Microsoft is ready to answer to Apple’s Siri and Google Now with Cortana, the new intelligent digital personal assistant arriving with the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update. And today the first video has surfaced showing Cortana in action. The video was published in YouTube from the website Unleash The Phones, it’s a short video that walks through the steps to setup Cortana on a Windows Phone 8.1.
According to the video, users will require to enter a Microsoft Account credentials and answer a few questions before start using Cortana. Also it appears that users will have the ability to set what nickname the assistant should use to speak back. Once the questionnaire is complete, all the details are stored in Cortana’s Notebook, which will continue to use to build a behaviour database about the user that can later be utilized to offer personalized reminders, suggestions, and alerts automatically.
Unfortunately the video doesn’t show how accurate the voice recognition is, nor how Cortana actually sounds like, though you can hear a particular sound when is processing a query. Among the configurable settings, you’ll see “quiet hours”, feature that will stop alerts for calls, texts, and notifications during certain hours.
Quiet hours also appears that will work pretty much in the same way as Apple’s Siri “do-not-disturb” mode. For example, a phone call will ring if the caller calls twice within 3 minutes, or if the phone number is part of your whitelist. Text can be configured to go through, or set automatic reply during quiet hours.
Cortana now is a reality and it will arrive as part of Windows Phone 8.1– Microsoft is schedule to do a full demo at the BUILD conference in April — and it will replace Bing search functionality. You’ll also notice that the digital assistant, a difference from the Cortana character in the Halo game, will take the form of a circular icon, which will animate in different patterns while thinking or speaking.