Mark Hachman of PC World reports, “If Google Now is the chirpy personal assistant, always volunteering information before being asked, Microsoft’s future in intelligent virtual assistants will be more in tune with a butler, quietly hovering and making suggestions where necessary. In fact, don’t expect Microsoft to develop a competitor to either Google Now or Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s director of Bing search, Stefan Weitz, told PCWorld in an interview. Instead, individual products within Microsoft will be able to tap into the vast collection of data that Microsoft has amassed through its partnerships with Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and many more—far, far beyond what Google, which has favored an independent approach, can achieve, Weitz said.”

He continues, “No, Microsoft Bob isn’t coming back with snazzy new hipster glasses updated for 2013. But a Big Data version of the Bob concept—personal assistance precisely when you need it—is definitely coming to Microsoft’s repertoire. At the center of it all is Bing, the company’s public-facing search engine. Behind the scenes, Microsoft has been busy developing what it calls its Satori engine, named for the first step on the Buddhist path to enlightenment. Satori’s goal, Microsoft says, is to build the ‘world’s largest repository of knowledge’ for Bing to tap into, always there to provide assistance when asked. Behind the scenes, Satori will collect and collate user information, organizing it within Bing, and using individual applications as the portals for delivery to users.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Microsoft