Microsoft demos Cortana

The first session at BUILD 2014 is a demo showing Cortana – the Microsoft personal assistant and Siri competitor.

It’s a really good demo because it shows the depth and complexity of Microsoft’s voice recognition efforts. We’ll have the video for you later.


The Cortana service is still in Beta but is still very impressive. Cortana gets data from Bing and all the other Bing associated feeds.

The main differentiator between Siri and Cortana is that Microsoft is trying to absolutely make Cortana seem like a seamless partner with EXPANDED speech recognition.

The demo showed Joe Belfiore asking a WIDE range of questions ranging from simple to follow-on to very complex. Cortana was able to handle most of those with minimal glitches.

Not shabby.

Especially impressive is the ability to have the phone remind you about something based on who you are calling for example – “remind me to ask my sister about her cat next time I talk to her”.

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems. In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. (

  • Sally Black

    This looks amazing! It certainly seems like they started with something they knew was great. Cortana is a strong start. Well done.

  • Ted Smith

    The interface showed on the side looks incredible in my opinion. To me, this will be an overwhelming success. I think this will be better than siri.

    • Jason Claven

      I agree, Ted. The visuals are impressive. Like you, I have a feeling this will be better than siri, which isn’t that high of a standard.

  • Jake

    It does look nice. My worry is that Bing won’t have the effective results quickly enough. However, as most have said, beating siri shouldn’t be too hard. My friends are always yelling at that damn thing! ha

    • WillyThePooh

      Siri imo is definitely a failure according to Apple’s standard.