Microsoft highlights what’s new with Cortana – complete with NFL predictions, dictionary, and more

Microsoft highlights what's new with Cortana - complete with NFL predictions, dictionary, and more

Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now. Cortana, since its unveiling in early April, has been touted as the “most personal smartphone assistant” that learns your interests and helps keep track of all that matters. Best of all, Cortana will continue to improve with server-side refinements. 

Microsoft has launched a new section on the Windows Phone website, showcasing some of Cortana’s newest features and improvements. Here is what Microsoft had to say in an official blog post today:

After launching Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1, the Cortana Team took about 8 minutes to catch their breath, and then set to work making your digital assistant even better. For instance, did you know she can get stuff done in more apps now – like Facebook? Nelson over on the Windows Phone writing team put together a new page to highlight the fun and useful new features. He’ll be updating it from time to time as Cortana grows and evolves – and we’ll let you know when he does.

So what’s new? Well, first of all, Cortana features NFL predictions just in time for the football season. All you have to do is ask Cortana for an NFL game prediction and she will give you her pick. But keep in mind that these predictions are only available in the United States and are for entertainment purposes only. Simply hold the Search button and ask Cortana, “Who will win the [team] versus [team] game?” You can even specifically ask her, “Who will win the [team] game?

Cortana also doubles as your personal dictionary. Just ask her, “Define awesome” and she will give you the definition on demand. To take things to a physical level, Cortana can even give you answers about workouts and exercises. Just ask her, “What is a crunch?”

You can also add new interests in Cortana’s Notebook. Just go to Cortana > Cortana’s Notebook > Interests > Add > Discover, and just tap the interest you want to add. Feeling social? Have Cortana automatically launch your Facebook app so you can see what’s going on with a particular friend. Just say, “Facebook, what’s up with [friend]?”

Here are a few other questions you can ask her:

  • “Are you alive?”
  • “Do an impression”
  • “What does the fox say?”
  • “Who’s the coolest person in the world?”
  • “Are you a girl?”
  • “What is your purpose?”

The best part about Cortana is that she is powered by Bing and learns over time as she asks you questions based on your behavior. Cortana can even check in with you before she assumes you are interested in something. She can also detect and monitor the items you care about and looks out for you throughout the day, even going as far as filtering out the noise so you can focus on what matters the most to you.

If you missed it, our very own Michael Archambault wrote a piece about Cortana not too long ago, showcasing everything you need to know about her. 

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