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Oops! Apparently, Cortana works best on the 'Surface Phone' according to Microsoft China

The existence of the 'Surface Phone' seems more like an open secret. (Source: Windows Latest)
The existence of the 'Surface Phone' seems more like an open secret. (Source: Windows Latest)
A reply by a Microsoft Asia Research Institute engineer stating that Cortana would be best integrated with the 'Surface Phone' for a question asked on the Chinese forum Zhihu seems to lend fresh credence to the rumors that there is in fact a Microsoft Hero device in the works.

If there's one thing that is still keeping Microsoft diehards stick around with the company despite its lackluster efforts in mobile is the hope of the 'Surface Phone'. While Microsoft neither officially confirmed nor denied its existence, we often see clues popping up in the interwebs that make us believe that Microsoft is indeed up to something. The latest information comes inadvertently from a Cortana support engineer belonging to the Microsoft Asia Research Institute. His answer to a question posted on Zhihu, China's equivalent of Quora, seems to state that Cortana would integrate best with the 'Surface Phone'.

The support engineer was quoted as saying, 

First of all, Siri and Bixby, two intelligent assistants installed in the smartphones, and Cortana is a third-party application, permissions support may be embarrassing. Windows Phone users may know that Cortana in Windows Phone was better than the Cortana app, Windows Phone Cortana was a lot easier to use. Microsoft Cortana (Xiao Na) is a cross-platform smart assistant, available across all devices including PCs and smartphone, trying to do more like WeChat Noda. For the smart assistant, permissions is a good thing, looking forward to the perfect performance of the Surface Phone (although Hana do not know will not be a surface phone). Of course, as a smart assistant, the pace of development is still relatively slow, but Cortana team will be working hard to make the assistant better. Last year in 3rd-anniversary celebration, Cortana saw all new features and support, three years is not a long time, but the move on this road Hana never forget, Microsoft Cortana team must live up to expectations."

For those who don't know, Xiao Na is Microsoft's version of Cortana tailor-made for the Chinese market. It could be that Microsoft is internally testing the AI capabilities of the device in various languages. Either that or the engineer could have simply used the words 'Surface Phone' without a proper context (sort of unlikely). Over the past few weeks, we've been seeing information about patent filings from Microsoft that depict a foldable phone design. Recently, Microsoft India Chief, Anant Maheswari, said in an interview that the possibility of a 'Surface Phone' cannot be ruled out. Evidences related to Project Andromeda — the modular Windows 10 OS was spotted on a store listing as related to an unknown device codenamed '8828080'. 

While patent filings do not always manifest as actual products, given the slow but steady trickling of leaks, we are led to believe there is definitely a new mobile product in the works at Microsoft HQ. Now that Windows 10 can natively run on ARM chipsets, the 'Surface Phone', if it exists, could benefit from the battery life and performance of the new Snapdragon SoCs. It's all speculation at this point so do take the rumors with a pinch of the proverbial salt.


ITHome (Chinese) via Windows Latest

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 01 > Oops! Apparently, Cortana works best on the 'Surface Phone' according to Microsoft China
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2018-01- 8 (Update: 2018-01- 8)