Sign up for our newsletter
Technology / Software

Microsoft to release UK Cortana preview in under two weeks

Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant is set to make her UK debut in less than a fortnight.

Redmond will launch a "developer preview" of the much-vaunted digital assistant in early August at the latest, according to the group program manager for Cortana on Windows Phone.

Marcus Ash responded to a question on Twitter about the UK launch of Cortana by saying: "Barring an unforeseen issue, down to less than two weeks for the developer preview."

White papers from our partners

He added, after other responses: "Thanks for your patience. Tough project but we have learned a lot about scaling. Now we need to finish."

The UK release of Cortana was originally set for late 2014, with timing dependent on when the assistant came out of beta testing, before Ash revealed in late June that it would be a matter of weeks before the launch.

The technology for Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system is based on machine learning and can read your emails, book your meetings, find local restaurants and even understands relationships enough that it can remind you to ask about your sister’s new flat the next time you catch up.

But fans of the Siri-like assistant, based on a character in the Xbox game Halo, may be disappointed to hear she’ll have an English accent to suit her in Blighty.

Ash was asked if she would have a "British accent" – American for ‘English accent’ – and he replied "definitely".

So can we all expect a real Mary Poppins voice chirping from our phones reminding us to tidy our rooms? We’ll find out soon enough.
This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.