Cortana to pick up accent for UK release

We’re probably just another week away from Microsoft’s release of a developer preview of Cortana for UK audiences; the company’s Marcus Ash announced that schedule last week, and we shared the news with you at the time. But in some follow-up questions to his initial post, Ash revealed additional details about how this effort would arrive, and it’s not great news for those of you who were so enamored with Cortana (the service) because it sounded like Cortana (the video game character): the system’s voice will change for its UK release.

Full details of the switch aren’t yet clear, but Ash confirmed that the Cortana that UK users get will speak with a region-appropriate accent. We also don’t yet know if Microsoft might deliver the option to manually configure Cortana to stick with her US voice.

While admittedly packing the potential to miff some gamers, this decision really does seem quite sensible, as Microsoft presumably wants its voice assistant to be as natural for users to interact with as possible; if that means providing voice solutions that are more centered on local dialect than the performance of one actor, that’s just something we’ll have to live with.

Source: Marcus Ash (Twitter)
Via: Engadget

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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 bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!