Today's Build Developer Conference saw Microsoft showing off Windows Phone 8.1, complete with its own personal assistant, the aptly-named Cortana. It's official! Signs of rampancy are likely still dormant, so at least that's one less thing to worry about if you're a Windows Phone user. Probably.
Cortana is powered by Bing, and features a homogenous mixture of Google Now and Siri traits, like a personality and the ability to create alarms, search for restaurants or nearby landmarks, and more. Cortana will launch as a beta, and will also offer "her" own set of useful tricks that might put her one step ahead of the competition, such as a "notebook" where she stores information about you and contacts, searches, and other actions you take when Cortana is in use. Don't worry, though. Your super weird searches should be safe, since you can change her settings to exclude certain people and other items if you want to be secretive.
Windows Phone 8.1 will come sporting some other upgrades to the OS, but Cortana is by far the most notable. I'm waiting for the day I can have SHODAN telling me she found some local events I might be interested in, like a massacre aboard the Von Braun. We're advanced enough as a civilization for this to happen now, right?
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4:30 PM on 06.25.2014