According to a
published earlier today by ZDNet,
) is supposedly developing a cross-Windows virtual assistant named
Cortana. As anyone who has ever played the Xbox
series knows, Cortana is the AI assistant, a hologram, who helps
the protagonist, Master Chief, progress through the game. Moreover,
she is a unique and complex character with her own backstory.
is an incredibly popular series, having sold 55.1 million copies,
and this project would definitely expand its influence even
further. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley described Cortana as a virtual
assistant akin to
) Siri or
) Now, except that Cortana will not be confined to smartphones. The
real-life virtual assistant version of Cortana will work across all
the various Windows platfroms, including computers running Windows,
Windows Phone, Xbox, and Surface tablets.
Back in July, CEO Steve Ballmer hinted at something like Cortana in
a memo, describing a cross-platform user interface that would be
"deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical,
intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about
people and the world."
For the project, Microsoft is using the
Satori relational technology
that is behind its search engine Bing in conjunction with speech
recognition technologies from
, a subsidiary of the company.
If we actually do see a Cortana unifying Windows platforms, it
won't be until late next year at the earliest, but it will most
likely be more like 2015 or 2016. Such a digital assistant could be
a killer app for Microsoft as apps and technology become more and
more connected. And, if Microsoft is working on it, it is probable
that Apple and Google are working on something similar. They,
however, won't have the ability to choose a character from an
in-house and popular video game series to bring to life.
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