Microsoft is betting big on its virtual assistant, Cortana, as an integral part of its new OS experience. Sure enough, since its introduction, Cortana has been getting ever more powerful, appearing on Microsoft's console, gaining the ability to call a taxi, and even linking with enterprise productivity solutions, all in the name of making your life ever easier. The assistant's newest features, announced today on the Windows blog by Group Program Manager Marcus Ash, will make Cortana even more essential as your personal organizer.
Most professionals should be familiar with the act of emailing yourself or someone else a task or note as a reminder. The problem arises even these reminders get lost in the pile of unread messages, and this is where Cortana will be able to help starting from now on, with the new ability to automatically recognize commitment in emails and provide reminders. This works similarly to Cortana's flight and package tracking ability. The feature is part of the Cortana team's collaboration with Microsoft Research.
It should be noted, that the process will be done completely locally, and only under your consent, as Ash also confirmed with The Verge in an interview. The feature will also only work within Cortana's interface: that means no pop-ups.
Get to the meeting
Besides reminder-from-email, Cortana is also getting some more interesting calendar management capabilities. The virtual assistant will now be able to alert you to a meeting outside of your usual productive hours, so that it can be rescheduled. The feature also works for urgent meetings, where the alert will help you adjust the alarm and travel according to the situation.
With these new capabilities, Cortana is coming ever closer to behaving like a true personal assistant, and we can't wait to see how the virtual assistant will evolving the future (floating around the desktop sounds like a cool next step). The new features will be available for Windows Insider first before being rolled out to all Windows 10 users, with the calendar management feature only available to users in the US and Great Britain at the moment. We will be keeping an eye on when they come and update you with more information.