Just a few hours back, we got to hear Microsoft’s new Cortana voice assistant speak for the first time. The company is understandably excited about what Cortana can do for WP8.1 users, and presents the system as a much more user-aware alternative to Siri or Google Now. But when we’re talking with Cortana, just who is it we’re hearing respond? Back in January, rumors suggested that Microsoft had tapped Jen Taylor to reprise her role as Cortana from the Halo games to model her voice for the service. What we heard today sounded close enough to Cortana from the games, but is this really Jen Taylor behind it? Sure as sugar, Microsoft has confirmed her involvement, and it looks like Cortana is only going to sound more and more like her.
According to Microsoft, the Cortana beta we got to hear today draws speech samples from multiple sources, and Miss Taylor is just one of them. Cortana will evolve as it prepares to shed that “beta” tag, and part of that evolution will involve using Jen’s voice for more and more of the Cortana experience.
There you have it: this isn’t some Cortana sound-alike, but capital-C Cortana herself. How much more excited does this make you to get your hands on a WP8.1 device and finally start talking to Cortana for yourself?