Cortana to be beta released in April, voiced by Jen Taylor
Based on previous leaks, we already know that Microsoft is working a voice assistant codenamed ‘Cortana’. MSFTNerd today reported that Cortana will be voiced by Jen Taylor who is also the voice actress behind the Cortana in various Halo games. The most exciting information is that Cortana will be launch released as beta for Lumia Windows Phone devices this April (During Build conference I guess) for US developers. Also Microsoft is planning to expand this service to the Bing app for iPhone in the US in the coming months. As you can expect, Cortana will also be extended to Xbox One consoles in the US followed by Windows users in 2015 along with ‘Threshold’ release. Coming to slightly bad news, Cortana will be available in additional English-speaking countries only in 2015-2016 time period. MSFTNerd also noted that Microsoft has already started shipping some of the voice recognition improvements with Bing Translator app for Windows.
From WMPoweruser: http://wmpoweruser.com/report-microsofts-cortana-voice-assistant-coming-to-us-windows-phone-devices-in-april/ via MSFTnerd
I think that Microsoft should keep this exclusive to all proprietary devices, mobile IOS platform support should not be necessary. Good news nonetheless. The Bing translator app is fairly accurate provided you use proper phrasing.