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Microsoft's Cortana  (Source: extremetech.com)
We may see Cortana as early as 2014 or as late as 2016

Microsoft is working on a personal assistant for its future Windows Phones, Windows OS and the Xbox One console, and it's said to be a deeply integrated tool rather than just a single service.

Microsoft's personal assistant is named Cortana, after an artificially intelligent character in Microsoft's "Halo" series. 

Microsoft has been talking about launching a personal assistant since 2011 that would compete with the likes of Apple's Siri. But Microsoft wants Cortana to be much more than just a personal assistant -- it wants to make the assistant technology a key part of the entire "shell" of core services and experience on Windows Phones, Xbox One and Windows OS. 

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called it "a family of devices powered by a service-enabled shell." That's where Cortana comes in. Cortana will have the ability to learn and adapt; and will use Microsoft Bing, Tellme speech technology, natural language software and social graph software to tap into every services and experience area of the device.

"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," said Ballmer back in July. "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."

It's not real clear when Cortana will make a debut. Some reports are saying as early as the Blue release in early 2014 while anonymous Microsoft executives say sometime between 2014 and 2016. 

Bing officials had said that Microsoft is waiting to release a "revolutionary" device to debut Cortana's abilities. 

Microsoft recently purchased Nokia's devices and services division for $7.2 billion, which could help expedite Cortana's release. 

Source: ZDNet



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Another One?
By drlumen on 9/13/2013 11:57:50 AM , Rating: 1
Great, another Microsoft Bob or Clippy.




RE: Another One?
By OnyxNite on 9/13/2013 12:30:08 PM , Rating: 3
But this one is a scantily clad woman and not a corny cartoon character!


RE: Another One?
By ritualm on 9/13/2013 3:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
If we're going there to begin with, we should ask Toyota USA to lend their virtual spokesperson to us instead of this Halo character, complete with all-English voice data no less.


RE: Another One?
By StevoLincolnite on 9/13/2013 8:45:05 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft would have won me over if they used Glados from Portal. :P


RE: Another One?
By drlumen on 9/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: Another One?
By amanojaku on 9/13/2013 6:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
Never played Halo myself, but even I know Cortana was no stripper!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortana

And while I hated the Office Assistants, I did like one: Earl the Cat.

http://menga.net/626


RE: Another One?
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/13/2013 7:41:14 PM , Rating: 2
Check out this virtual assistant at a Polish package delivery firm:

http://www.inpost.pl/wirtualny-asystent.html

First, type in "paczkomatxxx69".

Then next question asks whether you're over 18. Enter "tak".

And here are the rest of the answers:

7
25kg
SMS
24
640
8,99


RE: Another One?
By lexluthermiester on 9/15/13, Rating: 0
Don't die!
By BRB29 on 9/13/2013 10:04:21 AM , Rating: 3
I hope Cortana for consumers doesn't have an expiration date like she does in Halo.




RE: Don't die!
By WoWCow on 9/13/2013 10:54:54 AM , Rating: 2
No, no no...

As soon as this technology matures we can expect more people marry Cortana and demand cultural, legal, and societal recognition for it (See Japan).

My head still hurts from stupid spoiled kids yelling at siri like the software is their mom over in-game/steam voice chats.

Please use press-to-talk and NOT microphone sensitivity.


RE: Don't die!
By Flunk on 9/13/2013 12:21:35 PM , Rating: 2
But how are they going to be incredibly annoying without using microphone sensitivity?


RE: Don't die!
By DrChemist on 9/13/2013 11:53:43 AM , Rating: 2
I think they will release this with their watch they are working on. Based on that I would expect late 2014.


Hopefully 2014 rather than 2016.
By RandomFool on 9/13/2013 11:59:54 AM , Rating: 2
I'm really hoping this is why WP 8.1 is taking so long to release. MS needs more exciting and potentially useful features like Cortana to keep making headway. (Not Kid's Corner) WP has consistently been playing catch up with Android and iOS.




By OoklaTheMok on 9/13/2013 1:27:36 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry, but Kid's Corner is great! I can let my child use my phone without worrying about them being able to do anything they aren't supposed to. I can control exactly what they can access.

So maybe it's not a big deal to you, but to parents, it's a huge deal.

Let's be honest here, there are areas that Android/iOS are trying to catch up to WP on as well. Google is still trying to make Android as visually smooth as WP. And neither Apple's or any other Android devices camera can touch Nokia's.


I see you are trying to find...
By ipay on 9/13/2013 12:49:42 PM , Rating: 4
I see you are trying to find the start menu. Do you need some help with that?




By troysavary on 9/13/2013 1:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
Even though I don't miss the start menu at all, I still laughed at that.


I always knew that
By TeXWiller on 9/13/2013 10:53:47 AM , Rating: 3
Ever since I first heard her voice, I knew she would be more than a personal assistant. ;)




"Almost magical"?
By AstroCreep on 9/13/2013 11:04:33 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like Mr. Ballmer is taking a page from Mr. Job's playbook of hyperbole.




Cortana is already alive
By Mitch101 on 9/13/2013 11:09:56 AM , Rating: 2
Cortana is already alive and well but rather than release it and everyone say oh look another siri Microsoft wants to put all the functionality they envisioned into it. The goal as they say is not to release it so it feels evolutionary but to come out swinging so its revolutionary. Not sure what they have in mind but I have heard its heavily integrated into the calendar functionality.

Also Outlook.com supports IMAP.
Settings for IMAP are listed below for Outlook.com
Incoming IMAP mail server: imap-mail.outlook.com
Incoming IMAP mail server port: 993
Encryption: SSL

SMTP
Outgoing SMTP mail server: smtp-mail.outlook.com
Outgoing SMTP mail server port: 587
Encryption: TLS

Support for OAuth has also been announced, meaning third-party apps and services can now hook into Outlook.com. In fact, Microsoft and the Outlook.com team are announcing partnerships with TripIt, Sift, Slice, motley*bunch, Unroll.me, OtherInbox, and Context.IO to work with the email service directly.




We'll see...
By brshoemak on 9/13/2013 9:08:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Bing officials had said that Microsoft is waiting to release a "revolutionary" device to debut Cortana's abilities.


Now they just have to figure out what that device will be.




Don't copy bad stuff
By Shadowself on 9/15/2013 2:42:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"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," said Ballmer back in July.
While I fully understand that all these "tech" companies copy each other every single day, did Balmer have to stoop so low as to use Apple idiotic "magical" wording?

I prefer Clarke's definition: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." None of the tech products I've seen, whether it's from Apple, DEC, Dell, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony or any other, in the almost 50 years I've been in this racket fits this definition.

quote:
"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."
So now Microsoft is claiming that they are going to ship a software based system that does what I need rather than what I really tell? And even beyond that it is going to anticipate what I need and have it ready for me even before I ask? Sounds suspiciously like a system Atari announced back in the early 80s... "We're going to provide a computer for everyone that does what you want it to, not just what you ask it to!" Anyone familiar with that fiasco knows how well that went! Hell, most spouses can't get that out of their significant others 99% of the time! ("Why didn't you do what I wanted you to do?" "I did what you told me." "You KNEW that's not what I wanted. You should have done what I wanted.")




hi
By froj on 9/14/13, Rating: -1
hi
By rya14 on 9/13/13, Rating: -1
DianeGAlexander
By DianeGAlexander on 9/13/13, Rating: -1
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home














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