Microsoft’s Cortana is set to arrive on Windows Phone devices within the UK, sometime during the next two weeks. She will come with all the software brilliance that Microsoft has demonstrated so far, but alas, the iconic Cortana voice (by Jen Taylor) will be replaced by someone with an English accent, perhaps taking a little of the shine off Microsoft’s new service.
We’ve spoken before about how cool the new Windows Phone virtual assistant is. Named Cortana, after the HALO series of games, she represents one of the best virtual assistants in the mobile world, and very soon, she’s going to be coming to the UK. There is, however, a slight downside…
Let’s focus on the positives first, shall we. According to Microsoft’s Marcus Ash (via his Twitter feed), Cortana is due to hit the UK very soon. Barring any problems, Cortana will be rolling out for Windows phones, like the Nokia Lumia 930 and Nokia Lumia 1020, within the UK in the next two weeks.
This is, of course, a very good thing; Cortana is one of the best virtual assistants we’ve ever seen, able to learn your habits more intelligently than, say, Siri on the iPhone 5S, or Google Now on Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the mighty LG G3. On top of that, she also has the coolest voice of all the mobile virtual assistants, because just like in the game, Cortana is voiced by the talented Jen Taylor.
Or, at least, she’s voiced by Jen Taylor in the USA, because apparently, Cortana will have an English accent when she hits these shores.
There has been a fair amount of backlash to this decision, naturally, as part of what made Cortana so appealing as an app is that she isn’t just a virtual assistant, she is the actual, honest-to-god Cortana. Taking away the character’s voice makes the service less appealing, so we would hope that Microsoft includes an option to revert to the original and proper Cortana voice.
Even if not, though, this is still a good reason to get excited, because Cortana is still a genuinely accomplished virtual assistant. She is due to hit the UK within two weeks, so stay tuned for more news.