Microsoft's Cortana better than Siri, Google Now

We saw plenty of leaks of Cortana before the announcement and honestly just thought it was a Google Now and Siri voice command and search competitor. 

After a detailed demo, QA session and trying out on new Lumias, its functionality extremely impresses. 

Cortana truly is the personal assistant that everyone wants which makes our smartphones as smart as they should be.

Cortana is launched with a single press of the right search icon (magnifying glass). I thought it would launch immediately into the voice command mode like a press and hold on the Start button now does on Windows Phone. A press and hold of the search button will launch Cortana into listening mode, but you can also use Cortana without enabling the voice control part. You see Cortana takes the Google Now awareness part of your life to the next level and provides a useful experience without even using the voice control functions.

You can define your interests, set reminders, establish quiet hours and rules, define your inner circle, identify your favorite places, and much more to start Cortana off. The service then learns your lifestyle over time while also gathering data as you use Bing search on your desktop computer, assuming you are signed into your account. The ability of Cortana to "know you" is very impressive and I can't wait to test it out over time and see how good it gets.

Cortana can also be used as your personal assistant without you ever having to speak commands. You can enter searches and other commands via the keyboard, which is great for commuters and those working in quiet office environments where the idiot constantly speaking to their phone is a major distraction. Microsoft has obviously put a lot of effort into Cortana and it shows, even in its current limited beta state.

Cortana looks to take the digital assistant way beyond what either Siri or Google Now do and could honestly be the service that helps Windows Phone attract more buyers.

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