Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 digital assistant, Cortana, is apparently freakishly good at predicting results for World Cup matches.
Cortana debuted as Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri and Google Now, emerging as an impressive digital assistant gracing the new Windows Phone 8.1 mobile operating system.
Microsoft has yet to release its Windows Phone 8.1 and Cortana to existing Windows Phone users, but the company is nonetheless working hard to perfect its digital assistant ahead of its global release. The latest Cortana update brought more data resources to the table and improved the software's capabilities to process all sorts of requests, including queries regarding World Cup results for upcoming matches.
After the update, Cortana seems like a true oracle. Users have been able to ask the digital assistant which team she thought would win an upcoming World Cup match, and so far Cortana has provided accurate predictions for every match, including the Belgium vs. US one.
The news comes from Geek, which claims that all of this sorcery stems from the Bing predictions engine.
"This engine has been used in the past to successfully determine who would win or lose in events like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars, and now that same engine can be queried by voice thanks to Cortana," Geek explains. "The prediction engine uses simple algorithms based on previous performance, weather, and several other elements to determine who will come out victorious, and so far that appears to have been a spot for many different categories."
Consequently, Cortana doesn't rely on witchcraft to make predictions, nor is it pure chance that those predictions turn out to be accurate. It's nevertheless a neat trick that may boost anticipation for Cortana even further.
The first Windows Phone 8.1 devices have already started to pop up, but the update has still not made it to existing Windows Phone devices. Microsoft India recently said that Windows Phone 8.1 would roll out to existing devices in the first two weeks of July, but it remains unclear whether that timeframe is just for India or for a wider release globally. Even if it's just India, however, it should not be long until it reaches more regions, and Cortana will be the cherry on top.