As Siri prepares to exit beta with the launch of iOS7, it has been rumoured that Microsoft is preparing a competing system for Windows Phone.
Siri has been a staple of Apple’s iPhone and iPads since the iPhone 4S was released in 2011. However, having been in beta for two years, the voice-recognition software is finally to get a proper release when iOS 7 becomes publically available to download on Wednesday (September 18th).
The (re)release of Siri will add several new features, including the option to choose between a male or female voice, and a larger selection of recognised commands.
Meanwhile, ZDNet has reported that Microsoft is working on a similar piece of software which is named ‘Cortana’, after the helpful AI from the Halo series of games.
An app listed as ‘zCortana’, with the z- prefix labelling it as test software, appeared on a leaked version of the Windows Phone operating syste, but was largely ignored at the time.
It now seems that the presence of the app compliments rumours that Microsoft will release a Siri-like system by the name of Cortana for Windows Phone 8.1 when the operating system is launched in 2014, and will be powered by the same source that backs Microsoft’s search engine Bing, Satori.
Microsoft has previously said that it wouldn’t release voice-recognition software unless it could offer something revolutionary, and other sources have said that the assistant is unlikely to be released until between 2014 and 2016.