Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana is looking pretty slick, and could prove to provide Windows Phone users a virtual assistant the likes of Apple’s Siri and Google’s Android based Google Now. A video from UnleashThePhones.com shows Cortana in action on a device running Windows Phone 8.1.
It’s the best peek into Cortana we’ve seen so far, with a dedicated Live Tile for Cortana and a swirly green circle which pulsates and twirls while Cortana is working. The setup process is pretty straightforward, with Cortana introducing itself and proceeding to ask for a Microsoft Account login. From there, Cortana asks for permission to your sensitive data (web browsing, location data, contacts, search history and the like) then asks some rather personal questions. Cortana uses the answers to personalize the assistant, letting Cortana know what exactly it should be displaying to you. It’s similar to what Google does with Google Now, but with a Siri-like personality.
The video also shows us a new feature of Cortana, quiet hours. The feature will allow Cortana to manage your calls and text messages while you are sleeping or just can’t be bothered.
Microsoft has yet to officially announce a release date for Cortana, and an announcement should be right around the corner when Microsoft’s Build conference takes place next month.