How Microsoft created a virtual assistant that could blow Siri away

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Windows Phone is still a distant third to Apple and Android in the smartphone market, but Microsoft is hoping to change that with the introduction of Windows Phone 8.1— and more importantly its personal digital assistant Cortana.

Microsoft claims that Cortana isn’t like your average virtual assistant. She’s supposed to be a little wittier, more personable, and capable of learning more about you than Siri or Google Now.

After using Cortana for a week and speaking with Microsoft’s Marcus Ash, Partner Group program manager, it’s clear that the company’s got a lot riding on the success of its new virtual assistant.

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