First experience with Cortana for Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft will update almost all phones running Windows Phone 8 to 8.1 in the upcoming summer. A new feature for Windows Phone 8.1 is Cortana, a personal assistant similar to Apple’s Siri. Here is a first view of what Microsoft’s new artificial intelligence is made off.


Cortana is heavily connected to the bing search enginge and therefore almost all answers of Cortana are based on the search results of bing. Bing itself likes to use Wikipedia as a source for knowledge questions.


You can also search for videos or photos. Basically, Cortana just returns the bing search results here. The good thing is that Cortana also understands rather vague pronunciations.

However there are also examples where Cortana doesn’t use bing in the first case to answer questions. For example if you ask here for a joke.


In most cases, Cortana will only search for the questions asked, you get the feeling that Cortana does not really understand the question, as Wolfram | Alpha usually does, but simply passes it on to Bing. This is evident, for example, if one asks about Cortana’s mind about Siri.

Conclusion: Cortana is a good start with beautiful minimalist design but still needs some more updates to be able to catch up to other personal assistants.

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