Microsoft posted a video showing how you can make Cortana work for you in Windows Phone 8.1. The 'Getting Started' video shows you just how much Cortana can do.

When Apple released the iPhone 4S in October 2011, the smartphone was no different in terms of design than its iPhone 4 predecessor, but what made the iPhone 4S unique came in the form of a 'intelligent personal assistant' named Siri. The assistant actually got her start as a free third party application available in the App Store.

Apple acquired the company that made Siri in 2010 and the third party application continued to work up until Apple announced the iPhone 4S and Siri in 2011. Right after the announcement, Apple removed the application from the App Store and the app ceased to work.

Apple sold millions of iPhone 4S and a lot of those sales can be attributed to Siri. Soon Samsung and Google each launched their version of a virtual personal assistant with S Voice and Google Now. Windows Phone users will finally get to have a virtual assistant inside their smartphones.

Microsoft began rolling out the Windows Phone 8.1 update a few days ago to existing Windows Phone 8 smartphones. The company has created a video that educates users on how Cortana works and how much the digital assistant can do.

Cortana can be activated by holding down the search button on a Windows Phone, which then brings up Cortana's application allowing you to ask the assistant questions, set reminders, and more. Cortana uses a secure notebook to keep track of what you tell her about yourself, what your interests are and she will use that information to make suggestions.

Microsoft's addition of Cortana brings Windows Phone 8.1 on a more level playing field with Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Cortana isn't the only major new feature in Windows Phone 8.1; users will finally have a drop down notification center to access messages, social updates, and access to commonly used settings like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Rotation Lock. If you own a Nokia Lumia smartphone you can check out when you can expect to be updated here.

Check out the video below to get yourself better acquainted with Cortana and see how she'll work for you.


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