A new video spot from Microsoft plays up the advantages of both HTC’s new flagship phone and the Cortana voice assistant. Popping up Monday on YouTube, the 30-second spot starts off with the iPhone’s Siri singing “I feel pretty, oh, so pretty” before greeting Cortana and commenting that the HTC One M8 looks “nice.” Siri also calls the new HTC One” sleek,” but says of itself that “I’m more than just a pretty face.” Boasting about its own features, Cortana pipes in that it can check your calendar and the traffic to help you get to your appointment on time.
Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-based intelligent personal assistant, comes off as a bit of a mean girl in Microsoft’s latest ad. The spot, like a previous one Microsoft introduced in July, contrasts Cortana with Apple’s Siri, illustrating where the latter falls short. The ad starts with a simulated iPhone 5S peering into a mirror singing “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story. An HTC One M8 for Windows interrupts overshadowing the iPhone with its bigger screen and sleek design. “But I’m more than just a pretty face,” Siri states, rather pathetically. “Me too,” answers Cortana. “I can check your calendar, then traffic to help you make your mani-pedi on time.” Point made. But does Cortana perform as advertised? Our analysis showed that Cortana is decent at anticipating a user’s needs, but its assumptions can be wrong. Overall, though, we found Cortana does a better job than Siri. Despite an arguably better personal assistant, Windows Phone still lags in its app selection. In August, Microsoft reported it now offered 300,000 apps versus 1.2 million for iOS.