Microsoft Confirms Cortana Might Come to Android/iOS, Still Needs Refining

The company is trying to bring the digital assistant to desktops and cars first

By on June 12th, 2014 23:09 GMT

Cortana is definitely one of the most powerful digital assistants for mobile devices, and the more users have access to it the better it will become.

Microsoft recently talked about Cortana during SMX Advanced 2014 event and hinted at some of the destinations its digital assistant may take in the next few years.

Marcus Ash (group program manager for Windows Phone) and Rob Chambers (group program manager, Applications and Services Group) answered some Cortana-related questions during Microsoft's keynote in order to shed some light on how Cortana is making Windows Phone users' lives easier.

Aside from the usual comparisons with its rivals Google Now and Siri, Marcus explained how Microsoft got the basics of Cortana and from where it took its inspiration.

Well, it appears that Microsoft asked actual personal assistants what made them great at their job and included their input into Cortana.

Some of the personal assistants answered that notebooks are one of the most important tools in their work, which is why Cortana's notebook can explain what she's tracking and why she's tracking, like for example stocks, news and restaurants.

One of Cortana’s major features is the fact that she can remember things, unlike Siri. For example, she can remember favorite locations like home or work, but she also knows about privacy and asks users whether it's OK to save a certain location.

Although Marcus did not offer any release schedule for Cortana in other countries, he did reply to a question regarding the availability of Cortana on other platforms. Here is his statement:

“We want to scale Cortana internationally and across devices. The Android/iOS question is interesting. We're asking, would Cortana be as effective if she didn't have access to the details on your phone? We're still trying to get Cortana adopted on Windows Phone and figure out what it wants to become there. But we're actively talking about this.”

There have been some rumors that Cortana will soon be released on Xbox One and that Microsoft's engineers are already testing it on their console, but what about other devices that the digital assistant may be of use on?

Well, here is what Marcus Ash has to say about Cortana's availability on desktop, cars, etc.: “I think it's natural to think that an assistant that only runs on one device ... the idea that she will be very pervasive is important to us.”

For more details on Cortana and Microsoft's plans for the digital assistant, make sure to check out the full SMX Advanced 2014 keynote.

2 Comments