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Microsoft is Developing Google-Now Like Capabilities for Cortana

dgstorm

Editor in Chief
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There's no denying that Google "rules the roost" when it comes to search engine capabilities. Their Google Now search service/product is second to none in accuracy and usability. Despite Google's expertise and massive lead in this arena, Microsoft is confident they can develop search capabilities for their Cortana digital assistant which will rival Google Now. Their brightest minds are hard at work crafting their own card based search system which is similar to Google Cards. Their plan is to imbue Cortana with these new abilities.

Here's a quote with more of the details,

Henceforward, Microsoft will offer custom search results inside Bing in a similar manner to how Google displays Google Now information, without actually fully copying Google’s way of doing things. Instead of showing various cards for specific notifications, Microsoft will display a strip at the bottom of the Bing.com homepage made up of multiple cards that will show personalized information.

“Starting today, we are unveiling a set of personalized cards on the Bing homepage that will help you keep track of things that matter to you,” the company wrote. “Set up your interests in Bing settings and you will start seeing personalized news, weather, flights, and stocks with more to come – all as part of the search experience.”

In order to customize their experience, Windows users will simply have to sign into their Microsoft account and set up interests, in order for Bing to track certain information. As long as they stay logged in, Bing will remember their preferences across various devices and apps, including the Cortana assistant and the Bing Sports app support as well.

What do you guys think? Microsoft is arguably the greatest software manufacturer in the world... can they build search features for Cortana that will give Google Now a run for its money?

Source: BGR
 

benjitek

Active Member
There's some stuff about Cortana that's not great. I don't like how it attaches my voice recording to notes and reminders -- I don't want that, I just want the text. Oddly enough, with or without Siri, my iPhone handles Tasks/ToDo's and Notes with my Hosted Exchange account better than my Windows Phone 8.1. Voice initiated notes on my WP go into OneNote, with my recording attached. On my iPhone, they go into the Notes app, recording-free, which syncs OTA with Notes in Outlook -- perfect, if I need to do something more with the info in a Note, I can cut 'n paste it to a new home.

Tasks/ToDo's are a pain on WP -- not sure exactly where it puts them, sort of on the Calendar, but not really -- there's no separate app for Tasks/ToDo -- so who knows, they're in there somewhere but I can't seem to get at them consistently. On my iPhone, the Reminder lists sync seamlessly OTA with Tasks in Outlook. I use Tasks a lot, and when doing so on my iPhone I don't have to think about it -- it just works. On WP, it's annoying.

Microsoft should have a better foundation to build Cortana on top of -- they very well might at some point, but they don't now.

In general, WP 8.x makes me glad I only have it on my work phone, and I pretty much only use it to take work calls and refer to my Calendar. If I actually want to >work< with my Calendar, Contacts, Notes, or Tasks -- I use my iPhone or SP2. WP is coming along nicely, but it has a long way to go before it becomes as useful a tool as the competition...
 
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jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
The mail app is scheduled to receive an additional update....


Also you're the first person I've run into that uses Outlook Notes, I use OneNote/Outlook integration personally....
 
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benjitek

Active Member
...you're the first person I've run into that uses Outlook Notes, I use OneNote/Outlook integration personally...
I use OneNote occasionally, and Evernote often (my work uses the Business version). But the iOS Notes app syncing OTA with Outlook Notes is a great feature -- the equivalent of PostIt Notes. I can use Siri to say 'Note: [blah blah blah]' and have it wind up in Outlook Notes without any action required on my part. I generally don't leave things in Notes -- it's a way to 'jot' down info quickly to reference later, or cut 'n paste it elsewhere.
 

Deckyon

Member
So, probably a stupid question, is Cortana available for Surface Pro 2? or is it going to be a Phone/RT only function?
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
Hard to imagine Cortana, a phone app working better than the kinect.

Cortana uses Bing (actually "Tell Me") Technology using racks of Servers where Kinect has all of its logic built in, so Cortana has more Compute Power behind her and she is rumored to be coming to Client and Xbox eventually with all of your preferences syncing across devices...
 

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