NBM on a laptop

Cortana vs Google Now vs Siri: Who’s Better, Who’s Best?

Now that just about anyone can talk to their phone or computer, we wanted to see what happens when you try.  I asked the same questions of each service.

​All three did very well when asked, “What’s it like outside?”  Cortana earned extra points for answering with a spoken weather report.

​ All three supplied President Obama’s age. When asked “What’s his wife’s name?” they all remembered that the question referred to the president, and correctly identified the First Lady: Michelle Obama.

I asked for help making a lunch reservation at Kyoto, a fancy restaurant in my hometown. Siri and Cortana were stumped, but Google automatically fired up the Open Table app on the Nexus phone, with the form already filled out to make a reservation.

All three assistants had local movie listings at their digital fingertips. But Siri led off with a new release at a theatre just half a mile from me.

Finally, a personality test. I challenged each to tell a joke. Siri had the best answer: “If I told you a joke in my language, I’d have to explain it.”

Final score
All three services are good on factual questions. Siri’s programmers have the best sense of humour. Google stays focused on the task at hand. And Cortana is quickly catching up to both of them.

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