Cortana’s first demo out.

Cortana interacting with the user

Microsoft’s attempt to take on Apple’s Siri seems to make a mark now.

Cortana interacting with the user
Cortana interacting with the user

What looks like the UI of the Microsoft’s personal assistance, the  details and screenshots  have provided some of the features of Cortana‘, the name for Microsoft’s digital personal assistant, a video has emerged today that shows the voice-activated assistant in action.

 So far it seems that Cortana will require a Microsoft Account to function, and it’s activated after a set of questions, examples of which are demonstrated in the video and the ability to set what nickname the assistant will use to speak to you.

After the questioning is complete, Cortana stores these details in its Notebook and the voice and search functions are then activated.

However the voice of Cortana is still unknown, although we can assume it to be the same as in Halo’ series. It does reveal a do-not-disturb mode that Cortana will manage named “quiet hours”, the feature will silence calls, texts, and other notifications during certain periods when it’s turned on or set to automatically enable. Similar to Apple’s iOS do-not-disturb mode, quiet hours will allow phone calls if a particular caller dials two times within three minutes, or if the caller is part of a favorite “inner circle” list. Text notifications can also be allowed through, or set to automatically reply during the quiet hours period.

Some of the Cortana animations are also shown in the video, where the circular interface bounces and spins when it’s reacting or thinking. Microsoft’s list of questions, combined with a Notebook privacy feature, will allow the personal digital assistant to build up a database of information to provide suggestions, reminders, and other features automatically.

Microsoft is all set to unveil Cortana fully at its Build conference in April, with a developer release due at the same time. Now let’s see what Apple comes up with.