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Cortana's UI now expresses 18 different emotions. Siri remains detached and aloof

Melissa Riofrio | Feb. 12, 2015
Microsoft’s personal digital assistant wants to help, but maybe she’s embarrassed or confused by your requests. Now you’ll know exactly how she feels—if you read this chart. Perhaps.

Hey, Cortana: You're supposed to be making life simpler--at least, when helping people use Microsoft's Windows Phone and Windows 10.

But noooo. Microsoft just had to muck things up. In a Tuesday blog post, Marcus Ash (who bears the unwieldy title of Group Program Manager for Cortana and Search on the Windows PC, Phone and Tablet Group), revealed that the Cortana UI--that blue, pulsating halo--now expresses 18 different moods, and half of them are inscrutable. Just like a human being.

In fact, if you look closely at the chart of Cortana's emotions, above, half of the "mood rings" look exactly alike. You can't really tell which emotion she's expressing. So, now we can't just ask Cortana to do something without also having to wonder, Did I just embarrass her? Is she laughing at me or with me?

But we at PCWorld are here to help. Here's our guide to the 18 moods of Cortana to help you interpret exactly what she thinks of your stupid request.

1. Calm
Is your being suffused with calm? So is Cortana's, if you see her halo looking like this. 
 calm person meditating beach cortana

2. Optimistic
Do I feel lucky? Cortana does, if she has a lighter ring outside a darker ring on her halo. Got that? 
 optimistic person cortana 2

3. Reminder
Cortana won't let you forget, as long as you can remember what this halo pattern means.
 reminder person 2 cortana

4. Title Flip
Change is exciting, and Cortana clearly enjoys her title flips as much as the next personal digital assistant. 
 title flip person cortana

5. Sensitive V2
Awwww Cortana cares! This is Sensitive V2, not to be confused with Title Flip above, or Sensitive V1 later in the list.
 sensitive v2 person cropped cortana

6. Abashed
OMG Cortana can't believe you just said that! But don't you think this icon actually looks more like Title Flip? 
 abashed person cortana

7. Alert
It's Cortana's turn to say hey! She's ready! Are you?
 reminder person cortana

8. Bouncy
Finally, a Cortana mood ring that actually kind of looks like what it means. 
 bouncy person cortana

9. Need More
Sooooo.....this is similar to Abashed, but why? Sorry, but ya gotta give me more than that, says Cortana, or I can't answer your question.
 need more person cortana


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