April 3, 2014

Microsoft (Finally) Launches Digital Personal Assistant

Codenamed Cortana (after the artificial intelligence system in Halo), Microsoft announced the launch of their digital personal assistant. From the details released, it seems to be very similar to the likes of Apple’s Siri and Android’s Google Now assistant. Cortana even makes jokes in a similar way to Siri. The difference is that Siri has been doing it for years now and Microsoft has only come to the party now, when it’s too late.

There was a ton of hype around Siri and similar services when they were first launched however the assistants have not made it in the mainstream yet. While there is a small subset of users who use these assistants regularly, most people (myself included) find it easier to just push a couple of buttons to achieve our digitial goals. Siri often doesn’t interpret my instructions correctly. I thought this is because I’m South African and don’t speak with an American accent, however the stats show Siri’s voice recognition is only correct 50% of the time. So it’s not just me and my funny accent then.

Cortana will launch with the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system and we are interested to see if it has anything unique to offer, or if it can help bring this kind of service into mainstream use. has more info about the announcement.

Microsoft Launches Cortana


April 3, 2014