Customer Relationship Management News NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home CRM Systems Customer Service Contact Centers Business Intelligence More Topics...
Mobile Tech
Gartner's #1 for endpoint backup
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Microsoft Demos New Windows Phone Voice Agent Cortana

Microsoft Demos New Windows Phone Voice Agent Cortana
By Barry Levine

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

Joel Belfiore, a Microsoft executive, demonstrated Cortana at the Microsoft Build 2014 conference. When asked to book an appointment for him, she knew when he had a conflict. In addition to knowing your calendar, Cortana also looks through your e-mail to find anything she might need to know about your travel plans.
 



She's called Cortana. Microsoft's first voice-activated assistant -- the company's answer to Apple's Siri and Google Now voice agents -- was demonstrated Wednesday in a beta version as the company unveiled its Windows Phone 8.1 operating system.

The newest update to Microsoft's smartphone platform will be available on phones going on sale in late spring, and all Lumia phones will be updated during the summer via over-the-air transmissions. Cortana will be released first in the U.S., with rollouts in other markets to follow in a schedule not yet released.

The demonstration was made during the opening day of Microsoft's Build 2014 conference, now taking place in San Francisco. Version 8.1 of Windows Phone had been shown at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year. Windows phones currently only represent about 3 percent of the worldwide smartphone market. Additionally, the company said that its Windows 8.1 update for desktops, laptops and tablets will be released April 8.

Bing Search Engine

Microsoft said that conversations with Cortana can be conducted by a user through text or voice. She is also powered by the Bing search engine, essentially becoming the new front end in 8.1 for Bing on Windows phones.

Joel Belfiore, a Microsoft executive, conducted a webcast demonstration of Cortana at the Build conference. When asked to book an appointment for him, she knew when he had a conflict. In addition to knowing your calendar, Cortana also looks through your e-mail to find anything she might need to know about your travel plans. But Cortana made some mistakes during the demo, such as providing weather in Celsius instead of the requested Kelvin, and Belfiore noted that she is still in beta.

The voice agent was also asked to issue a reminder about the health of a puppy when Belfiore next conversed with his sister, and a text message to that effect appeared when his sister conveniently called him during the demo.

The Notebook

On request, Cortana also found several high-end Mexican restaurants in the Palo Alto, Calif., area and launched a Skype call. In addition to Bing, the digital agent has access to the phone's contacts and calendar, can handle texts, and has a "Notebook" that includes all of the information Cortana knows, thinks she knows, or infers about the user.

The Notebook can be modified by the user, such as letting Cortana know which callers to let through as live calls or which to send to voice mail.

In addition to Cortana, Windows Phone 8.1 will feature the ability to type without lifting a finger between keys. There will also be an Action Center with app and battery notifications, and automatic connections will be made to available Wi-Fi hotspots to save on data charges.

For enterprises, the updated Windows Phone will provide full certificate management, provisioning for virtual private networks and Wi-Fi, and app black-listing or white-listing.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Protect 100% of your Data The prevalence of laptops and mobile devices in the enterprise makes corporate data increasingly vulnerable to loss and breach. And yet, workforce productivity is now inextricably linked to mobility. Click here to access the white paper "Top 10 Endpoint Backup Mistakes" to learn more about how to confidently protect data across platforms and devices while also providing features designed to enhance the end user experience.


 Mobile Tech
1.   Screen Troubles Briefly Slow iPhone 6
2.   Bounty Offered for Oculus Rift Bugs
3.   Glass Adds Voice Access to Contacts
4.   Samsung, B&N Partner on Nook Tablet
5.   Acer Desktop Box Rides Chrome Wave


advertisement
HTC One M8 Windows Phone Unveiled
Can be POS device for small business.
Average Rating:
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions at Risk
Users: stick to apps from Google Play.
Average Rating:
Researchers Tout Battery Breakthrough
Lithium anode could triple capacity.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Find Malicious Android Apps Can Hack Gmail
A new study shows that a weakness in the Android mobile operating system can be used to steal sensitive, personal info from unwitting users. Gmail proved to be the easiest app to attack; Amazon, the hardest.
 
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
With businesses wanting computing solutions that do more for less money, Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that it says offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Screen Shortage Briefly Puts Brakes on iPhone 6
RAM? Check. Antenna switch? Check. Screen? Oops. Parts suppliers for Apple have found themselves facing a shortage of screens for the new iPhone 6 as next month's release date for the new smartphone looms.
 
Bounty Offered to Coders for Oculus Rift Bugs
Coders who find bugs in software for the Oculus Rift VR immersive headset could receive a reward of at least $500 under Facebook's White Hat bounty program. Facebook acquired Oculus in March.
 
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Contact Centers | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Customer Data | CRM Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.