Cortana

Open source Sirius virtual assistant gets Google funding

Open source Sirius virtual assistant gets Google funding

Virtual, personal assistants seem to be the rave these days on mobile, from the big ones like Siri, Cortana, Google Now, and most recently BlackBerry Assistant, to the little known apps and services scattered throughout app markets. So it isn't surprising that we're hearing about another one called Sirius, a not so subtle play on Siri perhaps, but this software, and we can't call it product yet, hailing from the University of Michigan is a bit different. For one, it is open source software. And quite surprisingly, it has the financial support of Google.

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Microsoft’s Cortana reportedly coming to iOS, Android

Microsoft’s Cortana reportedly coming to iOS, Android

Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, is a cornerstone of the company’s move toward a more universal OS that spans screens. Whether it be phone, tablet, or desktop, we’ve seen Cortana become integral in Microsoft’s push forward. The company has also been making their other services like Office available to other platforms, like iOS. Now, it seems Microsoft is ready to take Cortana outside of the Windows platform as well. A new report says Microsoft will spin Cortana off into a standalone app, which they’ll make available for both iOS and Android.

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Spartan browser, Cortana play nice in leaked Windows 10 vid

Spartan browser, Cortana play nice in leaked Windows 10 vid

In Windows 10, Microsoft will be breaking from the past. Somewhat. And at least when it comes to web browsers. It will still ship with Internet Explorer "for legacy reasons", but it wants people to know that it is working on the next big thing, presently codenamed "Spartan". Unlike the bloat that is usually associated with IE, Spartan is absolutely minimal. It doesn't even have visible window borders! But more than just its looks, Spartan has a few talents to show, including a special friendship with Cortana.

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Siri, Cortana saves voice commands, passes to 3rd parties

Siri, Cortana saves voice commands, passes to 3rd parties

The recent privacy scandal that Samsung's Smart TVs have brought the issue of privacy and security with such voice-controlled features into the spotlight. But if you thought that Samsung was alone in this behavior, you'd be dead wrong. Perhaps it isn't common knowledge yet that smart assistants like Siri, Google Now, or even Cortana do keep your commands for some time for the purpose of improving services. But the duration of that storage as well as its reach is probably not so known. Until now.

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Dear Microsoft: this is NOT how to sell Cortana

Dear Microsoft: this is NOT how to sell Cortana

From time to time, Microsoft is able to come up with video ads that don't manage to embarrass itself while waging its marketing war against Apple. Remember the Cortana versus Siri ad about speakers? Now that one was done in good taste and has a pretty amusing punchline. Sadly, there are times when Redmond comes out with a video that makes you wonder what the marketing team has been smoking, like this new Cortana vid that is sure to strike a nerve with some members of the female gender.

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Windows 10 Technical Preview update: what’s new in January

Windows 10 Technical Preview update: what’s new in January

The first big public - Insiders Only, but still - release of Windows 10 has been ushered in. What we're looking at in short order is the bits and pieces Microsoft has brought to this first Windows 10 download that change from our most recent update to Windows 8.1. This includes the new Xbox app, a new Photos app, a new Maps app, Windows Store Beta, wireless audio and video connectivity, a new Settings app, and - of course - a new Start menu, complete with Cortana and her always-listening features.

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10 things to know about Windows 10

10 things to know about Windows 10

Now that Microsoft’s Windows 10 event is wrapped up, we’re left reeling by all the promise their cross-device single platform holds for us. Also impressive is the scope Microsoft imagines the digital world in, and their new technology on deck. While we were happy to find ourselves learning about Windows across platforms, we also get a lot of great new things to look forward to. From today, here are the top ten things you probable need to know about Windows 10.

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Cortana for Windows 10 demoed on desktop taskbar

Cortana for Windows 10 demoed on desktop taskbar

Microsoft is bringing Cortana to a new place for Windows 10, making certain the public understands that with more than just this one system, your computing service is going to be cross-platform. To do this, Cortana has been shown on the desktop's task bar. This is more like a search bar than anything, replicating what we've seen in the past on Windows Phone 8, here now on the bottom of our screen for desktop machines with Windows 10 - all in cool blue, of course.

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Twitter for Windows Phone lets Cortana in on tweeting

Twitter for Windows Phone lets Cortana in on tweeting

The official Twitter for Windows Phone app has been updated, adding Cortana integration for tweeting by voice, and improving how links browsed on your phone can be shared socially. The latest version, for Windows Phone 8.1 devices only, now allows users to tell Cortana - Microsoft's virtual personal assistant, aka Siri for Windows Phone - to fire out a 140 character message without having to tap it in themselves. It's a welcome improvement, though it remains to be seen whether Windows Phone fans, jaded by the ongoing token saga crippling third-party Twitter clients, will warm to the software.

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Windows 10 build 9901 leak: prettier Cortana, better Modern UI

Windows 10 build 9901 leak: prettier Cortana, better Modern UI

It is still a good month or so before Microsoft unveils the Consumer Preview of Windows 10, formerly known as Threshold, and it will still be a few months before consumers can actually get their hands on it. But if the features and changes that are being showcased in this leaked build of Windows 10, specifically build number 9901, then consumers might indeed want to get their hands on it, in contrast to the rather divisive Windows 8.

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