Microsoft had previously announced the upcoming iOS and Android versions of its intelligent voice assistant, Cortana. Confirming the earlier announcement, Microsoft has said that iOS and Android platforms will get a companion application for Windows 10 platform, that will have Cortana services integrated into it.
The news has been generally greeted with enthusiasm by iOS and Android users. Work is still on to develop Cortana’s capabilities further, under Microsoft’s Project Einstein. While more details have not been given about Project Einstein, it's assumed that it will take cues from artificial intelligence and improve Cortana’s search and assistance capabilities. Earlier, Cortana was available only for Windows. Windows 8.1 for mobile has already featured Cortana, and Microsoft now seems to be improving Cortana to make it a serious contender to Google Now and Apple’s Siri (which itself is getting a host of upgrades).
Although Cortana will not feature its full capabilities on Android and iOS, it will serve as a companion to computers running Windows 10, which itself will be officially released on July 29. Cortana will also be available for Xbox One, which had backward compatibility with Xbox 360 added to it recently. Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research, said in an interview to Reuters, “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.”
It has been a race to roll out the most innovative voice-adaptive personal assistants. SoundHound’s Hound created a great first impression with its demo which showed superlative performance. Apple revamped its Maps and Siri, and integrated them along with its new Proactive features to promise a more effective and intelligent Siri. Cortana, named after Halo’s artificial intelligence character, is the latest entrant to challenge Google Now.
Rather than sticking to Windows-only services and forcing users to buy Windows products, Microsoft seems to have moved on to cross-platform services under CEO Satya Nadella, to develop better products and services.