Apple’s Siri has been the most popular and commonly used voice-based personal assistant across any mobile platform. It comes as an integral part of iOS since iPhone 4S was released in 2011. There has been no equivalent to the system, at least in its full-fledged form, from any of the competitors.
Microsoft has however come up with something to counter the innovative team at Apple. Microsoft’s Cortana is the closest of any virtual personal assistants that could come to Siri, and the company is all set to launch it in a few months.
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Microsoft has plans to release Cortana as an app on the Google Play and the App Store, and as an integral part of the Windows Phone platform. In other words, Android and iOS users will be able to get access to a new virtual personal assistant in a few months.
Microsoft demonstrated Cortana back in April 2014 at its Build Developer Conference, San Francisco. The initial test version was capable of recognizing natural voice, set reminders, and provide answers to questions by sourcing information from Microsoft Bing.
Microsoft has improved it further and the new version can also read and understand user emails. According to MD of Microsoft Research, Eric Horvitz, Cortana could be in the market by the fall this year.
In addition to being launched as an app for iOS and Android, it will also come as an integral part of Windows 10, the next big launch by Microsoft. It is claimed that Cortana will be more advanced than Siri.
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It will also be able to provide updates and notifications, which is not yet seen in the Apple’s virtual assistant. For example, the system will alert users when they have a flight so that they could reach the airport on time.
Cortana could be a big competitor to Siri, which is currently limited only to Apple iOS.