Sneak Peek at Cortana for Microsoft's Windows Phone

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Mar 03, 2014 04:43 PM EST
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It's official, you don't need to be a gun toting, battle suit wearing, alien exterminating war machine hero of a video game franchise to get assistance from an azure A.I.

The Verge got a hold of a source "familiar with Microsoft's plans," and spilled the beans on Cortana, the Windows Phone answer to the iPhone's Siri. It's mostly a rehash of some older information, but there's actually a screen showing "her" off, as well as a few new things worth mentioning:

- Like Siri, Cortana can call you whatever you like, even if it's something as simple as Bill, Bob, or Big Butt Betty.

- Despite being a fairly complex A.I. in-game, not to mention sporting a particularly feminine build, the her smartphone counterpart is more of a secretary, functioning as "a digital assistant to access information such as location data, behaviors, personal information, reminders, and contact information. Cortana can also track flights or other mentions in emails, allowing it to generate notifications similar to Google Now."

- As for the ample figure she cut, the Cortana app is little more than just a blue blip. Writes The Verge, "While the feature is named after the Halo game series, Cortana will take the form of a circular animated icon instead of a female character. Cortana will animate when it’s speaking or thinking, forming a personality not dissimilar to Apple’s Siri," seen above.

Beyond that, there wasn't much news on Cortana, or when exactly countless smartphone owners will ask her to call them Master Chief. It's expected to arrive in the next phone update, 8.1, and more details are also anticipated at the upcoming Build conference next month, but nothing has been confirmed.

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