Microsoft has started airing ads pitting their new digital assistant Cortana against Apple’s Siri. You can watch here:

While more detailed comparisons will be possible in the coming months as Cortana comes out of beta and bugs get fixed, the Microsoft digital assistant seems set to take the space by storm.

It uses more natural language than Siri does, and hooks in to a wider variety of contexts, like your phone’s GPS, so you can trigger events based on your physical location. Plus, it’s based on a popular video game AI character with an established personality, which is a nice touch.

It’ll roll out on Windows phones first, and should spread to desktops (probably with Windows 9?), and possibly even to Apple and Android phones. The future of programmed companions is looking bright.

By Sharon Campbell