Will Microsoft’s Cortana Beat Apple iPhone Siri?
In the world where technology has taken huge jumps, we have now entered the phase of Virtual assistance. To call it a phase is not justified because a technological improvement like this will stay and only move forward in its advancements. From voice recording to voice messages to voice controlled artificial intelligence, we definitely have come a long way.
Apple iPhone Siri: The ‘Unbeaten’
It has been almost 2 years since Apple introduced an artificial intelligence virtual assistant Siri in iPhone 4s. Siri is extremely popular and it is not difficult to find a shouting person in the middle of a crowded street, asking his/her phone to send a text or an email. Even though Siri was one of the first most popular virtual assistant in a smart phone, this definitely was not the first time something like this had been witnessed by the world. Voice command features have been present for a longer time than assumed in smart phones, for example the ‘say a command’ feature in Blackberry. Although with Apple iPhone 4s’s Siri, a new benchmark was created. Siri has had its own limitations. From the difficulties in understanding different kinds of accents to the search usually being limited to the United States, there were things that made Siri far from perfect. These were overcome as time passed and Siri therefore still remains quite popular among users all across the world.
Samsung Galaxy & Google Now vs. Apple iPhone Siri
Just a year after Siri was launched, Samsung brought out its own artificial intelligence virtual software with Samsung Galaxy S3 and it was called S voice. S voice, though in its ways good but still was not able to top Siri. There were errors more than what Siri had shown when it came to understanding and interpreting speech. There was another virtual assistant that had come out and impressed users all around the world, Google Now. This virtual assistant was launched in 2012 alongside Galaxy Nexus 3 and had recently been made available on iOS.
The Latest Microsoft Cortana – A New Giant Joins the Battle
After seeing the three giants fighting against each other for the best virtual assistant, a new giant has entered the battle. Microsoft is believed to be working on its very own version of Siri and Google Now. It will be called Cortana. The name belongs to a character of a popular series called halo. Cortana will be available in all the modern Windows devices, these are: Windows 8.1, Windows phone, surface and Xbox one. The hint regarding the arrival of Cortana is assumed to have made the rounds due to the images which were leaked a few months ago. These images were of a Lumia phone. This phone consisted of an app called zCortana. It is rumored that zCortana was a test build up for a virtual assistant similar to Siri.
The character Cortana belongs to the popular series known as halo. The character in this series is artificial intelligence virtual assistant known for its abilities to learn and adapt. This is what Siri runs on and this is Siri gets advertised too. So, therefore if an assistant with similar qualities like that of Siri has to be named, this name makes quite a perfect sense. What is interesting is that the rumors and assumptions about Cortana have made their way around the same time Siri is getting ready to exit beta with the launch of iOS 7. Siri will be re-launched and we will get to see some new features in it this time. Some of these new features may include the option of choosing between a male and a female voice and a wider selection of various recognized commands.
Will Microsoft Cortana Steal the Show from Apple iPhone Siri?
Some of the features and characteristics of Cortana and what makes it different from Siri:
- Cortana is expected to be released somewhere between 2014 and 2016.
- Cortana is expected to be more central to the Windows operating system, which Siri is not.
- The learning and adapting capability of Cortana will be based on machine-learning technology and the knowledge that powers Bing, called ‘Satori’.
- It will be available not just on a Windows phone but on very popular and huge Microsoft platforms such as Xbox one and desktop windows.
- Microsoft is aiming to achieve that Cortana is not restricted to just being a voice assistant.
- It is expected to be able to work with all of Microsoft’s “essential services”.
- It is also expected that since it will already have the ability to learn and adapt, it might just answer your query even before you actually ask about it.
- When you use Facebook graph to find out your friend’s favorite band and you get to know this on the basis of how much he/she has talked about it, commented about it etc. Cortana is expected to work on a similar phenomenon. It will also use social graph information. Through this, Cortana will be able to connect the dots which would normally not be connected in order to gain a result.
Microsoft Cortana Release Date
Microsoft is not expected to release Cortana unless there is something absolutely unique about this virtual assistant. This is probably because of the fact that even though Windows phones are good to use but is necessary to take the level further because right now, Windows does not provide the users with anything that cannot be found in iOS and Android. Microsoft usually enters late in a game and it is doing the same this time too. Though the urge to bring something unique to the users gives hope and we might see something amazing when it decides to actually launch Cortana.
Will Apple iPhone Siri Remain Unbeaten?
Based on the points and discussions mentioned above, it is quite evident that Cortana to a very large extent has the potential to give a good competition to Siri and other artificial intelligence virtual softwares like Google Now and Samsung’s S voice. Since Cortana is definitely not making its way till the next year or probably later than that, there is not much that can be said but it undoubtedly has a potential to give Apple’s Siri re-released version a strong competition.