Cortana's a character

Cortana can be helpful when you need to find a sushi place nearby or want to know the weather forecast, but the voice assistant from Windows Phone 8.1 also has an humorous side.

With the right questions and commands, you can get a peek at her personality. Click through to see some of the highlights.

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: James Martin/CNET

Give me the dirt on Siri

I couldn't resist asking Cortana about her rival Siri. Luckily, she gave me just the quippy answers I hoped for.

Ask Cortana if she knows Siri (left) and she makes a joke about the old iPhone 3G model. If you inquire about who's better, Cortana or Siri (right), Cortana reminds you the she'll help save the world one day.

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

What about Google?

It's no surprise that if you ask Cortana which is better, Bing or Google (left), she'll tell you Bing.

Amazingly, if you ask if she even like Google (right), Cortana admits that the search engine is impressive, but that she doesn't use it.

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Tell me about Bill Gates

Cortana isn't shy about her feelings for Microsoft's co-founder when you ask if she likes him (left).

If you ask the tongue-in-cheek question "Who's your daddy?" (right) she'll tell you it's technically Bill Gates.

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

How do you really feel about Microsoft?

Bill Gates isn't the only Microsoft CEO Cortana likes to talk about. You can ask what she thinks about current chief executive Satya Nadella (left) and former CEO Steve Ballmer (right).

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Always a jokester

If you need a laugh, Cortana's got you covered. Say "tell me a joke" and she'll give you one of several sometimes funny, often cheesy, jokes. My personal favorite is on the right above.

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Deeper questions

Just because Cortana is funny, doesn't mean she can't try to be profound. Ask "What is the meaning of life?" (left) and you'll often get an answer that's a nod to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

If you rephrase the question to "What's the answer to the universe?" (right) Cortana gets a bit more poetic.

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Do you love me?

Ask Cortana if it loves you, and you'll get a response only a piece of software that doesn't really grasp human emotions can give.

However, if you tell Cortana you love her, she'll reply "Thanks. Ditto," or "Awesome, now I'll never have to say I'm sorry."

For some questions, including "Do you love me?," Cortana will give you one of several pre-programmed answers. Other questions will only get you the same answer over and over.

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

What are you wearing?

Cortana might not be human, but she still appreciates a good outfit. Ask her "What are you wearing?" and you'll get one of the two funny responses above.

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Talk dirty to me

Don't expect Cortana to whisper sweet nothings into your ear -- if you tell her to "Talk dirty to me" she deflects and urges you to reach out to the Internet for your, uh, needs.

I blame copy editor Jeff Sparkman for this one.

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Halo origins

Cortana's not shy about her origins in the game series Halo. You can ask her to explain the game (right), or find out who created Cortana (left).

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

How old are you?

Since Cortana is technically from the future, she can't pinpoint exactly when she was born (right) or how old she is (left).

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Cortana, you're awesome

Applaud Cortana for her service and you'll get a few funny responses. It's clear Cortana is programmed to think that she's awesome too.

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Thanks Cortana!

You can show your appreciation for the voice assistant by saying thanks, and Cortana will respond in kind.

See how Cortana stacks up against Siri and Google Now.

Photo by: Sarah Mitroff/CNET

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