Microsoft has recently announced its intelligent personal assistant for Windows Phone. It is named “Cortana” after the artificial intelligence character in the Halo series. According to Microsoft Cortana will provide help on most apps, from making calls, sending messages, performing searches, and informing you about music that’s playing on your phone. For a more personalized relationship, Cortana can interact with third-party apps, including Facebook and Twitter, where she can post tweets for you. Her main screen shows a blue circle, and a search bar, while a swipe up on the screen reveals a scrollable list of news, the weather, and contextual help. For the latter to work, she needs to read your email, through which she will note trackable data, such as flight times.


Like all good personal assistants, Cortana has a notebook, where she can keep track of your interests and things you search for frequently. When something comes up which she thinks will be useful in the future, she will ask you if you want a note to be stored, and will refer back to them at another time.

You can watch the following videos introducing the different features:

What do you think of this move by Microsoft? Is it too late to take on Google Now and Siri or does Windows Phone have a fighting chance? I personally think this assistant comes a bit late, but I’m curious to see where Microsoft will take it and what role it will play in the integration cycle it is doing in all of its products.