Windows Phone 8.1's Cortana personal assistant shown on videoAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
The video clocks in at nearly two and a half minutes in length and starts out with Cortana introducing herself, saying that she "can help make life a bit easier for you." Cortana then says that a Microsoft account is needed before she can do anything. Once that step is completed, Cortana asks for more information about the user, including his or her name and what he or she likes to do during the evenings. We then get a peek at Cortana's main screen, which asks "What can I help you with?" and also has a shortcut to the current weather.
Also shown in the clip is a setting for Quiet Hours mode. When toggled on, Cortana can handle a user's incoming calls and messages, as well as silence any other notifications. The user can choose to allow certain modes of communication through when Quiet Hours is activated, and there's also a setting to allow Cortana to automatically turn the mode on.
Recent leaks have suggested that Cortana will be a sort of mashup of iOS's Siri and Android's Google Now features. Cortana is expected to be able to respond to voice queries while also gather information about the user and details from emails to serve up contextual alerts. While we'll have to wait until we can speak with Cortana ourselves before making any judgments about her, the new assistant certainly looks like an improvement over Windows Phone's current voice search feature. Check out Cortana in action below.