Windows Phone Cortana to get ‘British accent’ in the UK

Windows Phone Cortana to get ‘British accent’ in the UKRemember Cortana? Essentially Windows Phone’s answer to Siri, Microsoft got nerd willies tingling the world over when it announced she’d be voiced by Jen Taylor, who also voiced the AI in the Halo games.

Alas, the dream of whispering sweet nothings in Jen Taylor’s ear in the dead of night (and vice versa) has come to a crashing halt, with Microsoft seemingly confirming Cortana will be Britified on this side of the Atlantic.

In a couple of tweets that have since been deleted, some kid called Zac Bowden (wait a minute; he’s old enough to be a Managing Editor?! My life…) asked: “Question, Cortana will have her normal American accent in the UK, right? No British accent nonsense?”

To which @ThatMicrosoftGuy replied: “She will have a British accent. Not Jen Taylor. :(“.

To be fair, it’s likely that only a very small portion of UK Windows Phone users would appreciate the voice talents of Jen Taylor and the accompanying nod to Halo, with the rest wondering why the hell they’re talking to an American.

Having said that, it would be nice to at least have the option. Of course, nothing’s official till it’s official, so we’ll just have to wait patiently till Cortana disembarks her transatlantic flight till we find out for sure.

Assuming she is indeed British, front-runners for the voice work surely include Mel B, Barbara Windsor and Cilla Black.

via: WinBeta

Read more about: Windows Phone

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13 comments

tapi  Jul. 28, 2014 at 13:52

I know you were joking, but Babs Windsor would be awesome!

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 28, 2014 at 14:00

Cortana won't be more than Siri... A gimmick that only a very small minority will ACTUALLY use. MS really has some more urgent problems at hand if they want WP to succeed.
The 520 is STILL its big success story. Good in some ways, bad in many others.

The Lumia 930 is arguably one of the 3 or 4 most fantastic pieces of hardware in the field.
Yet, I cannot blame anyone who says, "pass", when 3rd party staples are still way below par in terms of quality. Cortana BEFORE a decent Twitter, FB or or or client? Yes, dream on.

IndianaBlues  Jul. 28, 2014 at 14:15

I know you were joking, but Babs Windsor would be awesome!

Anyone remember about 8 or 9 years ago when BT changed the voice of their talking text service to Tom Baker? That was great, oh the fun I had :)

krogothnx  Jul. 28, 2014 at 17:09

Cortana won't be more than Siri... A gimmick that only a very small minority will ACTUALLY use. MS really has some more urgent problems at hand if they want WP to succeed.
The 520 is STILL its big success story. Good in some ways, bad in many others.

The Lumia 930 is arguably one of the 3 or 4 most fantastic pieces of hardware in the field.
Yet, I cannot blame anyone who says, "pass", when 3rd party staples are still way below par in terms of quality. Cortana BEFORE a decent Twitter, FB or or or client? Yes, dream on.


Does make me wonder if there's a market there just ripe for the picking...

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 28, 2014 at 17:26

what do you mean?

krogothnx  Jul. 28, 2014 at 18:27

As in, to make 3rd party social network apps that actually work and don't suck. Give winphone a level playing field by making it actually do the 5 things 90% of people actually use a smartphone for.

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 28, 2014 at 19:18

As in, to make 3rd party social network apps that actually work and don't suck. Give winphone a level playing field by making it actually do the 5 things 90% of people actually use a smartphone for.

Ah, okay... that's what I though you meant.
Actually, in Twitter's case Tweetium is going the right way. It has a certain elegance etc... It's still a beta, though. But it's promising.
The problem is just how bad some 'official' apps are. Twitter, FB, Flickr, Instagram, Vine, etc...
Suck-central.

And looking at the thousands of fake apps that have littered the WP Marketplace for months and months without any steps taken by MS???? Very bad. Very very bad. (Fake iTunes, Opera, Firefox, etc etc etc.... Also: various apps that do NOTHING! Absolutely nothing!
There is a paid-for app that claims to take you back to how Google used to be 20 years ago.
Of course there was no Google 20 years ago. But how many people know that?
You start the app, and it basically tells users, "you're stupid"! That's it.

One thing I noticed is: newer promo material no longer shows the start screen. Instead the 930, e.g., shows the new lockscreen of WP8.1... good step, I think.
For too long did MS use the tile screen to advertise its devices. With, gulp, a heavy emphasis on Office (always the biggest tile!) and other work related stuff. That is such a buzz kill in these days. WORK? OFFICE? That is how you want to capture the masses? While Android emphasised social media, selfies, fun and games, MS gave us restrictive tiles, unchangeable and forever advertising work work work...

Well, it seems they got away from that.

But it remains difficult to recommend a high-end WP device. No matter how stunningly build, and no matter how great the camera... there's a much cheaper alternative with modern useable apps, and acceptable cameras. I love the build of the 925, 1020, 930 and 1520 and their cameras... heck, the 1320 beats anything Samsung ever made in terms of 'feel'. But if I had to pay for an everyday device, I'd rather choose a BB Z10 inspite of its meh camera.

In fact, Symbian S60 3rd and 5th let you do Twitter more reliably and faster than WP 8.1...


But you're right: WP8.1 opens up all kinds of new avenues for developers. Tweetium is a good example. It really broke the 'traditional' WP cookie cutter of samey apps to start from scratch, and for a beta it is stunning.

mightyforest  Jul. 28, 2014 at 21:11

been a user of windows phone since day 1, now using 8.1 with Cortana, cant say ive got any issue with apps like twitter of facebook . In terms of crap apps, this is the case everywhere in particular android

And BB Z10 fo an every day device? is this some kind of joke, i had this as a work phone (and not for long either) the phone was a joke and no wonder it didnt turn BB around

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 28, 2014 at 21:46

Sorry, but that is nonsense! WP 8.1 (using it right now on a Lumia 1520 that I like a lot) and Twitter is a farce. If you believe that to be a lie,, you either do not use Twitter much, or you haven't used its iOS and Android, and, yes BB10 counterparts.
Just read the reviews in the appstore. I really am not the minority.
Come on: Twitter was updated last week for the 1st time since November!!!!
The iOS and Android and BB apps have seen dozens of updates in that period. With numerous features that the WP version lacks.

As to the Z10 - upon launch it sucked. But the last three updates have made a big change.
Maybe your associating it with work is the problem.

I can refer you to a number of professional Nokia bloggers who, after some coaxing will admit they too use Android or iOS devices on the side - mainly for Twitter and some, more region specific apps that either suck or don't exist on WP.

Again: I own a 1020, and I'm very happy with my trial 1520. And I think 8.1 represents a huge improvement.
But lets not sugar coat a t*rd. It won't taste better.
If we don't say it as it is, things will never improve.

mightyforest  Jul. 28, 2014 at 23:45

Its not nonsense, if i personally have no issues with the apps then whats the problem there? in terms of twitter i can read tweets,post tweets and get notified when i want, what more do i want? that's my opinion on the phone/apps i use, so please dont say im talking nonsense

in terms of the BB updates, unless its changed the operating system altogether then im afraid its nothing more than a paperweight and not worth using my energy to type an argument

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 29, 2014 at 11:34

Its not nonsense, if i personally have no issues with the apps then whats the problem there? in terms of twitter i can read tweets,post tweets and get notified when i want, what more do i want? that's my opinion on the phone/apps i use, so please dont say im talking nonsense

in terms of the BB updates, unless its changed the operating system altogether then im afraid its nothing more than a paperweight and not worth using my energy to type an argument


Yes, you are talking nonsense, because you obviously missed MY point! I did not say, Twitter was impossible to use. I said ALL WP Twitter apps suck compared to their counterparts available for other OSs. And that is a fact! Compare official Twitter apps between iOS, Android
and WP and claim with a straight face the WP client is up to 2014!!!
YOU can do Twitter and the things you describe on an S40 device from 2009. That doesn't mean the S40 device is as good for social networking as an M8 or iPhone.

BUT clearly, with £500 or £600 devices, MS is not trying to lure S40 users. They want iHeads and Android fanboys to switch. That's the Nokia motto of 2013, you know? "Make the Switch"!

And it isn't happening.
And the reason it isn't happening is this: WP8.1 is a very good OS. The high-end phones are better in terms of build than pretty much all Android devices.
The native WP apps are mostly excellent. But then - with your iOS or Android experience - you visit the Marketplace, and you download the staples, and they all SUCK comparatively!!!
A Golf is a perfectly good car. A 2009 Golf is perfectly fine to get you from A to B.
But if you spent the last 4 years driving an A6, and then someone tries to sell you a 2009 Golf for the price of a new A6, and you test drive the Golf... It won't wow you.

I'm speaking comparatively!
If someone switches from S40 to WP8.1 or to a £80 Android phone, they'll be in awe!
Someone who is used to iPhones or an Android flagship will have very mixed impressions.

And again: read the reviews in the MS appstore.
Most reviews are not good when it comes to the likes of Twitter, Flickr, Aviary and other 'staples'. And almost ALL negative reviews will contain a phrase similar to "not up to par compared to what's available to iOS or Android".

But yes, you can tweet with WP8.1... and that is so amazing.

mightyforest  Jul. 30, 2014 at 14:39

too much to read, move on

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 30, 2014 at 14:54

d'oh

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