Cortana highlights Siri’s failings in new Microsoft ad

Cortana highlights Siri’s failings in new Microsoft ad

As Apple knows full well, it’s lonely at the top!

As if the constant shots from Samsung weren’t enough, Microsoft has just unleashed a new ad pitting its Cortana virtual assistant against Apple’s Siri. The ad, for those who can’t view it, begins with Siri ‘singing’ “I feel pretty, oh so pretty” into a mirror, only for the HTC One M8 with Windows to turn up, apparently dazzling the iPhone 5s with its superior size.

“Hi Cortana, you look nice,” says the iPhone 5s.

Cortana goes on to show that she’s “more than a pretty face” by demonstrating the ability to work with traffic update and user calendars to hand out accurate mapping information. The ad then boasts about the phone’s two front-facing speakers.

“Oh, I only have one,” Siri says as the punchline. “And I’m sitting on it.”

This isn’t the first time that Microsoft has bragged about the apparent superiority of its Cortana virtual assistant over Siri. An earlier ad depicted a face-off between the two virtual assistants, based around various anniversary-related questions.

“Now that is a smart phone.” Siri was left fuming at the end of the first commercial.

While it’s kind of understandable that other companies would want to knock Apple off its perch in the smartphone category, just for the sake of originality it would be nice to see an ad from one of Cupertino’s rivals that didn’t focus half its commercial time on perceived weaknesses in Apple’s own products.

Still, while Apple’s astride the high tech world and Microsoft is laying off 18,000 of its employees in its biggest downsizing yet, it’s understandable.

  • Tommyt

    So you didn’t address the fact that Cortana although just months old is more capable than Siri at all. Siri had/has such promise but Apple has used her more as a marketing gimmick than a powerful tool. It’s frustrating to see.

  • luxlamf

    SIRI is a terrible waste of time, The fact it rarely answers the questions I seldom ask it correctly or the ever popular just being “Down” and not working at all shows that its a parlor trick and not something anyone should try and rely on or use with expectations of positive outcomes. Apple should be called out on this miserable technology.

  • http://www.sk1wbw.wordpress.com/ Wayne Williams

    Strange, every time I ask Siri to do something, she does.

  • aaloo

    yeah, siri works for me. I use it regularly. feel bad for people it doesn’t work for. i guess if you really need a virtual assistant you could always download apps that do the same things as siri or get a different phone if you want this feature so bad.

  • herbaled

    Stupid timing by MS. With the new iPhone 6 coming out very soon, it’s Siri improvements may just leave Cortana in the dust. Maybe not, but that’s a hell of a chance for MS to take.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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