Microsoft is continuing to prove to be quite a contender for longtime tech rival, Apple. Apple, on the other hand is receiving threats left and right from fellow tech companies. In the last year, we have seen considerable improvements from a variety of companies, who have all seem to have gotten on the road to perfection in terms of one of their subdivisions as a tech company. For example, although the iPhone is usually hailed as the supreme smartphone, Samsung’s release of the Galaxy S4 (and now, the Galaxy S5, along with awesome “phablet” releases in the Note 3), and other premiere smartphones only exemplifies the desire from other tech companies to soak up the spotlight.
Samsung, however, is not the only company that wants some of the credit and attention, though. LG is promising huge things in the LG G Pro 2, HTC could make heads spin with the HTC One 2 (Yeah, the name is kind of weird), and Microsoft could work some magic as well, but not with hardware. Microsoft’s newest addition to their arsenal is actually a voice assistant, aimed at rivaling the acclaimed Siri. In this article, we will briefly go over just how great of an addition this was for Microsoft, and whether or not the formidable Cupertino-based company, Apple, needs to work on improving their products to ensure their rights to the “Technology Titan” title.
In a hands on demonstration, we were able to compare Cortana directly up against Siri, as well as draw some conclusions about this new and additional feature from Microsoft. We were able to test the two voice recognizing personal assistants by asking them a variety of questions, from restaurants, to movies, to directions, to jokes. The results are fairly interesting. For starters, there are a few things we noticed in our tests: Cortana is much better with follow up questions than Siri is.
Even after nearly 3 years after its initial launch, and likely almost 4 years of development, there are still some minor flaws in the manner in which Siri operates, which presented themselves during our tests. When asking for restaurants, both assistants were able to quickly and promptly pull up nearby eateries, diners, and restaurants. Only Cortana, however, had the capacity to then answer follow up questions and deliver information such as menus, pricing, and more. In terms of capacity, they both seem to be able to answer a ridiculous amount of questions and comments, and I would not say that either of the two has a more extensive capacity to serve.
In terms of jokes, Siri is hands down the winner. Siri seems to have an adept capacity in understanding the insinuated in addition to getting the direct message from its users. This carries over into when you may be taking a break from working, and decide to have some fun with Siri. She (or “he”, for some of you) is able to give some fairly witty responses to even the most ridiculous of questions. Cortana, on the other hand, shows its youthfulness, negligent to the ironic and humorous world she resides in. Soon though, you may be able to expect Cortana to mature a little bit, and better understand jokes, as we all did when we were young. The reason Siri wins this, is simply because of the years of development it has been privy to. It is experience not yet held by Microsoft, and Siri offers the wittier of the two.
In conclusion, it seems as though Microsoft has developed an excellent voice assistant to begin with. A fantastic start, the sky is now the limit for Microsoft, and Apple may or may not have some catching up to do. The only reason they might not have to, is because I’m not sure if voice assistant quality is the determining factor between the iPhone 5S and any Microsoft phone. You may not even be crazy about the voice-assistant in your phone, and unless you are a devoted user of such, and by that, I mean an absolute fanatic, the two are virtually the same. You may see an edge for Microsoft, you may see one in Apple’s favor (I will admit, the third-party app integration may be key for some of you). Regardless, you should not let this voice assistant matchup dictate what phone you buy. For now, Apple offers a premium set of other features, but let this signify the quality of the competition they are beginning to face. Apple’s Siri is definitely a quality assistant, but Cortana reigns supreme in this battle. If this type of behavior continues from the competitors in Samsung, LG, HTC, and Microsoft, Apple may fall off in sales, prompting all competitors to up the value of their products. If this happens, and I am hoping they do, there could be some incredible things in store for consumers.