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Yes, You Can Use Cortana in Windows 10 With Any Old Microphone

One of the coolest new Windows 10 features is talking to your computer. For many people, it’ll be the first time they’ve had a voice-activated personal assistant on tap. And yet, most computers won’t have Cortana turned on by default—allegedly because they don’t have certified high-quality microphones built-in. » 7/25/15 12:35am Saturday 12:35am

I Installed Windows 10 and Now I'm Talking to My Computer

Unless you’re one of the handful of people rocking a Windows Phone, you won’t have much experience with Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant. With the roll-out of Windows 10, Cortana is about to make a lot of new friends very quickly—and like me, they might soon find themselves shouting instructions at… » 7/23/15 4:51pm 7/23/15 4:51pm

​Amazon Echo Review: I Just Spoke to the Future And It Listened

It only took me a few hours to get cozy with my new assistant. “Alexa,” I barked at the nine-inch black cylinder on my coffee table, “Shut up.” The lights on top of the cylinder went dark; the embarrassing 90s music playing from its speaker cut out. “Alexa, what’s the weather?” I paused with anticipation. “45 degrees… » 6/25/15 3:20pm 6/25/15 3:20pm

What's the Worst Thing About Virtual Assistants?

There’s a rumor that Apple will be redesigning Siri to better resemble its colorful Watch version. Cool. But with Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana getting a lot of development attention on their platforms, including a male version of Cortana, Siri probably needs more than just an interface overhaul. In fact, there’s… » 5/06/15 6:15pm 5/06/15 6:15pm

Love Cortana But Hate Windows? An Android Port Isn't Impossible

The question of whether or not Cortana will ever make it beyond Windows devices doesn’t have a clear answer, but it turns out Microsoft’s lack of action isn’t enough for some people. Some intrepid hackers have taken it upon themselves to take the Halo-inspired digital assistant and port it over to Android devices. » 4/20/15 6:56am 4/20/15 6:56am

Cortana May Become Microsoft's New and Hopefully Less Annoying Clippy

Clippy was an idea ahead of its time—just horribly executed. The overly friendly paper clip has since become an endless joke that even Microsoft rips on every once in awhile. But as Cortana's conquest across Windows 10 and the new Spartan browser continues, it seems the popular voice assistant will also be coming to… » 2/08/15 11:22am 2/08/15 11:22am

Amazon's Echo Might Be Its Most Important Product In Years

It's pretty rare that a new product truly surprises us. But today Amazon did just that, introducing Echo, a talking, listening piece of electronic furniture. It's like having the internet on your kitchen table, cracking jokes and settling bets, and it's the most innovative device Amazon's made in years. » 11/06/14 2:33pm 11/06/14 2:33pm

This Short Film Explains Our Fascination With Talking to Computers

Using names like Siri, Cortana, and Google Now, advanced algorithms and technologies that would have baffled engineers and scientists half a century ago now rest in the palm of our hands. Talking with technology is the future of computing—mainly because that's the way we're built to communicate. » 10/19/14 9:00am 10/19/14 9:00am