Cortana is a fictional synthetic intelligence character in the Halo video game series. Voiced by Jen Taylor, she appears in Halo: Combat Evolved and its sequels, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians. She also appears in a cutscene and the epilogue of the prequel Halo: Reach, as well as in several of the franchise's novels and comics. During gameplay, Cortana provides backstory and tactical information to the player, who assumes the role of Master Chief Petty Officer John-117. In the story, she is instrumental in preventing the activation of the Halo installations, which would have destroyed all sentient life in the galaxy.
Cortana's original design was based on the Egyptian queen Nefertiti; the character's holographic representation always takes the form of a woman. Bungie first introduced Cortana—and Halo—through the Cortana Letters, emails sent during Combat Evolveds production in 1999. Since then, the character has been used extensively to advertise the series. Cortana has been recognized for her sex appeal, believability, and character depth. The character was the inspiration for Microsoft's intelligent personal assistant.
Cortana is a fossil genus of medium-sized air-breathing land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropods in the family Bulimulidae. The genus is known only from the Brazilian Paleocene deposits of the Itaboraí Basin, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The most characteristic feature of the genus is its apertural armature.
Cortana is an intelligent personal assistant created by Microsoft for Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone 8.1 (where it now supersedes Bing Mobile), Microsoft Band, Xbox One, iOS and Android. Cortana was demonstrated for the first time at the Microsoft BUILD Developer Conference (April 2–4, 2014) in San Francisco. It has been launched as a key ingredient of Microsoft's planned "makeover" of the future operating systems for Windows Phone and Windows. It is named after Cortana, a synthetic intelligence character in Microsoft's Halo video game franchise originating in Bungie folklore, with Jen Taylor, the character's voice actress, returning to voice the personal assistant's US-specific version.
Cortana is currently available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese language editions, depending on the software platform and region in which it is used (see the section on regions and languages for details). Cortana mainly competes against assistants such as Apple's Siri and Google's Google Now.
Cortana may refer to:
- Cortana (software), Microsoft personal assistant software
- Cortana (Halo), a fictional artificial intelligence character
- Cortana (gastropod), a gastropod genus.
- Cortana, or Curtana, a ceremonial sword used in the coronation of British monarchs
- Cortana Mall, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA