Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » C »

Cortana - Microsoft virtual assistant

Microsoft Cortana Virtual Assistant (Halo)Cortana is a voice-controlled virtual assistant for Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1. Comparable to Siri, the intelligent assistant enabled on Apple devices, Microsoft's Cortana will use the Bing search engine and data stored on the user's smartphone by to make personalized recommendations.

Cortana Offers Personalized Recommendations

According to Microsoft, users will be able to launch Cortana from the start screen, where the female virtual assistant will offer suggestion for tasks the owner might want to carry out based on location and past behavior. Users can instruct Cortana to find information, schedule appointments, set notifications or remainders and use features of applications installed on the device.


Cortana in the News

Who is Cortana? It's Halo's Jen Taylor
Cortana: everything you need to know about Microsoft's Siri rival
Back off, Siri! Microsoft debuts Halo beauty Cortana
Microsoft Reveals Windows Phone 8.1, Halo-Inspired Cortana
Why are Cortana and Siri female?


Personalization of Cortana for users is largely based on the amount of information the user shares. For example, by allowing access to calendar, email, contacts and browsing history the virtual assistant can use this data to try and anticipate the user's needs.

As reported on eWeek, Cortana's answers and suggestions get better as she grows more familiar with the user, courtesy of Microsoft's search platform. Powered by Bing, Cortana gets to know you, builds a relationship that you can trust, and gets better over time by asking questions based on your behavior and checking in with you before she assumes you're interested in something.

Who is Cortana? 

The virtual assistant is named after the artificially intelligent (AI) system in Microsoft's Halo video game. In Halo, this fictional AI character provides gamers with the the backstory and tactical information needed to play.  Jen Taylor is the voice actress of Halo's Cortana and is also the voice of the digital assistant. According to Wikipedia, Cortana's original design was based on the Egyptian queen Nefertiti.

Recommended Reading:  Windows universal apps for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
11 Tips to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

It's not just your lawnmower and household tools that your neighbor won't return. Our top picks include everything from updating device firmware... Read More »

Interesting Times: Transformation in the IT Channel

Business transformation will remain the buzzword of the moment as channel firms continue to assess the direction of their companies in the age of... Read More »

What is a Virtual Private network (VPN)?

Companies and organizations will use a VPN to communicate confidentially over a public network and to send voice, video or data. Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »

Network Fundamentals Study Guide

A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »