Sometime in June earlier this year, some leaked screenshots of Microsoft’s planned Windows Phone OS revamp cropped up online. Those screenshots showed an app called “zCortana” – the “z” denoted that the app was a test build. Turns out that “Cortana” is the working title for Microsoft’s planned personal assistant; their answer to Apple’s Siri in a way.
According to website ZDNet, Cortana will harness Microsoft’s Bing search engine and cloud technology to adapt to users and pre-empt their queries and needs. It’s been in the pipelines for quite a while it seems, with Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer alluding to the application in a company strategy memo from July. In that memo, Ballmer talks about a UI that will 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.”
Now all Microsoft needs to do is hire the voice-actor for Cortana (Jen Taylor) from the Halo games, and figure out how to implement micro hologram projectors to make a tiny Cortana pop out of your phone screen. If they manage that, they’ll pretty much have every single Halo fan lining up to buy Windows Phones. Don’t forget that “Cortana” is simply the codename for the Windows Phone AI assistant; there’s no guarantee that it’ll still be called that by the time it gets to market.