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Old Jun 13, 2014, 11:39 AM   #1
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Microsoft Considering Expanding Cortana Virtual Assistant to iOS and Android




Microsoft earlier this year introduced Cortana, an intelligent virtual assistant to compete with iOS' Siri and Android's Google Now. Cortana was launched as a Windows Phone 8.1 feature, but a new report from Search Engine Land suggests Microsoft may expand the service to iOS and Android.

Speaking at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle yesterday, Windows Phone Group Program Manager Marcus Ash said the company wants Cortana to be "pervasive" both geographically and among mobile platforms.
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We want to scale Cortana internationally and across devices. The Android/iOS question is interesting. We're asking, would Cortana be as effective if she didn't have access to the details on your phone? We're still trying to get Cortana adopted on Windows Phone and figure out what it wants to become there. But we're actively talking about this.

I think it's natural to think that an assistant that only runs on one device ... the idea that she will be very pervasive is important to us.
Cortana is powered by Microsoft's Bing search engine and Tellme's natural language processing and speech-recognition technology Microsoft acquired in 2009. The assistant is launching first on Windows Phone 8.1 and the Xbox One game console. It is named after the artificial intelligence in Microsoft's popular Halo game series and has a female voice powered by actress Jen Taylor, who also provides the voiceovers for the video game.

Article Link: Microsoft Considering Expanding Cortana Virtual Assistant to iOS and Android
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 11:43 AM   #2
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They might as well. Give people options. I'm glad I have certain aspects of Google Now in the Google Search app on my iPhone. I use the voice integration part of the Google Search app for some things and Siri for other things. Having choice is a good thing.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 11:44 AM   #3
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Microsoft Engineers: We built this "Awesome" voice assistant!

Microsoft CEO: Thats great! We spent a lot of hard work and money on it.

Microsoft Engineers: Yea, but too bad only dozens of people get to use it

Microsoft CEO: ugh...Just give it to them already...
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 11:44 AM   #4
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Would Apple allow a competitor to Siri in the App Store? The company's policy is to block apps that reproduce functions of iOS or closely resemble features of other apps in the store.

What a long way this has come though, where Microsoft is now actively developing software for platforms other than its own Windows OSs.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 11:44 AM   #5
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That sounds like a good plan, I would like to see that coming to iOS definitely, but I'm doubting if it will be as effective as Siri is give that Siri has unrestricted access to the elements in the phone....

At the same time it looks like MS is a bit desperate to get Cortana accepted if it has to recur to go to the competition to get more penetration.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 11:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsutton View Post
Would Apple allow a competitor to Siri in the App Store? The company's policy is to block apps that reproduce functions of iOS<1> or closely resemble features of other apps in the store<2>.

What a long way this has come though, where Microsoft is now actively developing software for platforms other than its own Windows OSs.
1= I remember this being the case, but there are multiple weather, notes, browser apps on the app store, for example.
2= Probably not the case any more. So many cloned games. Angry Birds itself is a clone of Crush the Castle, if they were to port their game to iOS would that mean Angry Birds would need to be removed?
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 11:56 AM   #7
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Without OS integration, it would be worthless. About the only thing it could do is a web search.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 12:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsutton View Post
Would Apple allow a competitor to Siri in the App Store? The company's policy is to block apps that reproduce functions of iOS or closely resemble features of other apps in the store.

What a long way this has come though, where Microsoft is now actively developing software for platforms other than its own Windows OSs.
Apple more or less ditched that policy a few years ago.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 12:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by WhoDaKat View Post
Without OS integration, it would be worthless. About the only thing it could do is a web search.
Or work within other Microsoft apps via their own integration, but that would make more sense for Google to do at this point.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 12:12 PM   #10
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Ill pass. I dont want or need that. Microsoft can keep it.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:08 PM   #11
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Sometimes pictures of Windows 8.1 for mobile make me think of the possibility of going to a Windows Phone. I have virtually no interest in Android (nothing feels remotely polished on it - it all feels like an elaborate demo that will be cool someday if anybody ever bothered finishing it instead of halfassing more features) but this virtual assistant in Windows 8.1 looks really appealing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
It is named after the artificial intelligence in Microsoft's popular Halo game series and has a female voice powered by actress Jen Taylor, who also provides the voiceovers for the video game.
This just seems incredibly creepy to me, but possibly only because I know how many teenage boys have fantasies about her. I feel like Microsoft is somehow trying to capitalize on that.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:12 PM   #12
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Why should people ever get anything but iOS when the makers of the other platforms (MS, Google) are also bringing most of their apps and services to iOS?
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:18 PM   #13
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I'd use it. But only because Apple never gave Siri to my iPod Touch
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:45 PM   #14
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It is going to be tough for ms to get market share. But you don't do it by giving your features away to the other phones.

I have messed around with some friends windows phones. I like them a lot. For me it really comes down to the apps. I don't care for android, but I like the windows phones enough to switch.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 02:02 PM   #15
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I thought Cortana had kind of a bad year... With AI corruption and dying and all that....

This is the new and improved Cortana!!
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 03:27 PM   #16
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What would be neat is if they could bring her voice to Siri. Not sure why Apple hasn't opened that up for modification outside of their set voices. Since iOS 8 pretty much covers all of our gripes, let's start inventing some new ones. Custom Siri voices now!
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 03:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iCore24 View Post
Microsoft Engineers: We built this "Awesome" voice assistant!

Microsoft CEO: Thats great! We spent a lot of hard work and money on it.

Microsoft Engineers: Yea, but too bad only dozens of people get to use it

Microsoft CEO: ugh...Just give it to them already...
You need to update your perceptions - Windows' mobile OS is making up ground. It's still a long way off Android and iOS, but people used to make the same jokes about Android...
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 04:00 PM   #18
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You need to update your perceptions - Windows' mobile OS is making up ground. It's still a long way off Android and iOS, but people used to make the same jokes about Android...
Except the difference is that the market is much more saturated now that was when Android was starting out. Microsoft entered very late into the game... Sure they had Windows Mobile before that, but they chose not to include backwards compatibility with it in Windows Phone, thus eliminating their entire existing user base. (And worse, a bitter taste in many consumers' mouths from this abandonment; Myself included)
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 04:03 PM   #19
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Should be interesting to see if MS can produce an application that has stability and doesn't need updated on a daily bases.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 04:37 PM   #20
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Ill pass. I dont want or need that. Microsoft can keep it.

So what? Other people might, I'm more likely to use siri, but it would not hurt to try this out wouldn't it? I'm always happy when there more apps on the app store
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 04:49 PM   #21
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So what? Other people might, I'm more likely to use siri, but it would not hurt to try this out wouldn't it? I'm always happy when there more apps on the app store
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Originally Posted by The Doctor11 View Post
Ill pass. I dont want or need that. Microsoft can keep it.
Hey if you want to use it thats great but I'll pass
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 05:30 PM   #22
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Without OS integration, it would be worthless. About the only thing it could do is a web search.
With the new APIs and 3rd party features in iOS 8, it wouldn't be useless. You'd probably have to invoke it from a widget in notification center though.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 06:43 PM   #23
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Should be interesting to see if MS can produce an application that has stability and doesn't need updated on a daily bases.
I agree, updating iTunes constantly is getting annoying... Oh wait, Microsoft doesn't make that product...
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 09:18 PM   #24
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Can't wait to see how this turns out.
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Old Jun 14, 2014, 12:28 AM   #25
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I agree, updating iTunes constantly is getting annoying... Oh wait, Microsoft doesn't make that product...
They do make Windows 8 though, which pisses me off to no end because it makes you restart every 2-3 weeks to install some random update.
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