Microsoft's Cortana disses Siri in new video spot

Running on the new HTC One M8 for Windows Phone, the Cortana voice-activated assistant touts its superiority over Apple's Siri.

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Siri on the left vs. Cortana on the right. YouTube/screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

A new video spot from Microsoft plays up the advantages of both HTC's new flagship phone and the Cortana voice assistant.

Popping up Monday on YouTube, the 30-second spot starts off with the iPhone's Siri singing "I feel pretty, oh, so pretty" before greeting Cortana and commenting that the HTC One M8 looks "nice." Siri also calls the new HTC One" sleek," but says of itself that "I'm more than just a pretty face."

Boasting about its own features, Cortana pipes in that it can check your calendar and the traffic to help you get to your appointment on time. Siri then exclaims how great the HTC One sounds, to which Cortana adds: "I have two speakers for music." In response, Siri says: "Oh, I only have one, and I'm sitting on it."

Microsoft continues to face a challenging mobile market dominated almost exclusively by Apple and Android. The software giant has been pushing Windows Phone via the new features in version 8.1, such as Cortana, and the latest handsets from its partners. Although it's firmly in third place in the mobile market, Windows Phone's market share remains around 3 percent.

Playing up the features of both Cortana and the latest HTC One phone may be a cool marketing strategy. But it's unlikely to boost sales of Windows Phone devices, especially with new iPhone and Android devices coming out soon.

The latest spot follows a video ad from July in which Microsoft touted Cortana as more capable and helpful than Siri. For example, the July spot featured a series of tasks that Cortana was able to accomplish but which Siri sadly said that it could not do. Cortana is also supposed to understand more natural-language queries than can its iOS rival.

Voice assistants have become a key feature on smartphones, but screen size, display quality, and diversity of apps are likely more important features for the average buyer. And with a bigger-screened iPhone expected to appear this month, Microsoft will face increased challenges even maintaining its sliver of the mobile market.

 

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