Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana accurately predicts World Cup results

3 July 2014, 6:48 am EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

Cortana, Microsoft's new digital assistant and answer to Apple's Siri and Google Now, seems to be a real wizard when it comes to predicting World Cup results.

"Oracle" may not be in Cortana's job description, but the new Windows Phone 8.1 digital assistant definitely seems to have a knack for predicting the results of this year's World Cup.

Cortana is not yet ready for full time use globally with the new Windows Phone 8.1 update, but Microsoft has been putting significant effort into improving the service ahead of its global debut. The company has vowed to update the beta every couple of weeks, and so far it has kept its promise. Cortana received more data resources and gained more impressive features with each beta update, adding up to its capabilities for processing all sorts of requests.

After the last update, users have been able to ask the digital assistant which World Cup team would likely win in upcoming matches, and Cortana has apparently been accurate in predicting each and every match that has been played, including the Belgium vs. U.S. match, Geek reports.

So what kind of sorcery is this that allows Cortana to know which team will emerge glorious from a World Cup match? According to Geek, it's all due to Bing's predictions engine.

"This engine has been used in the past to successfully determine who would win or lose in events like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars, and now that same engine can be queried by voice thanks to Cortana. The prediction engine uses simple algorithms based on previous performance, weather, and several other elements to determine who will come out victorious, and so far that appears to have been a spot for many different categories," Geek further explains.

Even though it's not really witchcraft, Cortana's World Cup predictions are nevertheless impressive. So far, Microsoft has not released its latest Windows Phone 8.1 update to existing Windows Phone devices worldwide, but the company's India branch recently said the update would start rolling out in the first two weeks of July. The first Windows Phone 8.1 devices have already started to pop up, and it shouldn't be too long before the new OS reaches other devices. Cortana is a major part of this update, but the service has been limited to the U.S. initially. We'll keep you up to date as soon as we hear more about a wider release globally, so stay tuned.

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