Microsoft May Soon Unveil Rival to Apple’s Siri
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) may unveil “Cortana,” its version of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri, as early as April, reports MSFTNerd. According to the rumor, Microsoft’s voice-activated personal assistant will debut in beta form for developers on Lumia devices as part of the Windows Phone mobile operating platform and will later be expanded to Apple’s iPhone via the Bing app.
MSFTNerd reports that Microsoft also plans to eventually expand Cortana’s availability to the Xbox One and the upcoming “Threshold” Windows release in 2015. Cortana will initially only be available to U.S.-based users, but other English-speaking territories will be added throughout 2015 and 2016.
The name Cortana was derived from an artificial intelligence character in Microsoft’s highly successful Halo videogame series. According to MSFTNerd, the personal digital assistant will be voiced by Jen Taylor, the same actress who voiced the videogame character.
Similar to the voice-activated personal assistants developed by Apple and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Cortana will be capable of understanding users’ natural language queries. According to MSFTNerd, users will activate Cortana by prefacing their questions with the phrase, “Bing Tell Me…”