Not even Cortana wants to use Windows Phone

rgrg

Cortana may be working for Microsoft, but apparently her free time belongs to Apple. (Picture: @supertino)

Microsoft may enjoy bragging about the perceived superiority of its Windows Phone virtual assistant Cortana over Apple’s Siri, but the actress who voices Cortana apparently isn’t so convinced.

In a recent tweet, actress Jen Taylor (@jentaylortown) tweeted the message “Oh my geez Seattle is beautiful” via iOS, suggesting that while Microsoft may be helping bring in the paychecks, that money is going on Apple products.

In addition to her work as Microsoft’s perky virtual assistant, Taylor also voiced the Cortana character in the Halo games, the character of Zoey in Left 4 Dead, and Princess Peach, Toad & Toadette in various Mario games.

This isn’t the first time that spokespersons, or people affiliated with rival tech brands, have embarrassed their employers by secretly (or not so secretly) favoring Apple devices. At this year’s Oscars, host Ellen DeGeneres appeared on-stage with a Galaxy Note, but apparently ditched the device the moment she went backstage, and was later spotted tweeting out selfies using an iPhone.

Samsung sponsored NBA superstar LeBron James also raised eyebrows when he tweeted that his Samsung device “just erased everything it had in it and rebooted.” James described it as “One of the sickest feelings I’ve ever had in my life!!!” which is presumably not the kind of corporate message Samsung was hoping to convey.

  • NitzMan

    Well I actually decided to give Windows Phone a try, and got a Lumia 930. Turns out, it sucks. So I’ll be getting the iPhone 6. Microsoft might as well just call it quits with Windows Phone in my opinion.

    • josephz2va

      I haven’t been a fan of Microsoft since Windows Mobile 6.1 (2008).

    • http://josedmorales.net/ Joe

      How does it suck? You provide no factual evidence but mere opinion.

      • NitzMan

        Geez, where do I begin…
        * The notification (action) center has no option to clear categories of notifications, only “Clear All”.
        * Most notifications just open the app, and if you have multiple from the same app, it just sits there and never gets cleared.
        * Navigation with the back button can sometimes be unpredictable, depending on the app.
        * A lot of emails in the built-in mail application don’t render correctly for mobile, so there’s a lot of zooming out.
        * A lot of sites don’t render correctly in IE and video is an even bigger mess. Some videos that play fine on my iPhone don’t play on Windows Phone.
        * If you were listening to a song, then watch a video, adjust the volume, you see the name of the song that you were listening to in the volume UI, which takes almost half the screen in landscape mode.
        * Switching from portrait to landscape can sometimes take a while and a few shakes of the phone.
        * If you’re scrolling through a list and want to return to the top, there’s no option short of manually scrolling all the way up, unlike the iPhone where you can tap the top of the screen.
        * Pinch to zoom is finicky.
        * Getting focus lock while trying to take a picture takes a long time, so there’s a huge gap between shots.
        * The settings menu is not organized logically, making finding a specific setting difficult.
        * Tiles take forever to update their content. Sometimes when a tile is filled with content, you can’t quite tell which app the tile belongs to.
        * If you have 14 unread email for example, the tile will show 14, but if you tap on it, read 1 and return to the Start screen, the tile is blank. I doesn’t show an unread count.
        * There’s no email push like on the iPhone, so it polls the server at a specified interval.

        All of these tiny things, including a lot of apps that I use on my iPhone, which aren’t available on Windows Phone just added together, frustrate me. The platform needs a lot of work and I don’t think they’re going to get there anytime soon. It just lacks the level of polish that you’ll find on iOS.

      • Bhargav

        –yeah buddy?
        –the notification center do have the option to clear categorically —-you just have to swipe the the notification of a particular app not press clear all…
        –and you say every notification of a particular app is cleared if you wish to clear a single notif. of an app well what the hell do you do in the app when you go into it for the first time?
        –notifications are meant to remind you when you are outside the app when you are inside you can clearly see whats new..
        –that doesnt require rocket science to understand…
        moving on.. you said that that the unread mail number resets to zero when you check it and come back ..the number shows how many mails you had since checking the mail last time and there is a special unread mails in the category when you swipe right…
        –IE uses the same mobile site rendering functionality for windows phone 8.1.1 update…it uses the same api as android and IOS so quit whining.
        –you have the option to refresh the mail server you want bothered to check the settings?
        –speaking of settings i do agree they are cluttered which they going to arranged in update GDR2.
        –you speaking of lumia cameras bro?..apple sucks duck at camera when it compares to lumia(am not saying bad but its kinda like not upto the lumia level …continuous focus is only not supported in 1020 cause it uses an old processor which windows phone 8 supported then..

      • Peter Hernandez

        You tell him.

      • NitzMan

        Welcome cheerleader :D

      • NitzMan

        * Okay, the swipe to clear is new to me, but it’s clearly inconsistent with the rest of the OS, and there’s no indication that it works in that manner.
        * I did not say that every notification is cleared if you wish to clear a single notification. I said that if you have multiple notifications for a single app, clearing one, leaves the rest intact – they should all be cleared. Learn to comprehend dude!
        * Again your poor comprehension skills… I didn’t say that the mail count resets to zero. I said that if you have 14 unread emails, open outlook and read one, return to the start screen, the unread count disappears, until you receive another email (even though you’d have 13 unread emails).
        * You clearly have no idea about web browsers. IE uses a Trident rendering engine, Safari uses Webkit and Android uses Blink. They’re all very different, although Blink is forked from Webkit.
        * I’ve got a Lumia 930 and yes the camera is not that good. There’s no HDR functionality. There’s definitely no continuous focus. The aperture is lower than the iPhone, which can lead to grainy images in low light. You clearly have no idea about photography.

      • Jeremiah_Nilsson

        Everything you say here and above is correct and the reason I sold my 1520 yesterday….never a WP phone again

      • http://iansvoboda.com Ian Svoboda

        I don’t know how you think iPhones take better pictures than higher end windows phones. Technology in the devices points towards windows phone. Its not for everyone though, you should use what you enjoy using. That is after all what matters.

      • NickZip

        Ahahah, these are typical bullshit I can expect from people found in a site called ‘cult of mac’.
        XDD

      • NitzMan

        Oh you mean facts.

      • http://iansvoboda.com Ian Svoboda

        Facts and opinions are two different things. There’s nothing wrong with using something that you enjoy, but that doesn’t make it automatically bad for everyone.

      • NitzMan

        “Facts and opinions are two different things.” – I’ll make a note of that.

        I’m not stopping anyone from enjoying their Windows Phone. I just mentioned that I don’t and listed the reasons why. I’m still using the Lumia 930 until I get my hands on the iPhone 6. Another problem I came across yesterday was selecting text. Getting the cursor to a specific point is a frustrating experience, which is something so easy to do on the iPhone.

        I also visited a website, which rendered all of the text vertically – weird I know. Then I turned the phone horizontally and the site rendered correctly – confusing, I know. Then I scrolled and every time I let go, it automatically scrolled to the top of the screen – WTF?

        Look, I spent a lot of money to buy this phone. I obviously wanted to enjoy it. Am I supposed to just ignore all of these issues and say that Windows Phone is awesome. I honestly can’t recommend it to anyone.

        Apple really cares about user experience. Yesterday I was carrying something when I realized that I forgot something at home and I wanted to phone my wife. I couldn’t reach the phone tile with my thumb, which is at the top of my screen. Apple’s Reachability feature would be perfect for that moment, but companies like Microsoft don’t think in terms of usability.

        If none of these things affect you, then you have nothing to worry about.

      • Hingle McCringleberry

        This is the base line for the reason for your unhappiness… IOS is much easier to use for people who are less tech savvy. Windows phones are for people who understand how the tech phone works. I love my Android phone and the windows phones I have used I have found them easy to use. I do not like IOS simply because it is so simple the phone is just boring. The camera and video quality are nowhere close to each other.. Advantage WP.. To me as long as you take time to explore the phone and maybe even …. READ the book that comes with it.. Simple enough to operate. Alot of the things you checked off are because you don’t know any better and have yet to optimize the OS of the WP.

      • NitzMan

        Hmm… interesting. I guess my BSc Computer Science degree, Microsoft Certified Solution Developer and over 10 years of experience in software engineering didn’t pay off, because I don’t know how to use a smartphone. You’re right, Window Phone and Android are far too advanced for me, I’ll stick with the iPhone because it’s for us slow people.

    • Brandon MacDougall

      Needz moar android iphone 6 is behind the times

      • NitzMan

        Sure buddy, sure. You enjoy your roids.

  • http://josedmorales.net/ Joe

    So what? If people working for a certain company are expected to use their products only then I guess Wozniak must be an embarrassment for every iSheep:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403714,00.asp
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/10/steve-wozniak-surface-tablet-microsoft_n_1661902.html>

    • Jeremiah_Nilsson

      The man worked at Apple for over 30 years ago.
      Nowadays he’s just an old whining pensioner.

      • http://josedmorales.net/ Joe

        and he IS co-founder of Apple Inc.

  • Shawn

    Who would want to listen to their own voice for instruction? Would creep me out. Makes sense to me she’d want a different phone.

    • http://josedmorales.net/ Joe

      This

  • cultofsheep

    Is this just because you can’t live with the fact that cortana is starting to impress ? And who the fuck cares what jen taylor uses … ? she is a voice actor ..

    • http://iansvoboda.com Ian Svoboda

      Gotta agree here. Who cares? If she wants to use an iPhone, she can. Its a free country

  • Jeff W

    Cult of Mac site slams WP 8. Wow, what a surprise. Had an iPhone and an HTC Android. Now on Nokia and finding it to be far more suited to my needs. The ability to run full MS Office is golden for me. The iPhone was not even close to the Nokia (or the HTC for that matter) They are tools guys. To each his own.

  • Hingle McCringleberry

    Big surprise here guys.. A woman has chosen the Iphone….. ok we can go back to our lives… Keep living the dream in your 720p camera Apple boy.

  • jdannett

    I am an educated computer technician with years of experience and have tried the three big names and from a value per dollar invested perspective – the windows phone is far superior to the iPhone and should rightfully gain its share of the market without the naysayers naysaying vague generalizations. Be specific with your issues and perhaps Microsoft will release an update. Setting up was a bit difficult, but per dollar – get a good protective case for it and if you are fiscally responsible windows phone is the way to go.

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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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