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Siri rival Cortana coming to Windows, phones and Xbox One

Inspired by the voice in Master Chief's ear, Cortana is a forthcoming voice control system for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox One.

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Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
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Look out Siri: Cortana is comin' for ya. Inspired by the voice in Master Chief's ear, Cortana is a forthcoming voice control system for Windows, Windows Phone and the Xbox One.

Cortana is named after a character in Microsoft's Halo games, an AI who doles out help and advice to you as you play the role of Master Chief.

The name was chosen because Cortana on your phone is designed to learn and adapt the same way Cortana the character does throughout the series of Halo games.

That's in part thanks to Microsoft's search engine Bing, and Satori, Microsoft's store of knowledge that's clever enough to join up knowledge about people, places and things.

CNET has learned that Cortana is central to the future experience of using Windows, Windows Phone and the Xbox One. It's set to be more than just a way of commanding your phone, computer or games console by talking to it, but exact details are yet to emerge.

Sadly we won't see Cortana in its finished form -- and presumably with a new name -- until somewhere between 2014 and 2016.

Can Windows Phone compete with Siri? Is voice control the future? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or have your say on Facebook page.