Microsoft’s attacks on Apple's Siri get a tad more satirical

Latest video features therapy group talking over Siri woes

Microsoft is taking its ongoing offensive against iPhone’s voice assistant, Siri, into a somewhat higher realm of satire in a new video spot called “Let the Healing Begin” that's set to launch on YouTube next week.

The video spot is obviously timed to coincide with Apple’s big Tuesday event where one or, possibly, two bigger iPhones are expected to be launched.

The “Let the Healing Begin” spot features a small group therapy session with people seated in a circle talking about problems using Siri.

In a teaser featuring a snippet of the video that Microsoft emailed to Computerworld, a group therapy participant named Clay says, “I guess I was expecting too much. I’m a spontaneous guy and it seems like when I’m ready to go out, she [Siri] just can’t keep up.”

The teaser alone doesn’t reveal much about the entire ad, including whether Microsoft plans to use it to promote its Lumia line of smartphones based on the Windows Phone operating system. In describing the spot, Microsoft said it is about how “Siri sends iPhone users to therapy."

In July, Microsoft launched a satirical video that shows its Cortana virtual assistant beating Siri in various tasks. And another more recent video made similar comparisons. The teaser of the latest video suggests that Microsoft is now introducing a slightly heightened satirical tweak of Siri.

When Cortana first became official in April, Microsoft officials described Cortana in beta as superior to Siri and other assistants. Introduced as part of Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana got some high marks from reviewers of recent Lumia devices and the HTC One (M8) for Windows.

In one comparison of an HTC One (M8) for Windows against an iPhone, Computerworld blogger Preston Gralla found Cortana better than Siri. For instance, Cortana provided links to relevant articles in response to the question “What’s wrong with the Red Sox this year?” Siri, however, only gave the time for that night's Red Sox game when asked the same question.

In a deep-dive review of the low-cost Lumia 635 smartphone for Computerworld, this reporter found Cortana to be one of the device's strongest features because of its ability to link maps and Web information to specific voice requests.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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