SEATTLE, March 3 (UPI) -- Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update will replace its Bing search functionality with a new personal digital assistant called Cortana, according to The Verge.
Sources familiar with the development told the technology magazine that the new voice-activated personal assistant will be a circular animated icon rather than a female character like Siri. But Cortana will be similar to Siri in that it will develop a personality the more you speak to it.
The personal assistant will be customizable, with users being able to tell their 'assistant' how they want to be addressed. Cortana will call users by their name or nickname.
Cortana will function by saving key information and data in a 'Notebook' system. This system will serve as a reference for Cortana to access information such as location data, behaviors, personal information, reminders and contact information. It will also look up information in a user's email and if the user is traveling it will keep track of flights, similar to Google Now.
Cortana will aggregate data from Bing and Foursquare to give it contextual information to better help the user. While Cortana is the name Microsoft is using at present, it is not clear if they will stick with the name once the update is published.