Microsoft announces Siri killer Cortana

Microsoft Sign

Microsoft have revealed they are joining Apple and Google in the personal digital assistant world.

The tech giant showed off its new voice-searching tool named Cortana at yesterday's Microsoft Build conference in San Francisco .

Cortana, named after the AI assistant in Bungie’s popular video game franchise Halo, will use Microsoft’s own search engine Bing and collected data to carry out tasks and make recommendations.

Cortana takes complete control of the phone’s search function replacing the previous function on Microsoft’s mobile operating system. She is launched by pressing the pulsating blue ring on the mobile’s start screen, and will then offer her own suggestion as to what the owner might want to do based on previous behaviour and location.

The user can then type in their request or simply ask her to set reminders, schedule events, search the web and interact with third party applications just like her Apple and Google counterparts.

What sets Cortana apart from her rivals is that she keeps a virtual notebook of all the user’s personal preferences and information. But if the personal assistant creates a note that is wrong the device holder can simply delete the info from Cortana’s notebook.

Like close rival Siri, Cortana has a witty personality. When asked questions such as “Who is your father?” She replies, "Technically speaking, that'd be Bill Gates. No big deal." She can also display up to 16 different emotions within the blue circle on the start screen.

The update will be released to developers in the US on April 14th and will then be rolled out worldwide at a later date.