windows-phone-81-cortana-14Before Microsoft officially unveiled Cortana, there were rumors about the upcoming feature. In fact the rumors right off the bat had hinted that the feature would be named Cortana, after the AI in Microsoft’s Halo franchise of video games. It made sense, but at the same time raised some eyebrows. Was Microsoft’s really going to perform fan service for their users?

Well Cortana was officially unveiled at BUILD 2014 and the voice talent for Cortana is Jen Taylor who also provided the voice acting for the game, and like they say, the rest is history. But have you ever wondered what the feature could have been called? What were the alternatives out there? In response to a fan asking the question on Twitter, Microsoft’s Marcus Ash replied by saying that at one point in time, the name Alyx was close to being their final choice.

For those unfamiliar with their video games, Alyx is the name of a character from Valve’s Half-Life 2, but it seems that Microsoft felt that Cortana worked better. They also took a peek at reactions to the name Cortana and discovered that for the most part, the community seemed to like the idea of Microsoft’s naming their voice assistant after the iconic video game and one of its characters.

As it stands Microsoft is still working on bringing Cortana to other countries. There was a brief mention of the possibility of Cortana arriving on iOS/Android, but was later clarified that Microsoft was planning on focusing on Windows Phone first. There have also been talks about it making its way onto the Xbox and Windows platforms which we guess isn’t that much of a stretch. In any case what do you guys think? Would you have preferred the name Alyx?

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