Following on from the release of its Windows Phone training portal, Microsoft on July 28 decided to launch a funny website that introduces Cortana to the world. Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now, and rather than taking a serious approach to digital personal assistants, Microsoft has instead opted for humor.
The website which is called ‘Meet Cortana’ is a spoof of what one might expect to find on a dating website. Cortana is of course the popular female assistant to Master Chief in the iconic Halo games on the Xbox, and the website is presented as though Cortana posted it herself.
From the get go, Microsoft has wanted users to have more of a personal connection with the digital assistant on Windows Phone, and this new web page has tried (and succeeded) in making Cortana seems like a real person by listing humorous information which reads like a classified ad on a dating website.
Cortana lists her key strengths such as “I can sing, tell jokes, and make funny animal noises”, and even goes as far as listing some of her dislikes by stating that “I’m not a fan of water, strong magnets, noisy rooms, and big jerks”. The Meet Cortana website also presents achievements for the assistant such as ‘Always being right, and having both human and AI ingenuity. Cortana also lists 'liking long walks on the beach (from the safety of a pocket)' as one of her favorite past times.
While the page does not really list anything new about the Windows Phone 8.1 feature, it shows that Microsoft are really trying to break out of the norm when trying to promote such a feature. Both Apple and Google have portrayed their digital assistants as stuffy know-it-alls, while Microsoft is trying to add humor, and a human element to a digital being.
Cortana is certainly a feature packed addition to the recent Windows Phone 8.1 update, and the digital assistant is more than capable of doing mundane tasks such as making calls, sending texts, and setting location aware reminders, but what really sets Cortana apart from the her competition is her personality, and her ability to make the phone personal (and fun) once again.
Cortana is currently available to Windows Phone 8.1 users in the U.S, but it will soon be available in many other countries around the globe.