Windows 10 Cortana vs Siri: a Short Analysis

By: Ujjwal Kumar
4 minute read

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Cortana was first introduced as an answer to Siri and Google Now, initially only for Windows Phone 8.1. Eventually Microsoft expanded it to more platforms – including Windows 10 on desktop as well as mobile.

Just like Siri, Cortana acts as a personal digital assistant, however while Siri has a bit of experience and has been learning from people for a while now; Cortana is new and is still learning the tidbits.

In this article, we are going to compare the two amazing digital assistants. While Cortana, works on all the Windows and Android devices, Siri has only refrained to Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad. It will only be ridiculous to expect them to be perfect and each of them have their own flaws – but also their own distinctive personalities.

Information

Despite everyone calling these services “digital assistants” it is quite a stretch to do so – what they mostly do is provide you with some factual information. When asked questions like “How is the day, outside?”, Siri will reply back with the current conditions and show a brief forecast. Cortana, however, provides a detailed spoken report which can arguably be better. You can also ask these assistants simple questions such as “Barack Obama’s wife’s name”, “Length of China wall”, and they will answer with the correct facts – with variations in units where applicable.

Service

There are of course some advanced functions to these assistants that make your day to day life a little bit easier, such as finding the nearest grocery stores within a mile etc. Both Siri and Cortana are functional when it comes to performing local searches but Cortana provides more in-depth results.

For example, Siri displayed some three address within three different complexes, on the other hand, Cortana bothered to mention about the floor as well. Depending on where you live you can also use these assistants to do things for you such as making a reservation for lunch by mentioning the restaurant’s name.

If that doesn’t work, you can still ask for phone numbers of a specific restaurant and call them to make reservations. Both of them are capable of showing movie listings along with new releases in nearby theatres and link to apps that let you book tickets online.

Speed

While features and the accuracy of information matters, how fast these assistants reply to your queries also has a significant impact on how natural they can behave.

Afterall, an assistant that takes more than 10 seconds to give you an answer is not doing it’s job well. No matter how natural these two assistant sound, they are very digital at the end – and thus are limited by the laws of physics. Both Siri and Cortana depend on your internet connection to formulate the response for your queries, and thus highly depend on your latency times to Apple and Microsoft’s servers. This is where Microsoft can leverage its global CDN network – which Apple lacks.

No matter where you are in the world, Microsoft has a data center to serve your digital assistant to you – something Apple has not worked hard enough for. And thus, Cortana has better response times than Siri in most parts of the world – this completely depends on where you are and what kind of latencies you are getting to their respective servers but there is a higher chance of getting better latencies to Microsoft than Apple.

Humor

The last test of the three tests is the personality test. Though it is not important, it is relevant to know the wit of your digital assistant, just in case you want to show it off at some point. You can demand a joke from Cortana or Siri, and you will be presented with one – whether it’s a good one or not entirely depends on what their respective companies have taught it – though Siri seems to be better at it. Both of them perform well when challenged with a humorous question, but don’t expect them to be your girlfriend as they’ll just end up putting you into the friendzone!

Conclusion

Even though both of them are equally good, there are certain minute differences that made one of them better. In conclusion, both Cortana and Siri are at the same level of expertise regarding the facts they can provide, however both failed to be more descriptive about the complicated tasks when compared to Google Now but tried their best.

Compared to Cortana, Siri proved to have more wit and yet answer questions gracefully. In closing, while Siri might have better personality traits and higher a higher chance of making you smile with its witty responses, Cortana provides answers to your questions with more detail and is more on the serious side – unless you really ask it something stupid.

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