Will Microsoft's Cortana outsmart Siri?Windows devices may get a more intelligent assistant, Roku to add Chromecast-like feature, and Google+ offers advanced photo-editing tools.
Microsoft is working on something smarter than Siri. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your CNET Update. Microsoft is planning to have smart-assistant technology in all Windows devices and its code named Cortana, after the intelligent computer named Cortana in the Halo videogame series. Cortana is getting buzzed in the news lately as Windows phone gears up for software upgrade. But Microsoft Executive told CNET that an Apple Siri or Google Now competitor would only be launched when a technology is revolutionary rather than simply an evolutionary step-forward. That might take another two years. Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer did hint at something like this in previous statements. He said there would be a system that could do more than just answer voice commands. It would learn and adapt overtime to people in the world and even anticipate when it's needed before the user asks for it. Roku, the streaming video setup boxes adding a new feature that works like Google's Chromecast. Owners can stream content to the television straight from apps on the smartphone. Now, Roku already has an app for Apple and Android that turns a smartphone into a basic remote control. But this would take it a step further with users able to pull up a video from another company's app like say, NetFlix or even the CNET app and then click on a shortcut button to start playing that video on a TV. It sounds cool but there was no word on when this technology would be available. Next year, Samsung televisions may run on Samsung's operating system called Tizen. Samsung has been working on making its own open-source operating system instead of only depending on Android. Samsung's co-CEO says Tizen based TVs could hit the market next year in 2014. And the goal is to connect all of Samsung's devices with the common operating system. But I think it'll be a while before people want to buy a Tizen phone over an Android phone. So between Cortana, Roku and Tizen, these are all of things that are in store for the future. But if you want something that you can try today, head on over to Google Plus on a Google Chrome web browser and you'll find new photo editing tools. Google has been continuously improving photo tools on Google Plus. You may be familiar with the auto-awesome feature. It automatically color enhances photos and makes animations from photos that are taken in a quick sequence. But these changes give users on Chrome more fine tune control. For example, you might only want to enhance the color of one part of the photo. Google also added new filters and cropping and rotating tools. The major web giants are fighting to be your home for uploading photos. Google is hoping to lure you in with free editing tools like this. That your tech news update. But you can get more details on these stories at cnet.com/update or follow along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.