To those perhaps unfamiliar with Microsoft’s Windows phones, Cortana is a relatively new addition to the OS and is a personal digital assistant similar to Apple’s infamous Siri. Well that and she is the AI that has become near and dear to all our hearts as she leads you around the Halo game series.
More interesting however is the plans that Microsoft has for Cortana in the near future. The first big change will come with launch of Windows 10 this fall. Built into that release will be the latest addition of Cortana there to assist you. The major change comes in the form of her ability to read and understand your email and to react to what she has learned. The program is the Washington state based company’s latest attempt at developing a functional artificial intelligence and is part of Microsoft’s Einstein Project. The big different between Cortana and competitor Siri lies in former’s ability to attempt to predict and adapt to the users needs while the later is basically a search tool.
If the tool works as desired Cortana would read your email and pick up on the fact that you have an early meeting across town. It would then alert you to this fact giving you time to get ready, prepare a route using GPS, and plan for traffic. In another scenario perhaps Cortana reads a message from home requesting you to pick up several items from the store. She would then remind you at the appropriate time, suggest the closest store, and provide you with a list of the items needed.
While the predictive nature of the software that makes up Cortana is far from uniquely exclusive to Microsoft, it is the next step that is most interesting. While there is not a set time frame Microsoft is aiming to land Cortana on all devices and platforms. It is part of Microsoft’s goal to sell it’s software to all users rather than attempt to force them to use their OS exclusively. And it is this move that could take Cortana the next level, bringing it’s intelligent predictive skills to all users regardless of their choice of device. Using an Apple device? Kick Siri to the curb and hook up with the Cortana app instead.