Microsoft’s Siri Clone Coming To Windows 9
Known as “Cortana” and named after the digital assistant featured in the popular Xbox game “Halo”, the Siri-like clone can answer questions on just about anything, has a fun personality and further brings to life the “Star Trek” way of interacting with computers.
Windows blog Neowin reports that Cortana has successfully been tested with pre-release “engineering” builds of Windows 9 and is now expected to be a feature included in the final release, due worldwide in April 2015.
The blog warns the feature could still end up being cut, but given Cortana’s rapid improvement cycle, and the fact that digital assistants are a sci-fi promise that has finally become science fact, it would now be a big surprise if Windows 9 didn’t ship with Cortana included.
In the current test builds, Cortana is an app sits in the centre of your screen, taking up about 25pc of the screen size, with the same “spinning circle” interface seen on the Windows Phone 8.1 version of Cortana.
There isn’t any “deep integration” with Windows 9 as yet, but with Cortana’s constant development and Windows 9 still being written, deeper integration is something consumers would naturally expect by the time of Windows 9’s release.
This is especially so given that Apple’s Siri can open apps by voice, manage your calendar and appointments and do a range of that intelligently understand the context of your questions, and there’s no reason why people wouldn’t want the same features in a desktop operating system.
Apple hasn’t yet included Siri into Mac OS X, but might surprise us by including Siri when OS X Yosemite launches later this year.
Another new feature we’d like to see is natural interaction with the Windows 9 or a future Windows 10 interface using the same Kinect “natural interface” camera that launched on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Microsoft has released SDKs (software development kits) for Kinect cameras for Windows, so the potential is there for a future version of Windows to be controlled by gestures, it just isn’t being promoted by Microsoft, even if they are surely working on it in the background.
Smarthouse earlier published an article on 9 things Microsoft should consider for Windows 9 success, as well as news that Microsoft is considering making Windows 9 a free upgrade.
Finally, why wait for Cortana to control your computer by voice when you can do it today? Nuance has released the latest Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 to convert your voice into text and take voice control of your computer, without needing a headset.