News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost Enterprise Cloud Computing
On Force.com
You are here: Home / Cloud Computing / Microsoft Demos Its New Voice Agent
Gartner's #1 for endpoint backup
Microsoft Demos New Windows Phone Voice Agent Cortana
Microsoft Demos New Windows Phone Voice Agent Cortana
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
APRIL
02
2014


She's called Cortana. Microsoft's first voice-activated assistant -- the company's answer to Apple's Siri and Google Now voice agents -- was demonstrated Wednesday in a beta version as the company unveiled its Windows Phone 8.1 operating system.

The newest update to Microsoft's smartphone platform will be available on phones going on sale in late spring, and all Lumia phones will be updated during the summer via over-the-air transmissions. Cortana will be released first in the U.S., with rollouts in other markets to follow in a schedule not yet released.

The demonstration was made during the opening day of Microsoft's Build 2014 conference, now taking place in San Francisco. Version 8.1 of Windows Phone had been shown at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year. Windows phones currently only represent about 3 percent of the worldwide smartphone market. Additionally, the company said that its Windows 8.1 update for desktops, laptops and tablets will be released April 8.

Bing Search Engine

Microsoft said that conversations with Cortana can be conducted by a user through text or voice. She is also powered by the Bing search engine, essentially becoming the new front end in 8.1 for Bing on Windows phones.

Joel Belfiore, a Microsoft executive, conducted a webcast demonstration of Cortana at the Build conference. When asked to book an appointment for him, she knew when he had a conflict. In addition to knowing your calendar, Cortana also looks through your e-mail to find anything she might need to know about your travel plans. But Cortana made some mistakes during the demo, such as providing weather in Celsius instead of the requested Kelvin, and Belfiore noted that she is still in beta.

The voice agent was also asked to issue a reminder about the health of a puppy when Belfiore next conversed with his sister, and a text message to that effect appeared when his sister conveniently called him during the demo.

The Notebook

On request, Cortana also found several high-end Mexican restaurants in the Palo Alto, Calif., area and launched a Skype call. In addition to Bing, the digital agent has access to the phone's contacts and calendar, can handle texts, and has a "Notebook" that includes all of the information Cortana knows, thinks she knows, or infers about the user.

The Notebook can be modified by the user, such as letting Cortana know which callers to let through as live calls or which to send to voice mail.

In addition to Cortana, Windows Phone 8.1 will feature the ability to type without lifting a finger between keys. There will also be an Action Center with app and battery notifications, and automatic connections will be made to available Wi-Fi hotspots to save on data charges.

For enterprises, the updated Windows Phone will provide full certificate management, provisioning for virtual private networks and Wi-Fi, and app black-listing or white-listing.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
Protect 100% of your Data The prevalence of laptops and mobile devices in the enterprise makes corporate data increasingly vulnerable to loss and breach. And yet, workforce productivity is now inextricably linked to mobility. Click here to access the white paper "Top 10 Endpoint Backup Mistakes" to learn more about how to confidently protect data across platforms and devices while also providing features designed to enhance the end user experience.
MORE IN CLOUD COMPUTING
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Who Is the Hacker Group Lizard Squad?
Are they dangerous or just obnoxious? That’s what many are wondering about the hacker group Lizard Squad, which tweeted out a bomb threat that grounded a flight with a Sony exec aboard.
 
Are Government Spies Tipping Off Tor?
Less than a month ago, tech news headlines heralded a Tor Project breach. Now, some are saying that government spies are sharing information with Tor to help it prevent future breaches.
 
Backoff Malware Hits 1,000+ Businesses, Likely More
More than 1,000 businesses across the U.S. might have been affected by Backoff, a new kind of point-of-sale (PoS) malware, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 
Alert: HP Recalls 5 Million Notebook AC Power Cords
HP is recalling about 5.6 million notebook computer AC power cords in the U.S. and another 446,700 in Canada because of possible overheating, which can pose a fire and burn hazard.
 
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 
Verizon Hops on the Voice-Over-LTE Bandwagon
Wireless provider Verizon is gearing up for a nationwide launch of its Voice-over-LTE service over the next several weeks, promising clearer and crisper phone calls and a Skype-like video service.
 
Smartphone 'Kill Switch' Law in California; Will Other States Follow?
California’s new law -- signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday -- aimed at deterring cellphone theft could mean most mobile phones sold in the U.S. will soon include similar “kill-switch” tech.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.