Skip to main content

Siri vs Cortana: Apple gently trolled in new Microsoft advert (video)

Microsoft has released one of the first adverts promoting Windows Phone 8.1 and it has, rather disappointingly, chosen to place a greater emphasis on the shortcomings of a competitor, rather than its own qualities.

The ad pits Cortana against Apple's Siri and – surprise, surprise – makes Microsoft's own digital assistant look far better than its rival's.

Podcast: Can Cortana help WIndows Phone stave off iPhone 6 competition? (opens in new tab)

"Cortana, when my wife calls, remind me to tell her 'happy anniversary,'" the narrator tells his Lumia 635. The low-end phone agrees to the task, before Siri (speaking through the iPhone 5S) replies, "Oh no, I cannot do that."

The narrator then asks Cortana to remind him to buy roses when he next approaches a flower shop. Microsoft's digital assistant again obliges, while Apple's concedes, "I can't do that either."

Finally, the 635 delivers a traffic alert to its owner, who thanks it and picks it up. The iPhone then declares, "Now that is a smart phone."

The commercial brings back memories of Apple's famous old "1984" ad (below), in which the then upstart took a swipe at IBM, which was already a tech superpower.

Of course, the two have now agreed to a partnership, which Steve Jobs would probably not be too pleased about.

Read more: Steve Jobs spinning in his grave: Apple and IBM join forces (opens in new tab)

However, Microsoft's new ad is nowhere near as impressive, and just comes across a little lazy.

Nevertheless, we're definitely looking forward to trying out Cortana when it hits the UK (complete with British accent).

Aatif Sulleyman
Aatif Sulleyman

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.