Microsoft steps up 'Cortana versus Siri' campaign with two new ads

Microsoft's routine of comparing Windows Phone to the iPhone is continuing with two new video ads published to the web (and likely to air on US TV). The 21-second commercials called 'Remind Me' and 'Lost' highlight two features of Cortana that Siri simply cannot do, despite having a significant launch advantage of years. Both ads feature the Lumia 635, which does have an aggressive TV presence in the US with T-Mobile and AT&T.

In the first ad the ability of Cortana to notify users of driving times for an upcoming appointment is juxtaposed against Siri, where no such function exists (Android can do this as well). Cortana users should be familiar with the feature as it often prompts you with an alert, letting you know that you should leave now if you want to make your appointment.

The second TV spot spotlights the 'Remind Me' feature of Cortana. This feature is where the personal assistant can send you an alert when you are speaking with the designated person on the phone or even through a text message. For instance, if a friend texts you, Cortana can remind you that it is her birthday and to say something. As far as we know, this feature of Cortana is unique, and it is certainly helpful for those with busy social lives.

The two new ads are an expansion of the previous Cortana vs. Siri battle. The ad 'Groundhog day' highlighted a few Cortana features in one 30-second spot, while the 'Group therapy' commercial takes a more unorthodox approach in comparing the two virtual assistants.

Both of the new ads are short, to the point, and precise enough that consumers can discern the main selling point. They are also a little humorous, if you appreciate tongue-in-cheek wit. However, there is a strident contingent of people who believe Microsoft should back off on doing iPhone comparisons, and instead focus on boasting about Windows Phone on its own. Surely, it is a touchy situation, but we will leave it to you to judge.

Source: Nokia 1, 2

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.