Exploring Cortana – What secrets does she hold?

By 17th April 2014 One Comment

I’ve been wondering what secret things Cortana can already do. Let’s take a look at some of the cool features I’ve discovered and some that I hope will come as she learns.

Back when Apple first announced Siri, there was very little that it could do. It could answer simple questions and a few preset questions that required hunting down. Well the same goes for Cortana. She may have Bing by her side to provide you with an endless amount of information but there are some questions that she just can’t physically answer.

Well for now, here are a few you can play around with!

Do you know Clippy?

I feel that I shouldn’t really have to explain this but for those who don’t know, Clippy was a quite annoying assistant in Microsoft Office some years ago.

Clippy - Office Online

Clippy comes back for April Fools

As Microsoft’s April Fools joke this year, they brought back Clippy for Office Online with the same whitty comments he used to have. Apparently there is an extension for Visual Studio that connects into ReSharper to bring you a Clippy intellisense… I suggest you don’t do it!

Do you like Siri?

You all know who Siri is. If you don’t, Siri is Apple’s personal assistant for iOS. Unlike Siri though, Cortana will be available for all Windows Phone devices.

Have you seen Arsenio Hall having a conversation with Cortana and Siri? Check it out, you’ll enjoy it!

Do you like Steve Ballmer?

I’ve tried this one a few times because Cortana usually has multiple answers for some questions. Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers is in there! Although Cortana doesn’t shout it as well as Ballmer does.

Sing me a song

While Cortana can’t sing you a full song, she understands pitch… somewhat. You won’t get that from those other monotone personal assistants on phones.

What is Halo?

As Cortana has absorbed the internet, she knows her own future. She has many answers to questions related to Halo so try some more out.

Where are you from?

She may be stuck inside every user’s Windows Phone 8.1 device, she knows her roots.

Tell me a joke

Cortana knows quite a few jokes. What would be awesome though is is she could bring them in from a source somewhere so we could get some more jokes.

Who is your father?

Bill Gates should be proud.


There are many more questions that you can ask Cortana to answer for you but I won’t list them all off and these are just a few of them.

There are some things that Cortana can’t currently do though which she may learn in time. For example, telling you the time. Although it seems lazy to ask her, the two competitors in the mobile personal assistant market can do this. Its a very simple instruction that isn’t currently available.

Another function that would be nice to see is Cortana being able to search the Windows Phone Store to download you apps. Again, this may seem lazy but Cortana sits on top of Bing and of course, Windows 8.1 can do this using its search functionality. Maybe this is something we will see included in the future.

For now, Cortana just needs to learn what people want. It may seem behind its time in comparison to some of the features that Siri and Google Now can produce but you need to remember what those systems were like when they were first introduced.

Cortana is a great addition to Windows Phone and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with her development in the future.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Aiden says:

    I also found out if you ask Cortana if she is part of the illuminati she says “a circle may be infinite, but my answers are not”

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