Microsoft launches Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana feedback site, hints of a PC version

The announcement of Cortana as a digital assistant feature for Windows Phone 8.1 a few weeks got a ton of attention, but at the moment it's only available for U.S users of the Developer Preview. In today's Reddit AMA session, Microsoft's Windows Phone leader Joe Belfiore offered some updates on Cortana's future plans.

In one post, Belfiore said that Cortana told the team that "she'd like to travel" and added that they are "hoping to get other English-speaking countries (eg. Canada, Australia) out relatively quickly". Microsoft will offer Cortana in China and the UK for "V1 after Beta." He added:

In the meantime, we're thrilled that people are trying it out in other countries and we use that data to train the system. It's helpful to get accents and hear other queries, and we can detect WHERE these are coming from to help improve the experience later.

Microsoft has also launched a Cortana feedback website so that users can provide their own suggestions on how the company can add and improve their new digital assistant.

When asked if Cortana would be released for the PC platform, Belfiore said, "Nothing specific to announce, but Cortana herself is always telling us she's a fan of PCs herself. :)"

Source: Reddit | Image via Microsoft

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I have said this before and saying it again. Microsoft is going to use the Kinect data to analyse patterns around the world and keep on improving the voice commands which drives Kortana.

I must say, even without Cortana, the speech recognition for Australia is significantly better in Windows Phone 8.1 than it ever was in Windows Phone 8 (In that it's actually somewhat usable now). Looks like it's shaping up nicely.

It will be interesting to see the affect this will have on WP sales since Cortana will be able to sync notifications between WP and Windows (and maybe Xbox One) and will not be able to sync with Android and iOS. Its going to be an interesting year or two.

When she comes to the PC, we should be able to assign our own name for her.

XBOX ONE: say "Xbox"
PC: say "Computah" a la Jean Luc Picard. (any custom name, maybe HAL).
Phone: Long tap on search

Dot Matrix said,
I look forward to where my house has Cortana installed. (Y)

As long as she doesn't turn out like Proteus...

Dot Matrix said,
I look forward to where my house has Cortana installed. (Y)

Unfortunately Cortana is not available in your region. Please relocate your house to make use of Cortana and other Microsoft services :(

Microsoft needs Cortana on Windows. She's a natural fit for desktops/laptops, and is needed for feature parity vs iOS and Android. I will say, though - the old OS/2 Warp guys must feel highly vindicated by the focus on voice with all the mobile OS's.

Chikairo said,

The first step is already there.
Bing search in Windows 8.1 has been updated to accept natural language query.
That's the same as using text mode cortana on the phone today.

I expect some announcement around E3 about Cortana on Xbox One. Saying "xbox" or "Cortana" would be interchangeable and the experience of the personality would be a step up from the current offering on the Xbox One that has no personality, or depth for that matter. Just imagine when Cortana is aware of your likes, interests, etc from not only your phone, but your PC and Xbox One habits. You could say to your phone "remind me when the Bruins are playing"... later on you are jacked up on House of CoDs and Cortana reminds you on your TV to watch the Bruins, giving you the option to watch the game or snapping it.

I have no doubt Cortana will come to PC and also Xbox One. Add to the fact that it will be able to sync it's info then you can get reminders on your Xbox One for example, or tell it to do something that happens on your PC or phone from another device. Like I could be on the PC and tell her to set my phone alarm for example and so on.

It already syncs your reminders. I told her to remind me of Joe Belfiore's AMA on Friday and I was already on my PC waiting for it to start when I got the Calendar notification that it's time.