Microsoft Updates Digital Assistant ‘Cortana’ to Speak Klingon

By October 4, 2014

Between Apple’s “Siri” on that company’s iPhone, and now Microsoft’s “Cortana” on the Windows Phone, digital assistants in mobile devices seem to be all the rage these days. While smartphones have successfully made the transition into the mainstream by being an essential part of both work culture and play. Of course, for geeks, these things are usually a bit more meaningful, especially if you grew up watching shows like “Star Trek,” seeing people talk to their computers and communicate via viewscreen in a time where such things hadn’t become commonplace, and now actually having the opportunity to do some of these things, is just undeniably cool.

Now, on the occasion of one of the biggest “Star Trek” conventions in the world, Microsoft has announced that their digital assistant Cortana (named after the main supporting player in the company’s flagship video game franchise Halo) has been updated with the ability to both speak and translate phrases into and out of the Klingon language. Oh, yeah.

According to The Verge, Microsoft announced the new capability of their digital assistant program at Destination Star Trek: London, one of the single biggest gatherings of Trek fans in the entire world. Alongside the launch of the new Lumia 830 Windows Phone, Microsoft has decided to use its sponsorship of the event in order to show off the Trek-inspired features that Cortana now possesses. All you need to do to activate this feature is say, “Cortana: speak Klingon.” Dave Coplin, Microsoft’s creatively titled “Chief Envisioning Officer,” told the attendant fans at the announcement in London that these features have all arisen from the Star Trek fandom that so many of the Microsoft engineers have, and thought it’d be fun to implement these kinds of features in addition to the plethora of new utilities that Cortana will receive.

While Cortana is currently exclusive to Windows Phone platforms, it’s expected to be integrated as a feature of the recently announced Windows 10 when it launches next year, and is even rumored to be integrated into a future firmware update for the Xbox One. No word yet, though, on whether or not the Romulan language will make its way in at some point.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation,, The Huffington Post, and He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.