It seems it’s been a while since users were treated to new Cortana features or integrations, but with patience comes reward and the Bing/Cortana teams will be empowering users with new health skills and artificial intelligence when navigating the Office 365 suite.
While the features have yet to be publicly released, earlier today, Laura Jones of the Cortana team took the stage at Microsoft’s Ignite 2016 conference in Atlanta to discuss the upcoming additions to the digital service.
Soon, Windows 10 and Cortana on iOS and Android will be able to use the digital assistant to pull data from the Microsoft Health app to monitor a user’s dietary behavior. Presumably, Cortana uses its signature notification and reminder platform to track exercise routines, eating habits and location-based activities to make sure users are aware of dietary behaviors that deviate from their schedule, to keep those famous “cheat days” to a minimum.
As far as engaging the artificial intelligence quotation within Cortana when using Office 365 apps or other Cloud platforms, users will also soon benefit from being able to:
- Tap in Word and Outlook, which uses the Microsoft Graph to make it easier to incorporate content from existing documents within your organization into your own documents and emails.
- Quickstarter for PowerPoint and Sway provides curated outlines for any topic, including text and images, that can be used as a starting point to build presentations.
- Maps, a new chart type in Excel-powered by Bing Maps, transforms geographic data into high-fidelity visualization
- Windows Server 2016 will be generally available in October, giving IT professionals new layers of security and Azure-inspired innovation for infrastructure and cloud applications. Microsoft and Docker Inc. are extending their partnership to make the Commercially Supported Docker Engine available to Windows Server 2016 customers at no additional cost. System Center 2016 will also be generally available in October, offering a simplified management solution across the datacenter and the cloud for Windows Server 2016 software-defined datacenter features.
- New Azure monitoring abilities, combined with Operations Management Suite updates, help IT manage cloud and on-premises assets from one place.
- The next technical preview of Azure Stack brings Azure technology to customers’ datacenters, furthering Microsoft’s unique hybrid differentiation.
- Microsoft is also advancing a vision of what’s possible with intelligence and machine learning using the world’s largest deployment of custom developed field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), spanning 15 countries and five continents. These FPGAs could be used to accelerate AI to near real time, making Azure the foundation for the world’s first AI supercomputer.
Again, there is no word as to when the features will be released and as with other recent Microsoft releases, the features will probably go through a round of “preview releases” before hitting the general public. While it may mean a bit more waiting for the average user, the new features should be welcomed additions to functionally growing service in Cortana.Further reading: Cortana, health, Ignite 2016, Microsoft, Microsoft Graph, Office 365