There has been a lot of hype and anticipation surrounding Cortana, the voice assistant feature for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 mobile operating system. Cortana is expected to make its way to the UK in the coming weeks and according to the reports, British users will be pleased to learn that Microsoft has given Cortana a British accent, at least for their side of the world.
It might seem like a novel addition but by making Cortana sound a bit more familiar to users, the experience won’t be too alien and would actually be somewhat comforting to hear. In fact one of the things Microsoft is striving for with Cortana is for its users to speak to it naturally, like they would if they were holding a conversation with friends, as opposed to yelling commands at it and trying to get it to work.
Marcus Ash, the program manager for the Cortana project, added on Twitter that Cortana had been a tough project for the company, and that they had learnt a lot about scaling in the process. The update should be arriving in the next week or so, assuming that everything goes according to plan.
As we had reported earlier, due to the cloud nature of Cortana, users won’t have to wait for updates to enable it. Instead the feature should turn on by itself when Microsoft flips the switch, so if you’d like to know when it has been activated, you could keep checking it to see if it has. In the meantime does the idea of a British-sounding Cortana appeal to you?