Last year, Microsoft introduced its own digital personal assistant, Cortana, for Windows Phone to counter Siri and Google Now. The digital assistant is limited to specific regions at the moment, but Microsoft plans to add more regions to the compatibility list. Microsoft even added Cortana to the desktop with Windows 10, which will allow users to a variety of tasks.
According to a new report from Reuters, Microsoft may introduce Cortana for Android and iOS devices in the near future as a standalone app, giving users running rival operating systems the ability to make use of the company's digital personal assistant. The report mentions that Microsoft is working on an "advanced version of its competitor to Apple's Siri, using research from an artificial intelligence project called "Einstein.""
"This kind of technology, which can read and understand email, will play a central role in the next roll out of Cortana, which we are working on now for the fall time frame," said Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research and a part of the Einstein project, in an interview at the company's Redmond, Washington, headquarters. "We're defining the competitive landscape... of who can provide the most supportive services that make life easier, keep track of things, that complement human memory in a way that helps us get things done."
This may sound as a strange move, but considering the steps taken by the company ever since Satya Nadella took the charge, it is a possibility. We've seen Microsoft offer its products on rival operating systems, including Office for iPad and Android, but as far as Cortana is concerned, both iOS and Android have their own digital assistants -- Siri and Google Now. However, offering it would definitely help the Redmond-based company attract more users. On the negative side, it could make Windows Phone less appealing to those who are planning to switch to Windows Phone, which is already lagging behind in terms of market share.
It remains to be seen what the software giant has planned, but it would be interesting if this turns out to be true.
Thanks Zetrosoft for the tip!