Microsoft is playing catch-up with Apple and Google again. ZDNet reports that Microsoft plans to release Cortana, a new voice-enabled personal assistant program, in early 2014. ZDNet says that Cortana “is central to what Microsoft is doing to compete with Apple’s Siri and Google Now” and that it “will be able to learn and adapt, relying on machine-learning technology and the ‘Satori’ knowledge repository powering Bing.” Cortana is seemingly more ambitious than either Siri or Google Now, however, as Microsoft envisions it as the core interface with future versions of Windows, Windows Phone and even its Xbox operating system. ZDNet notes that Cortana is a big reason why Microsoft isn’t selling Bing off anytime soon even though it’s been a perpetual money-loser for the company.
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