Note: Cortana is available in the following countries/regions: China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. Cortana is available in these languages: Chinese (Simplified), English (U.K.), English (U.S.), French, Italian, German, and Spanish.
- To use Cortana, all these settings must be set to the same language:
- Languages (this is your device language)
- Speech language
- Country or region
If you change your region, you might not be able to shop at Store, or use things you've purchased, like memberships and subscriptions, games, movies, TV, and music.
Microsoft's Cortana is another feature making a jump from Windows Phone to Windows PC. First introduced with Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana is Microsoft's digital personal assistant and is more than just a search tool. The name derives from the holographic artificial intelligence character in the popular Halo game franchise and the comparison between the two is more than skin deep.
Cortana in Windows 10 at first seems like it could be gimmicky. After all, Microsoft is no stranger to assistants and invariably comparisons to Microsoft's infamous Clippy are made. However, this is 2015, and the technology has changed drastically.
Indeed, Cortana is more than just a search engine with some flair, for instance, here are few things the assistant can perform:
- Bring up the current weather, or a forecast in some other part of the planet, even on a specific day
- Monitor your flights including delays, gates and the time you should leave to get to the airport in time, even considering live traffic conditions
- Schedule reminders including location-based ones using a Windows Phone e.g. "Remind to pick up milk next time I am at the supermarket."
- Notify you when to leave for home, work, or meetings/calendar events
- Track your favorite sports team
- Send an email using your voice including handling the recipient, subject, and body
- Recommendations for news, movies, entertainment, concerts in your area, follow your stocks
- Launch apps e.g. "Hey Cortana, launch File Explorer."
Many of these are referred to as "Interests" and they are filed under Cortana's "Notebook", which lives in the cloud. The language is meant to evoke a secretary working for a boss who must keep notes on your likes, dislikes, and general preferences. Just like a real notebook, users can access it and delete or modify any information they do not wish to share with Cortana.
Indian Windows phone users can start using Cortana alpha
With the release of Windows Phone 8.1 Update, an alpha version (or early preview) of Cortana will be available in:
- Canada (English)
- India (English)
The following steps will help you get Cortana set up on your phone so you can find out what all the buzz is about.
- This is an alpha version of Cortana, and some features may not be available or work as expected. Your feedback about Cortana is welcome and will help us improve the experience for your locale. For more ways to give feedback about Cortana, see the section, Help to make Cortana even better, at the end of this topic.
- Some features for Cortana may not be available in all countries or regions.
- If you turn Cortana on, for her to work for you, Microsoft collects and uses your location, contacts, voice input, info from email and text messages, browser history, search history, calendar details and other info.
Setting up Cortana
1. Before doing anything, you'll need to update your phone. You can do this in two ways:
o Make sure you have Windows Phone 8.1 Update installed on your phone. For France, Italy, Germany or Spain, you'll need OS version 8.10.14219.341 or later. For Australia, Canada or India, you'll need OS version 8.10.14141.167 or later. Check to see which version you have and find out if an update is available.
o Install the update through the Windows Phone Preview for Developers. This programme makes updates available to anyone who's interested in getting the new Windows Phone updates on their phones earlier than the general public. For more info, see the Windows Dev Center.
2. Make sure that the following settings reflect your language and country/region. In the App list, tap Settings > Language. Make sure you have one of the following languages installed as the first or only choice for your locale:
- Deutsch (Deutschland)
- English (Australia)
- English (Canada)
- English (India)
- Español (España)
- Français (France)
- Italiano (Italia)
Note If you install a new language, you may need to restart your phone before you can set it to use that language.
3. In Settings > Region, make sure that Country/Region is set to the correct country/region for your locale:
4. In Settings > Speech, set Speech language to the following settings for your locale:
- For Australia, English (United Kingdom)
- For Canada, English (United States)
- For France, Français (France)
- For Germany, Deutsch (Deutschland)
- For India, English (United Kingdom)
- For Italy, Italiano (Italia)
- For Spain, Español (España)
5. When your phone is set to the correct language, region and Speech language, go to Cortana by pressing the Search button.
6. When prompted, review and accept the conditions on the two Cortana acknowledgment screens.
Note: If you see the message, "I'm sorry but I can't speak your language yet", when you use Cortana for the first time, see Solutions to Cortana issues to fix the problem.