Video games are no longer perceived as a niche past time that is only enjoyed by nerds and geeks away from the light of society. Now it is a fully fledged medium that has relevance in art, technology, and the pop culture. With the rise of casual and accessible gaming, many who don’t interact with the wider community still play games and play them often. Even those who don’t interact with video games at all still feel their influence in every day life, as technology has been improved leaps and bounds because of the medium, lest us forget Steve Jobs starting his career as a video game programmer at Atari.

In the future, owners of Windows phones will feel the influence of gaming even more so, as Microsoft may well be calling their version of Siri, Cortana.

The name comes from the AI in Halo which is self teaching and adapting. The Halo series has been a huge part of Microsoft ever since the first game was released in 2001, which ended up propelling the Xbox brand into the stratosphere and becoming a serious contender against the dominant PlayStation 2, with the franchise continuing to be integral to the company’s future. It is perhaps fitting then for the wider Microsoft brand to pay tribute to the franchise by naming a key component of its future infrastructure after the character.

Halo 4 Cortana Chief

ZDnet‘s sources say that Cortana will be more than just a voice command system for phones though, as the service will become core to Windows phones, Windows and the Xbox One operation systems. They also continued by making a correlation between the supposed Cortana app and comments in a memo by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, giving a clearer idea as to what the app could actually do.

Check out this excerpt from the aforementioned Microsoft memo.

“Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world. Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it.”

It is worth noting that the title could just be a codename for the service and when it finally becomes available, it may not be under the name of Cortana. But as it stands, the move to name such a key part of the company’s future technology initiative shows a great nod of recognition to the medium and all it has done for the company.

Would you be excited to see a non-gamer walking down the road asking Cortana where the closest restaurant is?

Sources: ZDnet, Microsoft