tweaking responses to some Halo-themed questions. Starting today, users began to notice that when asking Cortana about the famous first-person space adventure, she now responds with an image of the object in question in addition to her usual canned-audio response.

To initiate the results, users just have to ask Cortana 'What is Halo?' or 'Where is Master Chief'. Even asking about the Flood brings up an image of the baddie.

Although a nice touch for Halo fans, this addition of photos and images to search inquiries may signify something bigger. Right now, the images appear with only Halo questions, but presumably, this may expand to other canned response and traditional searches.

Regardless, it is a rather cool expansion of an already funny capability of Cortana. Can you find any more images? Let us know below!

Update: Many users in comments are pointing other, non-Halo examples e.g. 'Do you like me?' and 'I am sick'. Read in the comments for others!

Via: Reddit

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Only for beta users.T_T
  • Dear offence...but you guys are getting slow these days...every news about Cortana is around 3-4 weeks old...this one too...
  • Akssing, many of us, including some staff, did not have these results just a few days ago. For many users, even on the original Reddit thread, this is new. Couple of things: Just because you know something, it does not mean others do as well. So think of everyone else, please. Second, it is well established that Cortana's "new" features do not rollout all at once to everyone with Cortana. Example: some users still do not have band/concert tracking. So although you may have had this weeks ago (high-five for you) many of us either did not or did not know she had this feature. Thanks for your understanding.
  • So maybe my phone is special or something else but I have been enjoying dictionary and other features around a month before they are announced by you ....and dictionary in particular...from the beginning of Cortana....
  • Nothing special about you or your phone ;) Read my response. Microsoft themselves only announced the dictionary support on Sept 23, or 3 days after we reported on it. Once again, not all of Cortana's feature rollout at the same time, which is what we write on every article explaining to users.
  • Unfortunately I don't have any proof but this is true.....i know none of you will believe me. The dictionary feature is way much old.....i don't know what's wrong with what but its true that I cant prove.
  • You are not reading my words. I do not doubt you, but please read my words, as they explain everything.
  • Gotcha.... And seriously never wanted to offend you. Thanx bhi the way for explanation.
  • Sure thing, np.
  • Hey Dan, I think you should bump the guidelines up every so often. For people like that
  • You have to realize, Microsoft likes to first test things in very small samples to gather initial telemetry. For example, right now I have a special new layout when I go to that no one else seems to have (from what I can tell) . If Microsoft expands their test audience large enough that more vocal people notice, it might finally reach some news sites. But that doesn't mean that they were behind the times. I was just one of the exclusive initial testers. On the other hand, Microsoft may decide to just kill this new layout if the initial results don't look promising. If they rolled this out to a lot of people and then killed it off, it might generate some negative feedback. So consider yourself lucky. Microsoft has chosen your device to be one of their very initial sources of telemetry.
  • An accurate and concise explanation of why they rollout things. Thanks!
  • Oh, you're special, Akssingh... How's life on the short bus?
  • Hey, don't be a dick Pete
  • Troll? You better learn a better way to do that.
  • Sorry if it offended you but never ment to....but I think I should have thought for a while before typing this.
  • Next time you see something new from Cortana, send a tip or forum post to WPCentral so we can get the early scoop! Maybe you really are in some early-rollout group--- I'm sure WPC editors would like to know what new things are coming.
  • This is a great answer ;) Upvote for you.
  • I have tipped them some times but they never mentioned it in their articles.
  • Yep, I still don't have concert tracking, which I would like.  OTOH, here in Oahu we dont get a lot of big names.  I did see Dylan a couple of months ago though.
  • I expect you're gonna get scolded real soon bro.....3......2.............*gulp*
  • Haha see!
  • Lol.
  • Thanks @Akssingh and @Daniel_Rubino, because you both via WPC I had a good laugh and learnt something cool that I may have been able to do before but didn't notice :-), really made my day!
  • They are working, why not trying to help by sending toys to them!!
  • Lol sure they are slow, but when they deliver news you can bet that it's based on facts :)
  • Maybe its just me! but the UK version of Cortana seems shite when
    compared to the US version
  • It's class man, the American one had a more movie-like voice, but our English one sounds like a sexy assistant with no emotions or inhibitions :P
  • Yep but it does bugger all apart from go to web pages
  • Oh I can think of one improvement the UK version has over the US, for beam me up Scottie, she puts on an accent :D
  • I suppose you've tried ALL the things Cortana can do then?
  • Of course not
  • Except she cant do very much here :D I'd like a throaty male voice like siri instead. I find Cortana a bit of a whiney bitch
  • I'd recommend you don't play Halo 4
  • heck, I wouldn't mind having that for ours! It's admittedly alittle creepy-sounding when Cortana is talking to you, and in the middle of her "sexy-smooth" voice, to robotic in the middle of a statement...hope they fix that! Some of my friends in the UK use Google Now, and they have a better Now then the US. So it kinda flip flops...
  • Now this is cool!
  • I'll show you cool...
  • Seems legit :P
  • Yep❗
  • Mine just says " yours is bigger than Rodney's" lol jk
  • Really!!! Let us see.. You'd give a whole new meaning to the site "tiny pic".. Lol.
  • Can't. Keep getting an error message "image file too big" lol
  • Sure... :-):-):-)
  • Cool
  • Astonishing
  • That's cool! I'm really waiting on the music in interest though. I haven't seen it yet...
  • I've gotta say... I miss Talderon and his "insider" Cortana forum thread. If the Cortana team is indeed pushing out updates every two weeks, as was once suggested, it would be nice to have someone from the MS Cortana team push out some info to folks like WPCentral editors and readers. We're all excited to follow the development!
  • Yeah, I don't disagree there.
  • On the other hand, it is kind of fun to have users discover this stuff on their own... I wonder if there are ever things that they have implemented that didn't get discovered because no one ever did the right query--- or how long it usually takes between them flipping the switch and the first "discovery".    Back to my original idea though, since Cortana is all server-based anyway, couldn't they have CORTANA be the one to let us know when she can do new things? They could even make it funny, like "I know kung fu!" I saw on Reddit that Cortana can now display lyrics for songs, too. (Well, partial lyrics at least) Not sure if this is something that's been reported here, but it worked on my phone with "blister in the sun lyrics".
  • Actually pictures show up when you ask her what a specific animal sounds like. Noticed this last night
  • Try asking what does the cat says, it shows you a picture of a cat
  • Cool. Never saw that until now. Has it been reported that Cortana's halo will also change shapes with certain requests? For instance, asking her to do an impression often triggers this.
  • Gee that HTC is simply awesome
  • They should release cortana to all people not just some parts lf the world
  • she also gives images when you tell her your sick, she'll show a bowl of soup   Hope this helps 
  • hah, nice
  • And sometimes a bouquet too... Saying " Get well soon"...
  • Yeah, "I'm sick" gets the soup and "I feel sick" gets the flowers for me.
  • She has all of a sudden stopped understanding me. Everything I say is a Bing Search or something random. :(
  • I got an image when i asked Cortana, "Do you like me?".  kinda corny but cool too.
  • lol, that was cute
  • I want to see image support for more queries!!! Google Now does this, and it's great. I.E: "How big is the grand canyon?" Both Cortana and Google Now will quickly reply with the right answer, but Google now throws in a photo that just somehow makes it "feel" better and more personal. I dunno, but it's a little thing that really enhances the experience.
  • that's state of mind. the info provided is same.
  • Yes... It's state of mind... It's how one perceive the whole situation. Consider humans are merely brains sitting in skulls, using our bodies to try and interact with the world around us, and at the end of the day: It comes down to how one /feels/ about something. As such, something /feeling/ a certain can be so much more real than if something /actually/ is a certain way. Like when Apple made the iTunes shuffle button go from being completely random, to a more advanced sorting algorithm: So it would /feel/ more random. That's what matters at the end of the day, how people feel about it, not was it is in fact.
  • Try asking her 'Which is the best phone?' She will show the WP logo :)
  • Which is the company? ND she says Microsoft. :D
  • The first Bing result is Galaxy Note 4 tho
  • Everytime I hear "Baddie" my mind goes to a Villain driving a Black Corvette ... Damn Jeremy Clarkson lol.
    Anyway, back to the subject, that's awesome !
  • Ask what is Halo and let her show you just how modest she is :)
  • Hah tried I'm sick she replies with a Flower boke :P
  • This is awesome!
  • It kind of reminds me when Cortana and Siri had that b*tch battle on Arsenial Hall and it showed images of guns and weapons (I don't support that obviously), but still funny:
  • that was very funny.
  • Hey Cortana, Tell me about the flood. hilarious! Awesome, thanks!
  • My Cortana is seriously behind. None of this stuff or the Music interest reported last week. Am I doing it wrong? 1520 at&t, cyan and dev preview
  • Answer to can you dance is "sorry cant do that. Still in beta" that's class
  • I got "nobody puts Cortana in a corner"
  • If you ask "what is bing" she shows the bing logo
  • well... thats great... keep 'playing' with it, and let the other languages out of it... I will be waiting here for PT-BR support one day...   bullshit
  • Add Do you smell what The Rock is cooking?
  • Ask Cortana. who is siri?
  • Ask her. What is the meaning of life?
  • "Tell me about Halo" Cortana replies, "Halo is the story of a very clever AI who saves the galaxy with the help of her strong-but-silent sidekick." shows picture of Cortana
  • Cortana best ever
  • Doesn't work in the Alpha in Australia. Microsoft needs to start making the Alpha better, using the USA version was significantly more useful..
  • When asking "Who will win?" She shows the NFL logo and asks to be more specific. "Who will win 49ers or Chiefs?" She shows the 49ers logo.
  • Alright... Had enough of this Alfa version... She sounds like a snobby nitch and is nothing like the real Cortana! I'm going back to US!!!!
  • Cortana will also read the first sentence of a Wikipedia article when you ask her who someone is "Who is Duke Nukem?" Or anyone really. This is new to me but I may be late to the party on this one...
  • I'm socially challenged. I don't know what words should I put in here to express my mind. Seriously I'm not joking :(
  • I haven't received Concert Watch yet!
  • Ask her "Tell me about Halo 5?"
  • Would like to see the actual halo cortana on the screen instead of that ring.
  • I asked if she could dance. She said vibrate mode is her dancing really fast. Lol!
  • In UK Cortana is very basic. Almost two weeks now and she still can't get my travel to work and home info!
  • I thought Cortana brought up a movie poster image once when I asked her about a certain actress.
  • It should be an edge to edge banner rather than a square, left centered image.
  • I noticed this week. It's just more frequent.
  • It is not for alpha users or in India