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Cortana for the Windows Phone Platform Has Some Humorous Talents

Apr 03, 2014 - 1:19 PM - by dgstorm

It seems the Windows Phone version of Cortana has been endowed with a sense of humor (or at least her engineers have one they are expressing through her). It turns out the Microsoft programmers who created Cortana have included some "easter egg" style comedy elements into the upcoming digital assistant. For example, if you ask Cortana to sing, she will oblige you with a brief snippet.

That's not all though, there are other entertaining easter eggs built into Cortana's programming. Check out the video above for a teaser. It will be great to see how they implement Cortana in the Surface product line in the future.
  1 Reply | 295 Views

Microsoft Debuts and Demos Cortana Digital Assistant for Windows Phone 8.1

Apr 02, 2014 - 12:43 PM - by dgstorm

During its Build 2014 keynote, Microsoft just debuted their Cortana Digital Assistant software app along with Windows Phone 8.1. The new Microsoft created competitor to Siri and Google Now includes a host if interesting features and is primarily geared toward Windows Phone 8.1 for now. Here are just a few features demonstrated,

  • The on-screen blue circle spins and audibly responds to audio questions
  • This includes requests for internet searches and checking your calendar
  • When asking Cortana to make a phone call, she automatically opens Skype
  • You can also check a friend's Facebook feed with a simple question
  • Cortana's functions are further accessible by typing in a question
  • Cortana completely replaces the BING search function in Windows Phone, including local content searches

Beyond just Cortana, there are a number of other sweet improvements to Windows Phone 8.1. Here's a breakdown of those,

  • A new pull-down Action Center that can be accessed from anywhere in the user interface
  • Enhanced Calendar options - added a week view
  • Improved Wi-Fi features - Windows Phone can now automatically join public networks if you allow it
  • Wider range of hardware partners
  • Windows Phone keyboard is improved

It looks like Microsoft is making strides into truly perfecting their mobile software. Maybe in a year or two, Microsoft can really start competing hardcore with Google and Apple.

Source: IGN
  3 Replies | 318 Views

With Windows 9, Microsoft may finally forget the past and embrace the future

Apr 01, 2014 - 1:56 PM - by dgstorm

Microsoft is expected to reveal the first details of its next major Windows release this week at Build 2014, ZDNet reports. Windows 9 – codenamed “Threshold” – will supposedly launch in the spring of 2015, but the company is already eager to share its vision of the future of its desktop operating system.

While Microsoft will not actually reveal the full feature list of Windows 9 or mention a target launch date for the new OS, officials are expected to “discuss at a high level the company’s goal to create a new Windows 9 SKU that would run on Windows Phones, ARM-based Windows tablets/PCs, phablets and other kinds of devices.”

Interestingly, Windows 9 might not include a “Desktop for running legacy Win32 apps,” according to “previous tips,” and will be updated “frequently and regularly” via the Windows Store.

Continue Reading @: Windows 9 features and release date news expected at Build 2014 | BGR
  9 Replies | 612 Views

Microsoft discontinues its Surface wireless keyboard adapter

Mar 27, 2014 - 2:28 PM - by dgstorm

Remember the day Microsoft announced its new Surface tablets? Sure you do: there was all the usual pomp and circumstance, and even that keyboard cover that turned the Surface 2 into a portable DJ booth. One thing that may have flown under your radar, though, was the wireless keyboard adapter, a $60 cylinder-shaped thing that allowed users to control their Surface tablets from up to 30 feet away over Bluetooth (like you do with a 10.6-inch device?). In any case, it looks like the accessory never picked up much traction: Microsoft has discontinued the device, which is now showing up as "out of stock" on Microsoft's online store.

A company spokesperson confirmed the news in a statement to CNET: "Due to a number of factors, we are no longer manufacturing the Surface Wireless Keyboard Adapter." As you can see, based on that vague statement, Microsoft isn't keen on explaining why, exactly, it killed off the adapter.

Continue Reading @: Microsoft discontinues its Surface wireless keyboard adapter
  4 Replies | 483 Views

Microsoft Surface 2 with 4G LTE gets priced, arrives in warehouses

Mar 12, 2014 - 9:35 AM - by dgstorm

Microsoft launched its Surface 2 tablet in September of last year, but so far it’s only been available in a Wi-Fi-only flavor. If you’ve been meaning to get one, but decided to wait for a version that’s capable of 4G LTE connectivity, the wait could be almost over for you.

That’s because such devices have already been spotted in store warehouses, although they aren’t on sale just yet. Furthermore, we can even talk about pricing for one particular model. The 4G Surface 2 for AT&T, the one with 64 GB of internal storage, will retail for $679. That’s a $130 premium over the Wi-Fi-only variant of the same capacity, and we are assuming this pricing is valid sans contract.

Continue Reading @: Microsoft Surface 2 with 4G LTE gets priced, arrives in warehouses | Unwired View
  6 Replies | 657 Views

Microsoft Talks Up Cortana Details; Says She will be 'absorbing the entire Internet'

Mar 03, 2014 - 1:23 PM - by dgstorm

Supposedly, a Microsoft insider recently dished out more details on their Cortana AI digital assistant. The voice-activated PA will show up as a blue circular icon in the new Windows Phone 8.1 edition. Additionally, Microsoft plans to imbue it with personality traits. For example, while processing requests Cortana will "humbly" display the message, "I'm absorbing the entire internet. Won't take long..."

If you give it permission, Cortana will be able to scour your messages to share flight details or set notifications on its own. Similar to Google Now, it will supposedly be able to collect calendar reminders, behavior patterns, location data and contact information in something Microsoft calls a Notebook and then dynamically alert you. You will also be able to rename it if you want, and/or Cortana can refer to you by any nickname you choose, adding a more personal touch. Finally, the word is that Cortana will completely replace Bing Search.

Microsoft will be unveiling the first iteration of Cortana sometime next month. Here at HQ, we are anxious to see how well Microsoft implements all of these grand ideas. It's possible Cortana might just blow Siri away, and actually give Google Now a run for its money.

Source: TheVerge
  1 Reply | 538 Views

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