Cortana Won't Let You Forget Your Promises
Microsoft today said it is adding new features to Cortana that will help people better manage their schedules. To start, Cortana will be more proactive with respect to reminders. Microsoft says people often make promises or commitments to one another via email, but then fail to follow through for various reasons (most often forgetfulness). Using tools from Microsoft Research, Cortana is able to scan email messages for promises/commitments and then automatically add reminders to help people keep track of those commitments. Microsoft also took steps to improve Cortana's ability to help manage calendar appointments. Microsoft says Cortana is able to see individuals' unique work styles, such as when they generally like to take meetings. Now, when meeting requests arrive that fall outside of preferred meeting windows, Cortana will send alerts so the recipient can take the appropriate action, whether it be to reschedule the request or set an alarm. Cortana's new powers will reach Windows Insiders on Windows 10 PCs first and expand to others Windows 10 devices and users over time.
Microsoft and Amazon Let Cortana and Alexa Talk to One Another
Microsoft and Amazon today announced a new partnership that will allow Windows 10 users to access Alexa via Cortana, and Echo users to access Cortana via Alexa. The tie-up lets people use one personal assistant to open the other.
Cortana for Android Now Works On the Lock Screen
Microsoft today made it possible for Android device owners to access and use Cortana above the lock screen on their smartphones. Microsoft has been testing the feature since earlier this year and is now rolling it out to all users.
Microsoft Releases Cortana for Android in Beta Form
Microsoft today made its Cortana voice-activated personal assistant available to Android users via the Google Play Store beta channel. The app had previously only been available through a closed beta, but is now accessible through an open beta program.
Cortana to Help People Follow Up On Email Commitments
Microsoft today improved its Cortana personal assistant, which can now remind people to take care of tasks they've promised to do via email. The tool is available in Microsoft's Office 365 and Outlook.com email services.