A video has leaked showing the setup process of Windows Phone 8.1's virtual assistant Cortana.
When Apple unveiled Siri to the world with the introduction of the iPhone 4S in October 2011, the company started a huge trend in the mobile world through the use of a digital assistant. Samsung was the next smartphone maker to jump on the "personal assistant living inside your smartphone" idea with the release of the Galaxy S3 in May 2012. Google was the next big player to let users speak to a virtual assistant on mobile devices through the use of Google Now when it released Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in 2012. Microsoft is now getting ready to launch Cortana, Windows Phone 8.1's virtual assistant.
The first images of Cortana leaked recently revealing a circular animated icon that will provide Windows Phone users with a built-in digital assistant. Unleashthephones posted a video which shows what Cortana's setup process will be when the virtual assistant is let loose with the release of Windows Phone 8.1 in the next few months.
You will need a Microsoft account in order to activate Cortana. You'll then move on to answering a few questions, one question asked was "What are a couple of the most enjoyable parts of your everyday evenings?" Cortana will reportedly hold the answer to that question and others inside the assistant's secure Notebook. This will reportedly help shape Cortana's personality, which is said to be somewhat similar to iOS' Siri. The information in the Notebook will help Cortana retain information that can be used for suggestions, reminders, and provide quick results.
Unfortunately, the video doesn't let us hear what Cortana will sound like, that's likely planned for the next leaked video. It does show that Windows Phone 8.1 will get a feature similar to iOS' Do Not Disturb called "Quiet Hours", which Cortana will also manage. This will allow Windows Phone 8.1 users to set a time that their smartphones will not notify them of incoming calls, texts, emails, and more.
Microsoft is expected to release Cortana as part of Windows Phone 8.1, which it is expected to unveil at its Build conference in April. Current reports suggest that Microsoft will release an upgrade to Windows Phone 8.1 to all current Windows Phone 8 smartphones shortly after its April event.