Cortana personal assistant shown off in latest Windows Phone 8.1 leak

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: March 3, 2014

Cortana Windows Phone 8.1 screenshots leak

Apparently Microsoft can't get the sources of its Windows Phone 8.1 leaks plugged. Details on seemingly every aspect of the update have leaked out in the past couple of months, including screenshots of its Start screen background images as well as videos of the new Action Center notification panel in use. Today more Windows Phone 8.1 screenshots have surfaced, this time giving us a closer look at the Cortana personal assistant that's expected to be included with the update.

Images shared by The Verge depict Cortana as a small blue circle that will animate when its responding to a query. Cortana will reportedly collect information related to a user's identity, contacts, behaviors, emails and more and store all of those details in a Notebook. This will allow the system to deliver Google Now-style alerts for things like flight tracking. Cortana is also expected to be capable of pulling data from Bing, Foursquare and other services. Finally, it's said that the user will be able to set the name that Cortana will refer to he or she as.

Previous reports have suggested that Cortana will serve as a sort of mashup of Siri and Google Now, sporting a personality like Apple's assistant while delivering contextual alerts like Google's system. Obviously we'll have to wait until we can have a chat with Cortana for ourselves before making any judgments about her, but if these leaks are to be believed, it sounds like Microsoft has taken the best aspects of existing assistant features and combined them to make one smart assistant for Windows Phone users. 

Cortana is expected to be included with the Windows Phone 8.1 update, which will reportedly be shown off at Microsoft's Build developer conference in early April.

Cortana Windows Phone 8.1 leak

Via The Verge