Meet the collection of Cortana personae in Windows Phone 8.1

Consumers thoroughly enjoy using Cortana and what she can bring to the Windows Phone experience and while many are impressed by the whole setup and how Cortana looks on-screen, there may be many hidden animations you may not be aware of. We know Cortana had an Easter egg in the form of Clippy (the famous Word assistant), but Leon Zandman decided to investigate further into how this was triggered and stumbled onto numerous Cortana personae.

Looking at how Windows Phone 8.1 interacted with Bing and Microsoft's cloud services to pull down information to produce to users, Zandman soon discovered that the animation for the Clippy Easter egg had to reside on the phone. Hunting through SDKs, Zandman located Cortana's image resources, which were stored in a handful of DLL files in a system directory on the Windows Phone's main partition. Checking through the resources, he was not only able to find an image for a retired Clippy, but also other personae.

Cortana Personas

The above image shows but a few of the images available for Cortana to display. It'll be interesting to see what Microsoft intends to do in the future with Cortana and animated responses. For now, be sure to read through Zandman's blog post for all the details. It's well worth checking out.

Source: Leon Zandman; thanks to everyone who tipped us!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

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  • The clippy thing didn't work for me.
  • Ask two times about clippy and it will show up ;)
  • Cortana really is a feature I thought was going to be a gimmick and I am beginning to really enjoy it. The reminders. I had literally forgot what I needed to go to WalMart to buy but thankfully I reminded myself. With cortana two days prior and when j arrived at WalMart she reminded me :)
    I wished she talked more though. Instead of alerting me with a sound I got the clippy thing working :P
  • Yes me to.. Cortana definitely needs to talk more.
  • It will definetely
  • When is she supposed to greet you by your name.? Mine has yet to say my name aloud.
  • Did you offer her a cookie?
  • Say "Thank you Cortana" couple of times and she will eventually say your name.
  • I just did this literally 20 times in a row, and all I got were a bunch of "it's a pleasure" and "it's an honor". (well, and the occasional "you got it, chief.")
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  • Said "Thank you Cortana" another 20 times just for the pure hell of it and still nothing. I have yet to see any actual evidence that Cortana will speak the name you give.
  • 'The above image shows but a few...' Dutchman?
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  • I would love her to recognize the flight data I have in my inbox and see that nice plane personae
  • All those animations are just for the weather. It's not really anything new here. Just ask Cortana what is the weather like and you will see must of the icons above are just some form of weather icon.
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  • Exactly, showing weather is hardly a persona. Clippy is the only image that represents another persona.
  • Likewise with the different variations of Cortana's circle. I've seen nearly all of them.
  • *yawn* Waiting for the music update!
  • +720 in waiting for IE update too its has many bugs. That is possible only when they will update the operating system.
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  • ~~~such mystery~~~
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  • That's right! She should know who her daddy is and that's FATHER!
  • Actually, Cortana tipped me to another article about this early today.
  • Nietzsche.
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