New screenshots reveal Microsoft’s Cortana WP8.1 voice assistant

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There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming release of Windows Phone 8.1, but one of the highlights has to be the Cortana voice-powered search, Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now. We’ve been tracking work on Cortana since late last summer, and with the recent release of the 8.1 SDK, we’ve enjoyed some of the best information on this new feature to show up yet. With just about a month to go until the Build conference, when much of 8.1 (including Cortana) is expected to go public, some new Cortana info is arriving, giving us our best look so fat at how the software will operate.

Instead of a Halo-style 3D avatar, Cortana will be represented by a pair of spinning blue circles. We see them in that “listening” screen up top, and again in one setup shot down below. The “Notebook” that gets mentioned down there is supposed to be a key component of the service, letting you store personal information that Cortana may take advantage of, while also giving users the ability to limit how much private data is accessible to Microsoft’s servers.

We also see that Cortana will be customizable so far as how it addresses you, and while you could go cut-and-dry and have it use your real name, nicknames can easily be set up – and yes, since everyone was wondering, that includes the ability to have Cortana refer to you as Master Chief. Just don’t let it go to your head.

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Source: The Verge

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!