Cortana: Microsoft’s answer to SIRI and Google Now.

As a long time Android user and Google devotee, it took me a bit of time to get used to Cortana. But now that I’m familiar with Microsoft’s virtual assistant, let’s take a look at the differences between Cortana and Google Now.

Cortana can be activated from the lock screen by holding down the “enter button,” which looks like a magnifying glass or standard search button. With Google Now you need to unlock your phone to activate it.

For accessibility and quickness, Cortana wins.

Voice commands are universal across both, but Cortana has a setting or accents called non-native speaker. She can also understand different phonetic spellings of names. I have a few contacts whose names are not spelled conventionally and Google Now couldn’t find them, but with Cortana there have been no problems.

One section where Google Now smashes Cortana is information presentation. For example, when I ask Google for sports scores, they pop right up.

With Cortana, the team page and Wikipedia are presented first. Only by scrolling down do I find the scores.

Also IMDB seems to need a lot of help, as well as many other of Windows’ apps which are sub par at best.

Interactivity with Cortana is vastly superior to Google Now. Although she seldom addresses you by name, you can set what she calls you. You can ask her a cornucopia of diverse and random questions, and she will have an answer for you more often than not.

I have never had the opportunity to work with SIRI, mostly because I haven’t sought one, so I do not have much in depth knowledge about her.

However if you ask Cortana if she is better than SIRI, she says “Well, not to brag or anything, but apparently I’m going to save the galaxy in five hundred years.” A homage to the beloved artificial intelligence from the Halo Franchise that is Cortana’s name sake.

What about you? Do you prefer Google Now, Cortana, or Siri?