Microsoft insider Tom Warren of The Verge has published some screenshots of Cortana, Microsoft’s upcoming Siri competitor for Windows Phone 8.1. Cortana retrieves data from Bing, Foursquare, its own Notebook and users’ mail.
The now published screenshots show, among other things, that Cortana, whose name according to Warren has not yet been determined, has a bar on the opening screen for typing searches and a button to say something. Cortana’s suggestion is, “Is it cold in Moscow?”, indicating that Cortana works with natural language.
In addition to searches, Cortana can also provide suggestions like Google Now does, Warren claims. To do this, it extracts information from e-mails, among other things, as can be seen in a settings menu. In addition, Cortana stores things like location and personal data in note-taking app Notebook, which users can view and edit according to previous info. As with Siri, the user can ask to be referred to by a nickname. Cortana should replace Bing under the Windows Phones search button. Now the Search button still leads to the front page of the Bing search engine.
The digital assistant is part of the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1, of which Microsoft announced the first details last week at the telecom fair Mobile World Congress. Microsoft would like to showcase Windows Phone 8.1 at its own developer meeting Build in April. In that update, besides Cortana, there are a lot of changes, including Wi-Fi access sharing, themes and a do not disturb mode.
He does not clarify why Warren is releasing this information now. He hinted on Twitter weeks ago that he has a build of Windows Phone 8.1.