Cortana

Microsoft showed of Cortana today, its answer to Apple’s Siri.

They improved on Siri in two big ways:

Notebook.

The ability to enter information manually for Cortana to use. Like favorite locations, relations, and other general information. So when repeating my asking for a favorite X, Cortana knows what to answer. But where Siri knows is and only tells you that information, here you can visually check what information Cortana uses to answer your questions.

An assistant should handle everything.

Microsoft took all the OS’s new features and put them under Cortana’s brand. So where Apple has Do Not Disturb as a feature, for Microsoft it’s Cortana that manages when to notify you, or who’s allowed to call you.
The end result is the same. But Microsoft turned a feature in the settings menu into a quality and something’s that’s handled by a ‘person’. They gave our digital assistant one more task to manage. They turned something complex into something that my mother can understand.

I really like what they showed today. And hopefully, pressure from both Google Now and Cortana will force Apple to keep on improving Siri.