Why are our digital assistants submissive human women? It’s more than a little sexist, no? But soon, Microsoft’s Cortana will let you change her gender. There will be a male version too.
At Microsoft’s Build 2015 developer conference, Cortana director of engineering Michael Calcagano told me that the team had decided to give users more personality choices for the voice-activated Windows and Windows Phone assistant, and that a male would be one. “If you want a dude, we’re doing it,” he said.
“Will it still be called Cortana as a male? I don’t know. Cortano?” He joked.
It actually won’t be the first new personality for Cortana, though. She’s known as Xiao Na in China—where she’s more of a cute yellow blob with eyeballs.
A gender shift isn’t the only change for Cortana, though. S/He’s also getting some pretty awesome new features in Windows 10. As soon as she finds out that you’re going somewhere — say, a movie you booked with Fandango — she can suggest an Uber ride. Need to find a Windows keyboard shortcut? Just ask her for help. She can even suggest coupons for you to use while you’re shopping in the new Microsoft Edge web browser.
Find pictures of all these things — and Cortana’s new, darker UI—below.