The best new feature in Windows Phone 8.1 is the introduction of the Cortana digital assistant. In a recent feature on the Microsoft Jobs blog, the person who lead the team behind Cortana's creation, Susan Hendrich, offered some more information on how it was developed.
Hendrich's official title is Principal Program Manager Lead, Windows Phone, The blog post quotes her as saying that to create Cortana's personality, the team started by interviewing the personal assistants of celebrities to find out how they were successful in their jobs. Then the team discussed the types of attributes that Windows Phone device owners wanted in a personal assistant.
From those discussions and interviews, a brief was created that served as the basis for the Cortana team to follow. It stated how the digital assistant would respond to a question, what tasks it would do and how she would offer up reminders to Windows Phone owners.
Hendrich also said:
Cortana is competent, caring, confident and loyal. She’s always prepared to help, but not bossy. She’s eager to learn. When she’s chatting, she can be outright funny, peppering her answers with banter or even a sparky comeback. She assumes friendly familiarity with you, but her job is to be your personal assistant.
The rest of the blog entry concentrates on Hendrich herself. At one point, she decided she wanted to help create software. So she memorized "Project Manager for Dummies" before interviewing and getting a job a Lycos. She admits, "I’m a terrible developer, but being a PM is a great fit." Hendrich joined Microsoft in 2006 and the blog has some advice from her on how anyone can get a gig working at the company.
Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft