Microsoft to Challenge Apple’s Siri and Google Now in 2014 with Cortana

| September 12, 2013 | 1 Reply

bits_microsoft_ces

As usual, Microsoft is last to the supper table, this time with their voice-enabled personal assistant program, Cortana, which will compete with Siri and Google Now. According to ZDNet, in June they had noticed an app on an early Windows Phone Operating System leak designated, zCortana – the prefix “z” indicating it was a test build. Cortana is back in the gossip this week over comments that it is moving into the “Blue” release stage for the early part of 2014.

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer hinted about Cortana back during July’s big reorganization meeting that it will be more than a way for users to interact with their smartphone, but is the entire makeover of the cores services and indeed experience in future versions of the Windows phone. Ballmer said:

Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world. Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it.

Cortana

I can just see Ballmer on his tiptoes using the words, “almost magical,” as he describes Cortana to the audience – needless to say, he announced his retirement shortly after his major reorganization. Cortana will not simply answer questions of information stored on your phone, but will “broker” information from Microsoft’s Bing Saton, which intelligently connects information about people, places, and things – sounds a lot like Google Now to me.

This plan to launch a program like Cortana has been in the works since 2011 and a possible explanation why Microsoft needed a massive shakeup. Ballmer has been its biggest cheerleader, but other executives said it would be between 2014 -2016 before it would appear. Bing officials had told CNET that Microsoft wanted to wait and make the announcement about Cortana after they developed sometime revolutionary rather than just evolutionary.

Google Now

Google Now

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can pull this off and to see how it will affect its Windows Phone platform, especially since they recently purchased Nokia, the largest Windows Phone manufacturer. With Siri and Google Now improving on a constant basis, by the time Cortana is finally released, it may already be behind.

Category: Android News

About Cory McNutt ()

I am Pittsburgh born and raised except for a 21-year detour through the VA/DC area. I have loved technology and gadgets my entire life, especially mobile devices. I have loved all things Android since I purchased my Motorola Bionic on the day it was release. I now sport a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that you would have to pry out of my cold, dead hands! I love the excitement each day of what new Android devices will be released, and then I get write about those devices…does life get any better?
  • digitalicecream

    Bing already powers Siri, it’s only logical that WP8 and beyond get the same abilities. Cortana will be the front end to WP8 as Siri is the front end to iOS. Interesting times ahead.