Microsoft wanted to name Cortana as Alyx at first
Microsoft wanted to name Cortana as Alyx at first

As we all know, Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant failed in many ways and was soon forgotten after launch. But this project was a very ambitious plan, and it seemed to contain all the elements of a useful product.

In the latest issue of Big Bets, former Microsoft Product Manager Sandeep Parochori talked about the creation and end of Cortana and revealed some interesting details about the development of personal digital assistants.

The name Cortana comes from the Halo series of games. Cortana is an artificial intelligence that provides players with information about what to do next, which is why this name was chosen.

As it turns out, it should be an internal codename, and as it nears release, Microsoft wants to call it Digital Alyx because it's easier to pronounce. But when Cortana's name was published, fans started putting pressure on the company to use the name, and that's exactly what happened.

Even company president Steve Ballmer tried to change the name again. Ballmer hopes this feature will be linked to other parts of Microsoft, including the search engine Bing, so the idea is to call it bingo.

But the management of the company was transferred to Satya Nadella, who made it possible to name the digital assistant Cortana.

However, the name change is only part of the story. Parochori noted that Kutana was originally an ambitious attempt by a very small team to create a realistic assistant that was as proactive as Cortana's role in Halo.

Over time, more and more people are participating. However, over time, some features will have to be removed in time before they are released.

Cortana should give you proactive browsing alerts. So if you have an appointment on your calendar, Cortana shows you the appointment and tells you when to leave, depending on traffic, so you'll be on time.

But that didn't happen and the assistant just started the role of English in the US which is terrible. This is a problem for some development teams.

Cortana started with Windows Phone 8.1 and was praised by Windows Phone fans. But then things got worse.

Microsoft's ambitions for artificial intelligence assistants

Parochori stated that after the first positive review of Cortana, every Microsoft product manager wants to take advantage of it.

As different people try to carry out different functions, each decision requires a large number of meetings. Cortana is slowly losing its original focus.

In addition, many AI-related features are starting to get Cortana branding. This hinders the primary purpose of digital assistants.

Microsoft wants to bring Cortana to PCs as well, and they did with the release of Windows 10. But that didn't help as most desktops don't even have a built-in microphone.

Most computer users at the time were not accustomed to adding business accounts to their computers.

Since Windows Phone disappeared even after Windows 10 started, Cortana is back because it was useless on PC. Android and iOS users also have better built-in alternatives. In Windows 11 Cortana is almost impossible, and now it's just a usable feature.

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