TheVerge just published a post containing more details about Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1!
Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans have revealed to The Verge how Cortana looks and operates, replacing the built-in Bing search functionality on Windows Phone 8.1. While the feature is named after the Halo game series, Cortana will take the form of a circular animated icon instead of a female character. Cortana will animate when it’s speaking or thinking, forming a personality not dissimilar to Apple’s Siri.
Cortana will allow Windows Phone users to set how they want to be called . A key part of Cortana is the ability to save information and data in a Notebook system. Notebook will allow the Cortana digital assistant to access information such as location data, behaviors, personal information, reminders, and contact information. Cortana can also track flights or other mentions in emails, allowing it to generate notifications similar to Google Now.
Cortana will be backed by data from services like Bing, Foursquare, and others to give it some of the contextual power of Google Now. As we revealed last month, the voice-activated assistant will also learn more about users and offer to store this personal data in its Notebook. While Microsoft is using the Cortana name during its testing of Windows Phone 8.1, it’s not immediately clear whether the company will opt to use this particular moniker in the final version of the software. Microsoft is expected to announce Cortana at its upcoming Build 2014 event, and the company will also release a developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1 at the same time.