A hologram from Halo may be the future for Microsoft’s competition to Siri

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 8.57.18 AMWant to talk to your Windows Phone, and have it customize your experience? A new report says Microsoft is working on just that.

According to a report by Mary Jo Foley, “Cortana,” named after the holographic AI from Halo, is Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now, but more than just a voice assistant app.

Per Foley’s report, in addition to handling voice commands like its competitors, Cortana integrates into the Windows Phone shell, and provides personalization for the entire user interface.

References to the technology, shown as “zCortana,” appeared in leaked screenshots of an early Windows Phone OS build earlier this year. While the presence of that app didn’t inspire much interest from the rumor mill, Foley says that Cortana is a key part of Microsoft’s mobile strategy moving forward, as the company tries to pull market share from iOS and Android, something that has proven difficult.

All that said, Cortana may not be coming to Windows Phones any time soon. While Steve Ballmer has been talking about Microsoft’s efforts with regard to interface customization since 2011, Foley’s sources say it could take until 2016 before Cortana makes it into your phone.

  • guest

    Late to the party again. Next MSFT will be touting fingerprint sensors.

    • Pathetic Trolls

      Except of course that MS had voice control in phones before Apple did. And what they have, while more limited in scope, actually works. Whereas Siri was an overhyped joke. And of course MS has been leveraging fingerprint sensors for years, including support in WM and even shipping a standalone reader for PCs at one point. It has also already stated that W8.1 will have more extensive biometric support, though unclear yet what if anything that means for WP8.1. But yeah, other than that your knee-jerk negative comment was as accurate as usual.