Cortana App Coming to Windows Phones in Next Update [RUMOR]

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Feb 21, 2014 11:10 AM EST

The Windows Phone has had a hard time of making significant strides against its competitive smartphone operating systems, iOS and Android. But it's possible that the next update to the phone could bring in a whole new demographic, as the 8.1 version is rumored to contain the personal assistant app that could give Apple a "Siri-ous" run for its money, Cortana.

While nothing's been confirmed by Microsoft, that's the word from an unnamed source claimed by The Verge. But if you were expecting her to wane on about Forerunner tech, Covenant rifles, and fears of rampancy, prepare to be disappointed. According to the outlet, the app will function on a significantly broader level:

"Sources familiar with Microsoft's Windows Phone work have revealed to The Verge that Cortana will replace the built-in Bing search feature, which is currently launched through a dedicated hardware key, and acts as a digital assistant with a mix of Siri and Google Now functionality...Cortana will be backed by data from services like Bing, Foursquare, and others to give it some of the contextual power of Google Now."

While Cortana's appearance differed in the Halo series from game to game, arguably designed to appeal to a specifically adolescent group given her..."evolution"...her appearance as an assistant app won't be nearly as curvaceous.

"We're told that Cortana will take the form of a circular animated icon with the hue of your selected Windows Phone accent color, and will have a personality not dissimilar from Apple's Siri. Cortana will animate when it's speaking or thinking, and bounce around or frown with 'emotion' depending on the queries involved."

But whether or not Cortana will actually be part of the update is hard to say. A report from WP Central said that developers had leaked the SDK for Windows Phone 8.1, but specifically stated that Cortana was not included with it. Though, the fact that the update is codenamed Blue, the same color as the azure A.I. would be a fairly allusion.

An official announcement concerning Cortana, and other aspects of the next update, are expected from Microsoft and the Build 2014 conference in April.

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