Microsoft’s Cortana Going Global

Microsoft, who’s Windows Phone has provided much competition for opposing companies such as Samsung and Apple, has recently come out with the new Windows Phone 8.1 with a new digital assistant feature called “Cortana”. What’s particularly special about this new feature is that now it will be available internationally, beginning with China and the U.K.

Cortana will specifically cater to the countries in which it is used. For example in China where it is nicknamed “Xiao Na” the application will develop specific features for China such as a different visual appearance, animations, and sounds. Most importantly “She supports Chinese (Mandarin) in voice, text, and speech. She also has specialized suggestions tuned specifically for people living in China, like air quality information in weather cards, information about driving restrictions, and the ability to track local TV shows and celebrities. She can look up English words in the Bing Dictionary for people looking to brush up on their English”, stated Joe Belfiore, Microsoft’s vice president.

Cortana has also tailored to support the United Kingdom’s grammar and “Bing-provided” local data anywhere from business information to weather to sports updates. It has also adopted a local English accent depending on where you are located in the UK. While these factors are very important, Cortana also provided a hands-free option for phones that are connected to Bluetooth in cars. While China and the UK are test countries, Cortana is also expected to reach other countries such as Australia, Canada and India in the near future.  It is expected that this new and improved Windows Phone 8.1 will give Apple IPhone’s and Google devices a run for their money.

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