Ask Cortana anything: Snarky answers to 59 burning questions

If nothing else, Windows 10's Cortana digital assistant proves she’s more fun than Siri and Google Now put together.

hi cortana

And Cortana said...

Windows 10 is here, and with it comes Cortana—Microsoft’s powerful, intelligent digital assistant. Spend just a few minutes with Cortana and it immediately becomes clear that she’s taken the customized awareness of Google Now and the chatty personality of Siri, and then kicked up the schtick several notches.

Cortana spits out funny responses on topics ranging from Siri to Surface to Steve Ballmer. She makes jokes and explains her Halo-inspired lineage. Here are 59 of the funniest answers we’ve found while goofing around. (Screenshots were taken from Windows Phone 8.1, rather than Windows 10, hence the stark interface.) And these tips extend beyond the Windows ecosystem: Cortana may be one of the standout features of Windows 10, but she just made her Android debut, and the digital assistant is scheduled to land on iOS devices later this year. 

For maximum enjoyment, read the question on the bottom first, then Cortana’s answer on the top. And if you discover any questions we missed, please drop them in the comments!

what does cortana mean

"What does Cortana mean?"

First things first: Here's how Cortana identifies herself.

are you male or female

"Are you male or female?"

More important backstory.

who is your creator

"Who is your creator?"

Hey, at least she knows not to become SkyNet, amirite?

whos your daddy

"Who's your daddy?"

Interestingly, while Cortana doesn't know her creator, she definitely know who her daddy is—at least technically. For more fun, ask what she thinks of him, or whether she has a mother, sister, brother, or baby.

what do you think of steve ballmer

"What do you think of Steve Ballmer?"

what do you think of satya nadella

"What do you think of Satya Nadella?"

I know new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella digs machine learning, but this seems a bit much, Cortana.

do you know clippy

"Do you know Clippy?"

Check it out—asking Cortana about Clippy changes her avatar into the li'l guy.

what do you think of surface

"What do you think of Surface?"

Oh, Cortana, you're so clever.

whats the best phone

"What's the best phone?"

I suppose I should've seen that answer coming. Asking Cortana which browser's the best generates a snarky answer, too. 

whats the best computer

"What's the best computer?"

You mean it isn't the year of the Linux desktop, Cortana? Say, all these answers seem kind of biased, I have to say.

what do you think of microsoft office

"What do you think of Microsoft Office?"

Oh, well I guess that explains it. 

what do you think of google

"What do you think about Google?"

But enough about Microsoft! You know, Cortana, I've done that myself once or twice.

what do you think of android

"What do you think of Android?"

Figures a virtual assistant based on an AI in a game would say that. 

do you know google now

"Do you know Google Now?"

Ooooh, sick burn if you drill down a bit deeper.

whos better cortana or google now

"Who's better, Google Now or Cortana?"

True that. Ask Cortana whether Bing or Google is better, while you're at it. 

what do you think of apple

"What do you think of Apple?"

But enough about Google? Cortana's pretty gracious about Apple, too. 

what do you think of siri

"What do you think of Siri?"

Well, maybe Cortana's not gracious all the time.

which is better siri or cortana

"Which is better, Siri or Cortana?"

Not to brag or anything. Cortana really plays up the video game angle. 

tell me about halo

"Tell me about Halo."

No, really, she does—though I think Master Chief may take issue with Cortana's interpretation of the events.

For more Easter eggs, ask Cortana to tell you about various elements of the Halo universe: "Tell me about" Elites, grunts, jackals, brutes, hunters, prometheans, the Librarian, Guilty Spark, and even Hamish Beamish all returns unique Cortana dialogue—though oddly, "Tell me about Sergeant Johnson" doesn't. 

tell me about halo 5

"Tell me about Halo 5."

Just don't ask about the next version of Halo. Cortana doesn't like that. She will talk about what Master Chief is up to, her favorite Halo game, and whether or not she really died, though. 

beam me up scotty

"Beam me up Scotty!"

Halo's not the only sci-fi legend Cortana will chat with you about, either. 

open the pod bay doors

"Open the pod bay doors."

Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose any more.

may the force be with you

"May the force be with you."

Cortana spits out several classic Star Wars lines in response to this geeky good-bye. 

why are we here

"Why are we here?"

I bet Cortana heard it from a mouse.

what does the fox say

"What does the fox say?"

Oh yes, Cortana knows her pop-culture references, all right.

why did the chicken cross the road

"Why did the chicken cross the road?"

And yeah, she's got jokes.

tell me a joke

"Tell me a joke."

See? Told you. You can repeat this question for a few different jokes. 

say something funny

"Say something funny."

This particular command makes Cortana spit out different jokes than "Tell me a joke" does...

knock knock

"Knock knock" does the legendary "Knock knock."

sing me a song

"Sing me a song."

Sick of laughing? Cortana sings, too. Repeat the query a few times for different tunes.

tell me a story

"Tell me a story."

She's no Shakespeare, though. 

talk dirty

"Talk dirty to me."

Just don't try getting fresh—Cortana doesn't like it. She'll accept your apology if you say "Sorry," though. 

can i change your name

"Can I change your name?"

Cortana's also not keen to be called anything else.

do you love me

"Do you love me?"

Cortana has a surprising number of responses to relationship-minded questions you ask her...

what is love

"What is love?"

...though she might not know quite what she's talking about on that front. 

i love you

"I love you Cortana."

Cortana does not humblebrag!

can i kiss you

"Can I kiss you?"

I bet Siri would kiss me.

how do i look today

"How do I look today?"

At least she's not cold all the time!

will you date me

"Will you date me?"

Oh yeah, I, uh, totally know that. 

will you marry me

"Will you marry me?"

The Man's always holding you down.

are you republican or democrat

"Are you Republican or Democrat."

Geez, Cortana can't marry or get representation for her taxation. 

are you hot

"Are you hot?"

Well, this might have been a harmless question about the weather, but Cortana remained diplomatic regardless.

why are you naked cortana

"Why are you naked?"

This isn't a weird thing to ask or anything. Now, for the logical follow-up question... 

what are you wearing

"What are you wearing?"

I'm guessing Cortana prefers synthetic fabrics.

what do you look like

"What do you look like?"

There's that video game again. Ask Cortana why she's blue while you're at it. 

are you real

"Are you real?"

Let's start diving into some of the weird questions that flesh out Cortana's personality, starting with this existential crisis.

can you cook

"Can you cook?"

Cortana's cooking can't be any worse than the Heart of Gold's tea, to be fair.

are you sleeping

"Are you sleeping?"

Cortana sounds like the perfect startup employee!

can you dance

"Can you dance?"

I can't wait for the official release!

how old are you

"How old are you?"

Cortana is adept at sidestepping another delicate question.

can i borrow some money

"Can I borrow some money?"

Geez. Break it to me easy, why don't you?

what is your favorite food

"What is your favorite food?"

Well, you can't argue with that. Hi-ca-ma. 

whats your favorite music

"What's your favorite music/song?"

Glam rock! Grunge! Grandmaster Flash!

where do babies come from

"Where do babies come from?"

Smart move, Cortana. Just don't toss up an image search, please.

youre not making any sense

"You're not making any sense."

I think she's talking about me.

youre creepy

"You're creepy."

Cortana doesn't much care if you find her more Big Brother than li'l helper. 

youre ugly

"You're ugly."

Nor does she care if you dismiss her ones and zeroes. Just don't call her the b-word. Cortana really doesn't tolerate being called the b-word very well. 

im drunk

"I'm drunk" or "I'm stoned"

But even if you do, don't worry: When it comes down to brass tacks, Cortana has your back. 

what have you been up to

"What have you been up to?"

Indeed she has. Now that you've got a great feel for Cortana's personality, check out how Windows Phone's virtual assistant stacks up to Google Now and Siri. We tested them all so you don't have to take Cortana's word for it. 

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