Make calls to contacts
Send texts and emails
Create calendar events
Search the web
Look up Movie times
Siri vs Cortana: What Cortana has over Siri
Cortana has a few (not many) features that it lists that are unique. These are things it can do that Siri cannot. Here are some that we have heard of:
Cortana can look up flight times and flight information directly
Cortana has contact based reminders. So Cortana can give you a reminder when you start texting or emailing a person.
Cortana features Shazam-style music recognition.
These do not seem like make-or-break features to us, and we think that Siri will feature Shazam and flight times. The contact-based reminders feature is more interesting, and Microsoft should deserve credit for coming up with a unique feature for Cortana (even though the rest of Cortana owes such a big debt to Siri).
Siri vs Cortana: sense of humour
Cortana has the same humorous retorts that have made Siri famous. You can ask Cortana to tell you a joke, or you can ask Cortana about Siri and get similar snarky responses to Siri would reply about Google. If anything it seems that Microsoft has made Cortana even edgier than Siri, leading the American Comedian Arsenio Hall to create this a skit in which both Siri and Cortana start to fight on air.
Siri vs Cortana: the verdict
For the time being it seems that both Siri and Cortana offer similar functionality, although we are impressed with Microsoft's approach of tying reminders and events to people and prompting you when you get in touch. In-depth testing will allow us to explore whether Siri or Cortana offers better basic voice recognition, although both services will evolve the more you use them. In our limited experience, however, we find Siri subjectively easier to use.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.