Meet Cortana – Microsoft's answer to Siri

It seems that Apple‘s Siri has a distant cousin called Cortana – except she comes out of a different parent company.
Cortana is Microsofts answer to Siri, and while the similarities are rather striking, there are some features that prove that Siri and Cortana are not blood related, but rather distantly similar.
Meet Cortana; Microsoft‘s digital assistant that is set to launch with the new Windows Phone 8.1. According to Microsoft, Cortana is a “˜personal assistant‘ that will help users with tasks and reminders and even provide them with suggestions. Much like Siri, Cortana will basically be there to make your life easier and more organized.
Cortana is also able to save data and information in a Notebook system. This means that she will be able to access the Notebook to track your previous requests and also access your contacts, personal information, location data and reminders.
You can also decided what you want Cortana to address you as. She can either address you by your name, nickname or even Your Highness. A function that some egotistical users would definitely find appealing, no doubt.
She is also able to track mentions within emails. For example, should an email mention a flight time, Cortana will create a reminder containing the flight details.
Much like her cousin Siri, Cortana is animated when speaking or thinking Some sources claim that her “˜personality‘ is almost exactly that of Siri. However, should get a little tired of having Cortana in your pocket, you can simply switch her off.
You can also set “˜quiet hours‘ for Cortana, where she will essentially be “˜sleeping‘ and not bother you with notifications or reminders.
Cortana needs to be set up with a Microsoft account. After that, however, she will ask users questions before she can really be useful. This is much different to Siri, where users can simply start asking Siri questions.
Cortana is set to replace the Windows Phone‘s built in Bing search function.
Cortana was named after the character in the popular “˜Halo‘ game series. In the game, Cortana is an artificially intelligent character that providers the gamers with background and tactical information. In essence, helping the player navigate through the game. Much as she would do with Windows Phone users in real life.
While information regarding Cortana has been available for a while now, no official video showcasing her capabilities has been released by Microsoft. Luckily for us, though, UnleashThePhones has leaked a video which shows Cortana in action.
It is believed that she is operating on a possible pre-release build of Windows Phone 8.1.
You can check out the video below:

Cortana is expected to make her first appearance at Microsoft‘s upcoming Build conference.
While Siri and Cortana might be distantly related, she will definitely open up a whole new world for Windows Phone users.
What are your thoughts o Cortana? Would you welcome her with open arms?
Source: The Next Web