AI Wars Part I: 'Hey Cortana is that you on my iPhone?'

"Our top priority and showcase device for Cortana is Windows Phone. Any discussion or commentary about us giving up or abandoning Windows Phone is crazy talk. Our top priority is to make Cortana so fantastic that it pulls customers to Windows Phone. Period…And if that happens, then we can stop early future speculative talk about Android/iOS." – Marcus Ash, Group Program Manager for Cortana.

Those were the words of Marcus Ash two months after Cortana's April 2014 launch on Windows Phone. This was a perspective shared approximately nine months ago. These words, many of you may remember, followed a social media firestorm. Ignited by earlier statements which alluded to Cortana, Windows Phone fans' cherished and exclusive digital assistant, traversing the platform divide and finding a home on iOS and Android. These words were damage control.

The hearts and minds of Windows Phone devotees were quelled. Until five months later in November of 2014 when Julie Larson-Green, Chief Experience Officer at Microsoft reignited the flames. When asked whether there were plans to bring Cortana to other operating systems, her reply, "The short answer is yeah," fanned the smoldering embers of the year's earlier blaze.

A downer for Windows Phone fans who yearn for at least one standout exclusive feature for their beleaguered platform. Everyone else? Let the parades begin.

A downer for Windows Phone fans who yearn for at least one standout exclusive feature for their beleaguered platform

Maybe.

You see Julie's statement was somewhat cryptic. It was certainly not a formal announcement. Some even ventured to guess that the other operating systems that Julie was referring to may have been the Windows 10 SKUs for the Desktop. A stretch? Maybe. But one (or tens of millions of Windows Phone fans) could hope.

Cortana

Hope Springs…Never Mind

(Un)Lucky day. It's a matter of perspective. On Friday 13 March, 2015, as luck would have it, the hopes of many Windows Phone fans were dashed when an exclusive article from Reuters made known that Cortana was indeed going to iOS and Android. No official statement has yet been released by Microsoft. It seems that after nine months the placating words of Marcus Ash have been overwhelmed by cries of foul by Windows Phone fans.

"Microsoft has been running its "personal assistant" Cortana on its Windows phones for a year and will put the new version on the desktop with the arrival of Windows 10 this autumn. Later, Cortana will be available as a standalone app, usable on phones and tablets powered by Apple Inc.'s iOS and Google Inc.'s Android, people familiar with the project said."

Plain as day. Neither Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research nor Microsoft themselves confirmed this. However, if the report is correct, it is still clear that Microsoft's first target for a new and improved Cortana is Windows 10. This at least is consistent with Marcus Ash's comments that position Windows as the premier platform for the assistant. Furthermore, the statement from Reuters is clear that only after the more advanced version of Cortana is launched on Windows 10 will it then find its way to other platforms via standalone apps. This should offer some consolation to Windows (phone) fans. Right?

Siri vs Cortana

Weigh In

Cortana, even as an eleven-month-old beta, is duking it out with the more experienced heavyweights, Siri and Google Now. Not only is she holding her own, but with unique features like people based reminders and a genuinely personal approach she is winning many rounds. Her growing popularity and competence are arguably making her the people's champion of digital assistants.

That said, according to the Reuters report, the already capable assistant will be packing quite a potent new punch come the Fall (we now know that Windows 10 will launch this summer). Via the Einstein project, the name given to the project preparing Cortana's new predictive powers, Cortana will eventually move from being a digital assistant to the world's first intelligent agent. By incorporating contextual (spatial and temporal) information such as the time of day, the users location and what the user is attempting to do Cortana will be equipped to predict what supports a user may need for the given moment.

Cortana could tell a mobile phone user when to leave for the airport, days after it read an email and realized the user was planning a flight. It would automatically check flight status, determine where the phone is located using GPS, and checking traffic conditions

Amazing! Yes, this integration of data from various sources, processed and proactively supplied back to the user within a useful context will be an industry first. After debuting on Windows 10, this summer Microsoft (per Reuters) will then, with no specified timeline, be bringing Cortana with these new-found predictive powers to iOS and Android. Cortana's arrival on rival platforms sporting new capabilities may corner Siri and Google Now on their own turf.

You don't have to be a genius to see how this may be a powerful blow to the native assistants. As she impresses with jabs at the opposition via advanced capabilities, she will also begin to occupy the minds of the users of rival platforms. Particularly since the Einstein project, named after the famed physicist whose work centered around space-time, will ensure Cortana draws heavily on spatial and temporal data to predict an individual's needs.

Sure she won't integrate as tightly into that foreign OS as the resident assistants do. As an app as opposed to an OS-level integration, access to Cortana will not be as fluid as access is to Siri or Google Now. She will, however, offer advanced functionality that entices a user to use her. Then, of course, there is Windows 10.

Cortana in Windows 10

Cortana for Windows 10 Settings

Perfect 10

Microsoft will launch Windows 10 in 190 countries and 111 languages this Summer. And of course, for many of those that will include Cortana. That's huge. This 'one OS to rule them all' will be a single platform that powers IoT devices, phones, Xbox, tablets/hybrids and PC's. Through partnerships with the likes of Lenovo, Tencent and Quiho 360, hundreds of millions will be upgraded. This is where things get interesting.

You see, Microsoft's installed base for PCs claims over 90% of the market. The closest rival is Apple which after over 30 years has achieved only approximately 7.1% share. To put a number on Microsoft's sheer dominance of the PC space, we're talking 1.5 billion PCs in homes and businesses across the globe. To put a face on Microsoft's sheer dominance of the PC space, nine out of ten people/businesses choose Windows.

Windows 10

Windows 10/Cortana for (almost) Everyone!

Of the 1,500,000,000 PC's in use all Windows 7 (55.99%), 8(3.55%) and 8.1 (10.49%) PCs will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 within the first year of its release. That's a lot of Cortana. Even before she goes cross platform a growing number of iOS and Android smartphone owners who use PCs will find themselves talking and typing to Cortana on their desktops and laptops and in the Project Spartan browser. The simple and unobtrusive way in which Cortana is integrated into the various functions of Windows 10 and Project Spartan make her use very natural and the implementation powerful. She is definitely not a gimmick that will briefly entertain only to be neglected with time.

Actually time is her ally. For with time Cortana's stand out ability, her ability to learn and get to know you surfaces. She will proactively offer helpful information everywhere she is. Because Cortana lives in the cloud she will "know and remember" you despite the device currently in use. Whether that is a PC, laptop or later an iOS or Android device. Like a boxer who has taken one too many head blows, Siri's memory, by contrast, is excruciatingly short.

Halo's Cortana's Reach

As iOS and Android users experience Cortana via their PCs, complemented by the continuity of experience on their mobile devices, they will likely become more dependent upon her support (or so Microsoft surely hopes). Their comprehensive experience of this service across rival platforms and Windows PC draws the user into the Microsoft ecosystem even if they are reluctant to relinquish their mobile platform of choice.

Many iOS and Android users will potentially feel compelled to use Cortana on their mobile devices as they become more acquainted with her on the PC. As they learn her capabilities and she learns their interests, habits and other needs they may find themselves more reliant on her support when they venture away from their desktops and laptops.

Assimilation – All in the Family

Additionally "Hey Cortana" passive listening on PC may have the psychological impact of making Cortana a virtual household name. Remember 90% of us use Windows PC's. That's hundreds of millions of users who will over time be saying and hearing Cortana's name daily. She will likely become the default assistant, the first thought when seeking information, since her helpful presence in desktop OS, Project Spartan browser and iOS, Android and Windows smartphones and tablets will be so pervasive.

Hearing members of the family speaking to Cortana as they work on the PC asking her to send emails or look up information will become as commonplace as hearing members of the family talk to one another or converse on the phone. As strange as it may sound, Windows 10 could have the effect of making Cortana a functional part of many families.

As such she will be talked to and talked about. Not only among family members but also with friends, colleagues and quite possibly even as small talk among strangers. Why? Because as the 1.5 Billion of us upgrade our PCs to Windows 10 and buy Windows PC's and tablets, that single AI entity becomes a member of hundreds of millions of families and businesses. We will all have a "Cortana" experience.

An employee to a colleague: "I was writing my report last night and as asked Cortana to compose and send you an email about the Board Meeting. Did you get it?"A student to a teacher: "I was doing my physics assignment last night and Cortana suggested Einstein's book Relativity: The Special Theory and the General TheoryTwo strangers at a museum: Yes! Based on my interest in Native American art Cortana suggested this exhibit to me too!A brother to a sister: Samantha the AI from "Her" was able to help multiple people at the same time. You don't believe me? Ask Cortana!"

Clippy

Training Days

"Our machine-learning infrastructure will understand people's needs and what is available in the world, and will provide information and assistance. We will be great at anticipating needs in people's daily routines and providing insight and assistance when they need it…" – Steve Ballmer

Cortana is approaching her one year anniversary. Microsoft wasn't new to digital assistants with her 2014 debut. Microsoft's Bob and Clippy were early attempts at digital assistants. Redmond's goals were well ahead of the technology. Without developed neural network technology, a widely available internet, and a vast knowledge base Microsoft simply could not deliver on a great assistant. However, the company has dedicated great financial and human resources over the years to machine learning.

"As everyone gets essentially what we'd call the personal agent—it's been talked about for decades and now really is possible—we see where you're going, we see your calendar, we see your various communications, some of those communications we can actually look at the tags, look at the speech, try to be helpful to you in your activities."

It paid off.

While Siri stole headlines in 2011 and Google Now grew in its seeming precognitive abilities, Microsoft was building a knowledge base. A powerful backend that would make its latest entry into the AI digital assistant arena a game changer.

As a boxer watches video of their rivals in preparation for the match Microsoft kept its eyes on what the competition. The introduction of Cortana in April 2014 saw a digital assistant that possessed the strengths of its rivals in personality and context awareness, yet all presented in her own style.

Her popularity in just one years' time (bolstered by her identity as a beloved character in one the world's most popular video game franchises), is a testimony of her ability. Most reviews give Cortana high marks. Microsoft even featured her in their Stories on People.

"The smartest AI in the universe is smarter than you think."

Lumia 930 and iPhone 6

Bob and Weave

We know Cortana going cross platform is the last thing a lot of hardcore Windows Phone fans want. Cortana, after all, is the single exclusive Windows Phone feature that exudes that much needed "cool factor". For a company that's working hard to shake its stodgy, old "IBM-ish" image, "cool" is a must.

Many are finding it difficult to reconcile how Microsoft could invest in the now popular Cortana vs Siri ads that pit Cortana against Siri in various scenarios. If it were possible Siri, after these ads, would be mortified. The ads after exhibiting Cortana's superiority then promote a Windows device.

After seeing these ads, the idea of bringing Cortana to iOS and Android seems like a shift in strategy and waste of resources to some. I contend that the campaign's purpose was multi-faceted. First and foremost it was to put Cortana on display. To introduce her to the mainstream. To get awareness about her into the collective non-Windows Phone user, non-techie mindset.

"We are dead serious about giving you the best personal assistant on any Smartphone, something so great that you will convince everyone you know to get a Windows Phone."

Yes, one aspect of Microsoft's strategy in my estimation was to act as a draw to those smartphone users who would be enticed to jump ship and try Cortana out on a Windows device. You know, like Marcus Ash shared.That's the short play.

The second reason I believe was part of Microsoft's long play. By putting Cortana and Siri side by side on screen via these ads and showing the superiority of Cortana over Siri two options were shown in one space. One option was clearly demonstrated as superior to the other. Microsoft's goal of putting a Cortana app on iOS and Android would be the real world implementation of that visual. Cortana and Siri would be sharing the same space on someone's iPhone and users will have been trained to perceive Cortana as the superior option. That's some fancy footwork there, Microsoft.

Cortana vs Siri

Still holding the Towel

Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac wrote:

"Microsoft has made a habit of mocking Siri in Cortana ads, largely focusing in the lack of contextual reminders. But this latest move may represent recognition that Windows Phone has little or no future, and that Cortana's only chance of survival is on rival devices."

Windows Phone has low market share, yes. But Microsoft's strategic move to place Cortana, it's service, on iOS and Android is consistent with the cloud first, mobile first strategy that has defined Satya Nadella's tenure as CEO to date. Admittedly if Windows Phone had 50% of the market Cortana may not be moving to competing platforms - so soon. Though based on Microsoft's strategy an eventual move would be certain.

For a service like Cortana to grow, data is essential. The more users the more data. Since Microsoft's mobile market share is so low a launch of Cortana on rival devices in the wake of the game-changing launch of Cortana on Windows 10 would draw in a tremendous pool of additional users in a short amount of time. Ensuring that the Cortana experience is comprehensive for the hundreds of millions of users who would "meet" her in Windows 10 necessitates that she follows the user where they go. As a sort of echo effect, a strategic launch beyond Windows to include Android and iOS while the Windows 10/Cortana experience is still new and exciting increases the probability of engagement across devices. Nice blow Microsoft.

So no, Microsoft's move of Cortana to rival platforms is not an indication that they are throwing in the towel. It is more indicative of their goal to be the platform for everything including mobile. With the Cloud-based, device agnostic Health platform and Microsoft Band, they have presented themselves as the platform for health. By offering their Office productivity suite across devices, they are the platform for productivity. With Azure they are the platform for a host of cloud-based services. Through Cortana on PC and mobile devices Cortana becomes the ubiquitous interface to a user's experiences across devices. Giving up on Windows Phone? Far from it. An ambitious positioning to deliver a knockout blow? More like it.

It is more indicative of their goal to be the platform for everything including mobile.

As a matter of fact, Cortana is deeply integrated within Windows Phone. Her functionality for a Windows phone user will be much more profound than on rival platforms. According to Satya Nadella, the Microsoft ecosystem will be "home" to Microsoft products and services. In practice, this would mean a superior experience for users who are all in with Microsoft. Cortana working between PC/Tablet and Windows phone should be interconnected, offer a deeper integration and present more profound features than what iOS or Android users will experience. Cortana working between Windows 10 on the phone and PC should be magical.

Windows 10

No Place Like Home

Cortana on iOS and Android is a good thing. She will be like that outsider that steps in and does things better than the one hired for the job. With support from the PC her prospects of replacing the incumbents in usage on their own device become greater.

So should Cortana be worried about Apple's potential improvements and "Hey Siri" Apple Watch interaction? Or should she be concerned about Google's opening of Google Now API's. Well, her moves to usurp those assistants on their own platform may be evidence of one thing. That she really is from the future and she saw all this coming.

By occupying space on rival platforms and offering unique functionality, she becomes a tempting option for users. No, iOS and Android are not her home. She will simply be a guest working hard to impress. To those of you who are all in with Microsoft, Cortana will never leave home. Microsoft has made a strong commitment for Microsoft's devices and services to have a superior experience within the Microsoft ecosystem. The launch of Windows 10 lays the groundwork for the full realization of that promise. If Cortana were to echo that commitment she would assure you there's no place like home.

Don't miss AI Wars Part II: Watch Out Cortana Apple may Have Given Siri a Nasty Left Hook!

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

386 Comments
  • Provide Cortana to iPhone first year free then charge them...
  • Exactly, then no one will pay for it...
  • Well as per planning of microsoft the way they are thinking of getting people to use. Windowsphone and other products of them .!!,if they cover up from everywhere sure they can make ppl love the platform and with increase in userbase the developers wont make up so many glitches in getting an app update also we will be no. 1 soon XD ;)
  • I'm not sure i understand your English, but if you are trying to say that Microsoft has to make sure the other companies don't block any functions of Cortana, then I agree. Cortana would have to work flawlessly on ALL platforms for the logic laid out in this article to work. (which it can do, it just has to do it right).
  • Not just on ALL platforms but in ALL nations (or at least full functionality in all the countries that Microsoft is launching Windows10).
  • This is especially true here in China where there is simply no Google.
  • I doubt it... After so many years, bing is just a simple search engine outside english speaking US/UK crowd... Even the Local scout feature of WP never worked in Ireland... which is a english speaking nation just beside UK... None of MS services work properly outside US/UK... They will launch cortana on Android/iOS that will have all the functionality of WP/W10 but the people using Windows Devices outside of few countries will not see anything special & will stop using it after few weeks once the novelty dies down...
  • Hahaha Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yes! Cortana is one of the USP's of windows phone. Why give it to all? We should have something to boast at least as mix radio has already gone to all.
  • To me Cortana is the only thing MS got right regarding innovation. Not sure if Cortana can fully function on a iPhone or Android without you rooting it anyways. I mean arent the voice commands and system feedback and the ability to push data and updates require complete access to the phone? Just keep it on WP and make WP10 much better and drive for more app support
  • Their giving the option of Live Tiles to Android so what's next? Microsoft develops Android phone?
  • Outplayed
  • No, monthly/annual subscription is the only "good" choice.
  • This is a long article. Let me know when the cliff notes are available.
  • Yes but well written and kept my interest all the way through.
  • Thanks Rick1961 I appreciate that. I appreciate all of you for hanging in there and reading this piece, :-) I recognize my pieces are longer than the norm. I certainly will work to curtail them a bit. I appreciate the feedback even the constructive criticisms.;-)
    I've been part of this community for some time and have contributed to the comments quite a bit before I was given exciting privilege and the honor to write with the team and for you all. All writers have different styles, goals, perspectives and strengths. My pieces will for the most part usually fall in the Editorial/Analytical category such as this one, it's sequel(publishing soon) and my initial piece -How the Microsoft Band Will Beat Apples Watch.
    My goal is to contribute to this community and beyond(those who happen to visit) and offer a fresh and thought provoking perspective. Thanks again and I look forward to offering you all pieces that have first got ME thinking! And if that's the case I'd love to continue to share those thoughts in a way that continues to keep us asking questions and engaging in rich dialogue.
    Microsoft Camp! You guys are the best!:-) Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • NO, don't curtail them!  This was a great thought piece.  It made me more anxious for a new flagship Windows Phone that maybe Verizon will support.
  • Yeah, but no! It is good that you took things a bit deeper,  not everything needs to be like MTV (used to be?) with 10 secondes attention span. It was a good article, stand by it, no excuses!
  • Or just make them addicted to Cortana and then remove it.
  • Hmm... I think Microsoft is going to do that
  • the problem with microsoft is till date the services they have moved towards the rival platform mostly turned out better than on windows/phone. this is the most worrying part. check the MS apps be it garage,research or MS itself, compare those apps and then talk. they features and apps are way better than those on windows. the updates are once in blue moon too. they'll move cortana upto rival platforms on the talk of improving her and then the windows users are made to wait like sitting ducks for the next version or whatever.the new microsoft is the services MS not the products MS, so might as well say goodbye to it while you can. oh maybe you'll get it on android/IOS when you move up there
  • OS integration on iOS and Android will not match that on Windows 10.
  • Microsoft Whoretana.
  • Hahaha too goood...i still cant laughing!
  • I'd like to know exactly what exclusive features will cortana have in windows phones. Btw, still waiting for Cortana for phones here in south America...
  • I think the most obvious would be one button activation which it will never have on an iPhone.
  • No one week
  • If someone ask cortana on iphone, which is the best phone?what will be her reply!!!
  • Ya! I also want to know that
  • She'd most likely say "Microsoft is stupid for giving away all its perks to other platforms"
  • Ah, here is rodneyej with his dramas, stupidity and lack of effort to read the whole article before spitting out his dramas again. I can't believe it? *smh*
  • Windows phone (in Cortana tone) ;)
  • Will that be acceptable to the iphone users? Lol
  • Mayb
  • The same answer that Siri used to provide before Apple started brain wash users by altering the truth.
  • She will say Windows phone. I know she is pretty loyal
  • Seriously?  She'll simply reply with some answer about 'Feeling at home wherever you choose to take her".  Complimentary yet non-specific..on WP she'll answer differently of course!
  • Sweeet home Alabama :)
  • Ive actually thought of that before xD Well, she says Windows Phone now , so I'm sure she will then too. Lol
  • There is no reality or dimension where Apple would allow Cortana to say "Windows Phone". There would be whining and lawsuits.
  • "Oh, come on chief... Windows Phone" xD lol
  • No Place like home, the only phrase I like in this article LOL
  • Ya... In a few months she will leave home and enjoy herself with Droids and Apples... Then only thing we can do is to peek her working for them from our shattered Windows...
  • She is a cheater :)
  • That B*tch!
  • Nice figure of speech!
  • Surely OS integration on iOS and Android will not match that on Windows 10.
  • Okay, I don't really see an issue here. The competition will end up making mobile phone OSs and feature sets better. Good job MS for recognizing the importance of furthering technology over one phone OS in particular.
  • I agree with you and the author, but i think an important distintcion to make is that if Cortana spreads to other platforms she HAS to work as fluidly as she does on Windows. Otherwise, the opposite effect would happen and people would once again associate Windows with not working smoothly.
  • A very good point, and I'm sure something that Microsoft is very well aware of.
  • It depends on the rights the apps get.
  • Yeah, and that's why Microsoft's other services works better on other OS's now and is updated more frequently. I understand and agree 100%.
  • You think that to android and ios would care if it is fluent or not, satay nacelle have no idea of the company which works and looks like never used windows Phone , the weakness of windows Phone is the lack of applications if could have the same apps than android and ios have then would the maketshare raise up but looks like satay nacelle is with the enemy instead of recognize the flaws in attract and lure to developers to create and port their apps, example pinterest took out their app indefinitely , Google don't ported any app apple neither and in few markets the apps or local apps is so small that is not options, in my opinion should give up satay nadella because is not noticing the real weakness of windows Phone
  • I'm not sure that will be the problem you foresee.  If Windows 10 (and Cortana) work as well as I think they will, lots of people who carry iPhones and Android phones will spend part of their day on a computer running Windows 10.  Cortana will impress them there and if she isn't quite as capable on their phones they will see the problem as being with their non-Windows phones and not Cortana.
  • they'll improve it thats for sure, but the improvements will be heading to them first, we'll be waiting for alpha,beta,gamma, technical preview,consumer preview, preview for developers,carrier approval.....bla bla bla and by the time these come to us they'll be light years ahead. of course cortana is server side upgrades,so this might not apply to her but the rest of MS services, true every bit..  
  • Cortana on ios and android is good but the question here is what happens to WP? Until MSFT comes up with good plan, I can see only doom in bringing cortana to others.
  • According to the Reuters piece which broke this news as I mentioned in the article there are some really nice improvements coming to Cortana and they are slated to hit Windows 10 first.:-) That may be a sign of the precedent MS may be setting now that the issues of fixing the Windows 8/8.1 OS and market perception are almost behind us with Windows 10.
    MS may now be at a point where now that its own OS will be both what most users want and ubiquitous launching the best version of apps on its own platform makes more sense. Logistically had they done that in the past(on 8/8.1 yes, we here in MS camp would have been happy as clams, but the world at large would not have seen how great MS products and services can be if they received less than optimal versions of the apps.
    Consider this. Now that iOS and Android users have had a great taste of MS products/services on their platforms, premier versions can now be launched on the soon to be released Windows 10 that wont be suffering from the pervasive hate Windows 8/8.1 has endured. From a perception and unrefined perspective launching the best version of apps on 8, to some may have seemed like being invited to a black tie gala where every one is dressed to kill(great apps) but the venue the gala is held in(Windows 8/8.1) is an unattractive delipated gym(to many sadly thats what Windows 8 was). Now that Microsoft has changed the venue, if you will, to the beautiful hall that is Windows 10, they will likely ensure their products and services are dressed to kill!:-)
    Hey and if that happens, though entrenched users may be in their ecosystems, it does at the very least optimize Microsofts appeal and allows them to put their best foot forward as they try to entice others to come to their ball(ecosystem).;-)
  • Now that iOS and Android users have had a great taste of MS products/services on their platforms And what will happen when they come to WP and see that the same apps/services are worse than what they were enjoying on iOS/Android... 
  • Too many metaphors......
  • It always feels like Microsoft provides the best experience to other platforms before their own. I get they want to sell services but if office, outlook and cortana are on other platforms.. Why would you come to windows phone when other areas are lacking? They're taking the best bits and giving it to everyone and then going... Oh wait, no ones coming to windows phone?
  • Because all this stuff will be INTEGRATED into Windows. If you push the home button on iOS, it will still call Siri, not Cortana.
  • Right. You can probably replace Google Now with Cortana launch as default on Android, but it won't be hooked into the OS. It'll still just be an elaborate Bing Search app.
  • So, pointless?
  • Actually, the Bing torque app can open other apps for me right now. I don't have a smartwatch/band, but the app is still handy. Posted via my HTC One (M7)
  • There are pros and cons, like anything. Yes, you will get some switching due to the halo effect. However most I feel would be content, I mean why would you leave a growing hardware ecosystem which your heavily entrenched in which has the all Microsoft services you use for an ecosystem that offers better integration but lacks the hardware and software ecosystem that your familiar with and use on a day to day basis.
  • Well said - that's how I see it also. Sure, Cortana might end up a bing app; the hardware and ram mean it could just be left running, on ios and android, with no issue. It'll be integrated enough. No big deal otherwise. Look at siri - all that brouhaha about it being a mobile butler and in the end nothing. Cortana may be a bit more involved but is it really going to replace doing things yourself, swiping your own messages etc. It being a non integrated app is more than enough for what it will be. Novel.
  • Becasuse no one on the other platforms are going to want to manually launch an app instead of the speach in google and long press on iOS. I love the native hey cortana and would hate to not have it  
  • I love the deep OS integration of Cortana on Windows. That will never happen on Apple/Google. So they can have the app experience, don't bother me really.
  • Windows Phones are better than Apple or Android.  I have a Lumia 1520.  It beats the pants off of either Apple or Android.  It shows that Microsoft can build better phones.  Also - go to an Apple store and look at the display.  Roiws and rows of Apple products all woith static screens - rows and columns of old-fashioned static icons that just sit there looking at you and doing nothing. iOS and Android are BORING.
  • That's was really crazy,I can't accept that.
    Microsoft? What do you want? You broke my heart
  • Jesus drama much??
  • You want a wineburger with some French cries with that? Lol
  • *whineburger. So close! :P
  • People will not come to WP unless it offers all the apps other platforms have, it's not only about Cortana, although I don't like the idea of losing that exclusivity, it makes sense, but the strategy won't work if Windows 10 can't finally solve the app gap
  • Creating excitement for the platform is equally important to get past the "chicken and egg" problem that is the app gap. If Microsoft can execute on this grand plan with Cortana, Office, HoloLense, Universal Apps, and drum up excitement for their brand and their platform, it can only be good for Windows Phone.  Developers need to be sold on the platform and the value of putting effort into making and updating apps.  General excitment is an important tool. I had a friend of the family ask me about Windows Phone a few weeks ago.  He was coming from the angle of liking Windows 8 and wanting something similar on his phone.  Thats one example of a halo effect where the strength of one product helps lift the other.  Universal Apps, Cortana spreading her wings to Windows 10 and other mobile OS's... that's all a way to increase these scenarios. Joe Consumer: "Hmmmm... I have Cortana on my PC... and I can get it on my iPhone/Android... but I bet it will be a little better on a Windows 10 phone...."
  • Thank you. This is the biggest reason people don't use Windows phone. No snap chat.
  • Snapchat isn't the only reason. Not all of the world sends inane pictures to each other ;-)
  • But is a big one and MSFT together with Snapchat should solve this issue (jus like Nokia/MS did with Instagram long time ago)
  • The only reason there is currently an app gap is because of the "market share" of Windows phone.  There just aren't enough Windows Phone users out there to warrant the development of apps for the ecosystem.  This will change with Windows 10.  As the article states, there will be billions of users of Windows 10 on all types of devices, not just phones and tablets.  A number that will surpass iOS and Android combined.  Believe me, developers will NOT want to ignore a potential sales market share that huge for their apps and they will start developing apps like crazy for Windows 10!  The app gap will mostly like stay, but in reverse.  Apple and Google apps will be playing catch up to Windows 10 apps.  Watch and see...
  • Its not that easy...Ios and android are where the money is..So developer's 1st priority is always those platforms.
  • That is my point exactly.  CURRENTLY the market share favors Apple and Google.  Windows 10 will change all that.  They develop for Apple and Google because of the 2 to 3 billion users that use iOS and Android.  Once Windows 10 is released this summer, all Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users will get a free upgrade to Windows 10.  Who wouldn't upgrade for free?  Now considering that Microsoft hold 90% market share and ALL devices will run Windows 10, that equates to a market share of well over 5 - 6 billions Windows 10 users.  Double that of iOS and Android combined.  That is where the new money will be.  New apps, old apps, all in a brand new market share double that of their previous app market share.  A developer would have to be STUPID not to drop development on iOS and Android and concentrate on development for Windows 10.  ONE app that will work on Desktops, laptops, tablets, phablets, phones, xbox, etc.  This is what I meant by the market share will change.
  • Ya I get your point..I also hope Windows 10 actually solves the app gap and don't turn out as a myth..
  • 5 to 6 billion is the total addressable market based on current PCs running Windows.  But about a third of those are on a version of Windows (pre 7) that do not qualify for the free Windows 10 upgrade.  Given that, the potential is still huge. The proof will be in the pudding once we see how quick Windows 10 adoption is.  Even if we get a modest 30% on Windows 10 within the first year, that's 2 billion, a robust number.  If there are continueing headwinds on migration away from Windows 7 (and earlier versions), this could be a challenging chapter for Microsoft. The signs and excitement are promissing.  But we have to acknowlege that Windows 10 migration will not be an instant thing.
  • While I agree that about 1/3 of those PCs are pre-7 windows that don't qualify for free upgrades, I would bet half of those have not upgraded because they didn't want to upgrade to Windows 8 or 7 and are waiting for Windows 10 or they will probably get a new PC to replace their aging ones because they will want Cortana on their PC.  Some may even pay to upgrade to Windows 10 from XP.  So I'm not so quick to discount those users either.  Regardless the user base market share for Windows will grow plenty enough to encourage app development by developers in a very quick turnaround.  I feel very certain of it given my interactions with several app developers in the industry.
  • Agreed NOLOTecky, I was just clarifying the numbers a bit.  I think that Windows 10 itself is a big boon.  The start menu treatment on desktop, the ability to run Modern apps in resizeable windows... these are things that I think should have been in Windows 8.  So combined with Universal Apps, Windows 10 feels like "the Windows 8 Microsoft wish it could launch 3 years ago".  And seeing as how the wait is almost over, I feel pretty positive about the next few months. The synergy accross devices is a much better story once Windows 10 drops.  Before they "looked" similar... but now they actually are the same OS.  I think seeing Cortana everywhere is going to add to this effect.
  • Mingu7 and NOLATechy, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments. Very insightful. Thank you.
  • this
  • Watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x364TSJTXuQ
  • Stupid video by people who aren't even associated with Microsoft.  Not even funny.
  • What you thought people of Microsoft go and do like that?? msft doesn't stoop down to that level. Its just for fun made by some idiots.
  • Not relevant really.
  • How about no?
  • Yay all the Siri-rejected devices can use her!
  • Dude, this article is long. Do I have to read all that?
  • In short..Cortana will be available to ios and android users as a standalone app...
  • Lmao
  • Think about the time it took him to write it, so what's so hard at reading? :-) I like these columns, I just read it and it has a good point. Mobile first, cloud first. I will love my Cortana even more when it gets smarter by learning from iOS and Android users.
  • Agreed and people just lazy now a days that's all. Shame on him for not wanting to read this.
  • I agree. It's actually a really great article that's lost on a lot of the pea brains who were to lazy to read it. I'm finally convinced that what Microsoft is doing makes sense.
  • It's not that long. Read it, it makes many nuanced and interesting points.
  • Thanks MikeSo. I know its a long and detailed piece but this very dedicated and passionate community deserves to have a light shone on some of the fine and thought provoking points affecting our ecosystem and to see the likely direction our ecosystem may be going in. :-)
  • It's one of the best editorials. Enjoyed reading it. :) thanks for the details.
  • Loved it too! Great job.
  • More articles like this are always appreciated, at least by some of us. Posted via my HTC One (M7)
  • Thanks a lot Avi, Yanano and Dradzk!
  • If you're commenting then it would be nice to have at least read the authors work, don't you think?
  • To weed most of them out, it probably would help if comments were a separate page, but you'd hear even more whining....
  • @Percistratus Yes.
  • And just think...............this apparently is "Part 1" :)
  • Instead of bringing her out to other platforms they make Cortana for every windows phone owner available first!
  • Agreed.
  • This very much. It's quite annoying to read an article like this when Cortana isn't even available for my WP device.
  • Gezien je naam denk ik dat je uit mijn land komt ;) ik hoop dat we cortana krijgen maar heb een hard hoofd in. We hebben niet eens normale spraak
  • Indeed and even if they don't support the language they should at least make it easier to access. Siri is on all iPhones no country changes are needed.
  • I don't see an issue as long as windows phones aren't left to get half baked updates and feel like Microsoft doesn't even care
  • I agree, but they would have to make it right on Windows 10, because it all works together and if they want people to leave other platforms & stay in Window10 they will have to make it the same or better.
  • Haha. Good one. That's par for the course, friend. They go where the users are.
  • Losing time with other platforms it's not even working on my country shame on you Microsoft
  • Its nice to ser cortana on iPhone but not in all languages for Windows Phone, really nice.
  • I am curious about that too... Do Einstein speak portuguese?
  • Don't you think that's the reason why Microsoft want Cortana on iOS and Android?
  • A great read that I totally agree with, a lot of people are not seeing the whole picture..
  • Please don't waste reading this article, better buy android wit high specification and have a dual boot wit one android and one windows,since they will b releasing their OS soon enough ( I hope)
  • Please don't waste (your time) telling people on a Windows forum to invest in Android. Read the article, it's for your own good.
  • Read the article and see why not to buy android lol
  • Please do tell me when the M8 gets dual boot. Love to hear it from you.
  • Oh wait, the M8 already has a WP variant!!!
  • After some months Cortana on ios and android will be getting updates on regular basis and it is still BETA on Windows..
  • What a stupid comment. Cortana is updated server side... The updates will be automatic to all phones.
  • You are stupid...It will be a standalone app on ios and android just like google now..
  • The app is a frontend for everything done server side, thats why the same features are available on phones and PCs right now. 
  • It will be out of beta come Windows10. Dude!
  • Really? Since when are things out of beta?
  • Seems like someone fails to understand how Cortana works!!!
  • The question is: Windows PCs counts for more than 1,5 billions but which languages Cortana will speak in the end of this year???
  • Office, gone! Mix Radio, gone! HERE maps, gone! Cortana, gone!!! MY LIFE IS GONE!!!
  • chill bro, there's a whole bigger and better MS world out there on android and IOS
  • Office is gone where? Office hasn't been a Microsoft/Windows exclusive product for a long time now.
  • No 5x. They are still here. You know what's gone? Stupid Chase.
  • I understand why they do it and it makes me somewhat glad because it means more data/smarter Cortana but at the same time it makes me a bit sad that it will not be exclusive anymore.
  • They get plenty of data of the millions of people who are getting windows 10 PC. Putting it on iOS and Android is not a good idea.
  • @Ingiomar Martina.
    Precisely.
  • And who says all of those so called billions will use cortana? I see this argument all the time but its just not that simple. Just like app usage and universal apps.
  • I don't think you either read the article (it was long) or comprehended what he was writing.  If the Windows 10 users are indeed using Cortana on their PCs, they will hopefully begin to use and rely on Cortana on their iOS and Android devices.  The next logical step is to then buy Windows phones and tablets.  As the author said, they probably wouldn't be moving Cortana over to the other platforms at this stage if Window Phone had a 50% market share, but it doesn't.  I think it is a good move.
  • You can get all these Microsoft services on Android and IOS, so I have to ask myself a question. Why should I choose windows phone, if I can get Microsoft services on an iPhone or android device?
  • THAT is the question. Why Switch?
  • Integration
    Secure OS
    Live Tiles
    Best OS ever
    Windows 10 on phone, tablet and PC
    No data mining like Googleware
    No over priced, over rated products like Apple
  • I hope 2Tom answered your question.
  • What's zo special about live tiles? They hardly show any information and it's not like people are gonna stare at the tile for information they just gonna open it. The concept is nice but it's not 100% ready.
  • I love Live Tiles because they are way better than iPhones boring rows of do nothing icons and they contain relevant info across all my devices. Also, they look great and add to the appeal of the OS overall.
  • Agreed
  • Who cares on integration , if must grow up the applications store in Windows phone, instead of move to Cortana to their rivals should start to make that other developers start to make their apps for windows phone instead of watch that the marketplace don't grew up, that is the weakness of Windows phone lack of applications and others that must have the same options than in Android example of it what apps can't erase a whole chat in Windows phone but on Android can, how come such abysmal differences in the same application and vendor with, only difference in the platform, I like Windows phone but am not an, fan and I'm not blind for watch their weakness, if want the 50% of market share first get Google and other apps in Windows phone and later when you did it can think silly things like kill your platform by give the same applications of operative system to yours rivals.
  • I really wonder if Apple will allow a Cortana app in the store.  They have a real habit of disallowing apps that they feel compete with their own offerings.  This could be an interesting potential hurdle for Cortana's cross-OS plans, couldn't it?
  • They are not allowed to ban the app as long as it does not violate any terms. They have allowed Google Now, other AI's, etc. They can't ban Cortana. There would be an anti-competitive suit.
  • Apple reserves the right to pull anything from its store that it chooses. Like Microsoft and Google does with their respective app stores. It is a store, and the owner of the store has the right not to sell something they don't want to. If Apple says no, than it a no go. 
  • It's not likely they'll block it it. Keep an eye out for part two to this theme AI Wars. In that piece I share some perspectives from rival angles. ;-)
  • Eager for pat two. 1st was great. :)
  • Just tell apple to replace Siri with Cortana. Bcoz Siri also uses bing. So it wont matter to them
  • Ms Office, Mix Radio, Here Maps, Cortana and now the Windows OS can be run along side Android. WTF Microsoft. I have been with you since the start. Now I am thinking about selling my Lumia 1520.
  • Gwalk4r will you sell it free to me :P
  • Haha £100 and its done
  • For £100 I'll happily take the 1520 off your hands :P. As it is an insane bargain lol.
  • Its going on ebay @20:00 GMT
  • MixRadio was sold, Here Maps was never Microsoft's to sell and Office has been on non-MS operating systems for many a year now.
  • Loved this article. Someone gets it!
  • we'll only get it after android and IOS. lol good luck with all the stripped down versions outside US
  • In this way..... MS might loose customers instead of increasing it.
  • they'll loose customers on windows phone but they will gain from services. poor WP users.
  • Lose. Why did you repeat his spelling error? Lolirl.
  • I'm sorry..... I actually typed with my swipe keyboard..... I didn't reviewed it. Thanks @sweatshopking.
  • This plan could go well, except that Microsoft have a history of keeping their iOS/Android apps better updated that their Windows Phone versions. They need to ensure that their Windows version does more.
  • I think with Windows 10 MS has arrived at a "stabilization" point where their OS will no longer be in the fluctuating state that Windows 8/8.1 brought to the market. That OS needed refinement on a pragmatic level and in way of general perception. A lot of effort and resources were geared toward that goal. I think now that 10 is on the threshold MS will focus more effort to ensuring that Satya's word ring true- that MS products and services are "home"(best) in the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Exactly, if there's one thing I've found with Microsoft is that you have to look at the bigger picture. Their plans might look disjointed and out of place if you look at just one part of it but if you look at it as just one very small part of a bigger overall plan then it all fits together nicely.
  • Try telling that to us WP7 owners. Selling us glorified feature phones. People getting screwed out on the Lumia 900. People not receiving the Windows Phone 7.8 Update on Verizon's on WP7 device the HTC Trophy. Nokia having exculusive apps (actually a null reason now, but seriously hampered adoption for apps way back when.) WP8 was a step in the right direction, but not offering some rudimentary cross over when they simply dropped support. Much happier with my 928, but Verizon also took a few steps back with killing the Icon, doing nothing with the ATIV SE and just letting their store reps complain about the platform and not push them. Probably won't switch phones until they release a new phone with Glance-like capabilities or when I get my Kairos smartwatch, but by then it won't matter. I'll still be chilling on my 928 waiting for Windows 10 Preview like everyone else here.
  • You've just proved my point by ONLY looking at it from a WP perspective!!!
  • Excellent article, very well researched and an full of effective analysis of the state of affairs as it stands now and how it will continue to change in the coming months and years. This is the type of content I love on Windows Central: in-depth, unique looks at the past, present, and future of the tech landscape. Keep it up!
  • Yeah, it was awesome. And there's even part 2..
  • Hopefully Microsoft also brings live tiles to iPhone, then I can finally get a decent high end phone
  • IPhone? High end? LOL!
  • LOL... So something that is perceived to be verrry expensive = a high end device?
  • A reinvented Macbook, aka Netbook, for $1,200 with one port, removed Apple glow logo is what he means. It's high end, high quality to the sheep lol
  • Yep. The only USP of the new MacBook is that it looks good.
  • You missed the point. No flagships available. And I'm not getting an android so...what else can I do?
  • Cortana is getting a little too creepy, a la Google, for comfort. I suspect I'll be turning her off, very soon. Windows' lower creep factor is literally the only reason to use it over Android, and that is vanishing rapidly.
  • Apples and oranges. But by all means turn Cortana off along with the inane comments. :)
  • What do you use on PC?
  • first make cortana available for all windows phone dn u can think later for other devices,,pity u Microsoft
  • "Microsoft's move of Cortana to rival platforms is not an indication that they are throwing in the towel. " Agreed. But I do think they are hedging their bets, and gives yet one less reason for people to use Windows Phone by having it on other OSs. If Cortana becomes a commodity on the PCs, and there's a chance it might, but users aren't compelled to switch to WP to integrate with said PC, well, that's a lost WP opportunity, even if it's a boon for Microsoft overall as a services company. The best case scenario is that Cortana is good enough on the PC for people to start using it on iPhone and Android, but that those versions are not as full featured as the Windows Phone versions, and thus people would feel compelled to let that be a plus  for WP when considering a new phone. Personally, I LOVE Cortana. I know many people here don't use it much and find it to be a novelty, but I use it constantly. I don't know how good it is compared to Siri or Google Now, but in a vacuum it is a fantastic product. And that's now, when it's still in its infancy. Can't wait to see what Microsoft does with it. If WP doesn't survive, I'd be thrilled to know that I can still get Cortana and all their other services on iOS. I just hope that this is not a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • But, after almost a year, Cortana is not even in more than 10 countries! A lot of current Windows Phone users are not capable of use Cortana with their current local ubication and language, and that's a sad thing, because Cortana is already an amazing thing and it's not even presented in most of the Windows Phones :(
  • Good point. They should focus on that first, then start doing work for other platforms.
  • Besides that need have the GPS on all the time an not wise move if want get battery life til 6-7pm on a Lumia 820
  • I think what they are trying to do is to make it feature rich first and then push it out to the rest of the world. If you think about it, many users only gives a new feature one try, they don't often come back to check to see if it has gotten better.
  • I'd like Microsoft to release a high quality Bluetooth lapel microphone for use with Cortana.
  • Well at least we got it first.
  • Cortana can only get better by being on more devices. The more her device owner's support feedback of their actions the more she will improve.
  • There are plenty of Windows PC users. Putting her on PC makes sence since they needed the data and its their own platform. By putting her on competing platforms they're crippling Windows Phone.
  • People wouldn't use Cortana as much on PC (or at least not in the same ways). So I feel like to get more data, other phones is a must. Besides, it won't be integrated into the OS like it is on Windows.
  • People technically already use Cortana, she is after all powered by Bing. Furthermore she is heavily tied into the O/S in windows 10 and is prominently displayed so you can't miss her. Furthermore with the App model, people will have to download the App. I don't see Apple allowing Cortana to be shipped automatically on phones. Whereas on the other hand, MS maybe able to incentivise OEMs to ship Cortana with their Android devices. However Google will most likely will not let the happen. People need to consider ALL the pros and cons before declaring what is a must or not.
  • Another consideration is that Siri is powered by Bing.
  • Siri is not power by bing, Siri uses bing results, Bing ties into siri like Facebook, Twitter, yelp and a bunch of other services. Siri uses bing search results. But she can also use Google if the user request it. 
  • "Siri uses Bing results"
    Yes, it does!
    http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/03/this-one-weird-siri-feature-turned-me... But using Google is not the same.
  • II don't understand your comment, are you disagreeing with me or not? Because your link proves my point that siri only uses bing as a search engine and is not power by it. 
  • Hah, as stated in the article: "Bing is doing my searches, and it's doing them well. And, as shocking as it is to discover, Siri has made me a regular Bing user." Bing does all the searches, so the expression "Bing powers Siri" is correct.
  • Not really, those "competing platforms" will get an inferior, crippled and non integrated experience compared to WP.
  • "Jabs" or "jobs"..
  • How do you get Clippy to replace the Cortana Halo?
  • Blood ritual
     
  • Lol
  • Ask her if she likes clippy.
  • let have cortana to all those who chose/use english as their language on the phone rather than changing region to get her, so that one is not affected by region when buying something on store. this would be a better temporal measure for those waiting for her to be released to their specific regions rather than changing the region.
  • Cortana has reached Siri's home ...
  • There is no valid reason to put such a big windows feature on iOS and Android. They might as well put live tiles there and be done with it. People using cortana on PC would make them want to look at getting a Windows phone instead of android and iOS. Does Microsoft not want Windows phones to sell? How are they and WP OEMs going to compete with android if all of WP features are on Android and iOS? They will get WP features on top of all the iOS and Android features. Why would they want Windows? Because of live tiles?
  • Maybe if they prefer the overall OS? I do, but it has nothing to do with the live tiles. But each to their own I guess.
  • Look Jason... It's a good article, thanks for trying to convince people before they've been shocked by another Microsoft moves for rivals platforms but let me tell you something , Windows phone that I love have many problems and lacks of features even before the app gap. Microsoft must solve them and publish as many secure APIs as other platforms and let developers change some OS functionality in secure ways then create a unique features for WP platform then solve the app gap and convince the developers for creating officials apps like instagram Facebook YouTube snap chat banks and.... Then after making a high quality and unifying stable OS try to port their apps and features like Cortana to rivals to convince others to move to WP. If you(MS) do this now, other rivals will laugh at us and mocking us that your first priority is ifool and hangroid. Then people that loved WP will said to themselves why would I buy this phone????? Why would I support this phone????? Why would I fight for this phone????? And leave some exclusives features for us!!!! Let us be happy and mocking the others!!!! Why would you kill is in first step??
  • What APIs are missing specifically that is preventing those apps you listed to exist on WP? I'd say none. And why on earth should someone fight for a phone or any other electronic device? Use what you like. Mocking the others? Are we in kindergarten?
  • Hey man...1-if you are using an nfc tags for example toggling your phone wireless you can't just a shortcut will open. And not all nfc tags and device standards has been supported yet.2-your battery saver apps??? No way... The Microsoft own app has lack of many features even in filtering the apps are using the battery now. There is no API for developers to change the others apps functionality for saving your battery like official snap dragon official app for Android.3-wireless point to point API not exist.... You can't use Windows phone for example control the RC cars or helicopters for all of the standards , just little standards are supported now.4-there is no option for blocking apps for using cellular data just some of apps has this ability from inside...i call my bank support and told them want an app for WP they told us we are waiting because most apps in our country using SMS for electronic banking and there is no API for developers to send SMS third party apps. These are some examples man not all missing APIs listed here.(I know some of these are supporting in win 10 but it's too late it's just a preview ) Man we loved Windows phone and using from the beginning. We supporting it from beginning patiently. But Microsoft moves sometime shocking us and we ask ourselves why would I support that MS wouldn't!!! You say fight!!! Yes we fight for Microsoft because we don't want it dead we love to see it's growing and supporting us.. And yes we are living in a big kindergarten.. Look around yourself the international journalist mocking us like Verge and others using ifool devices and they publish anti Microsoft products everyday, why we mustn't mocking them back even Microsoft mocking the rivals in videos dude???? It's a true story man Microsoft forget us!!! Look at office and others apps working better in rivals there is no exclusive feature left for us!!!
  • 1) I've not used NFC tags so cannot comment on this. 2) Well this can be debated but I think no 3rd party apps should have permissions to affect other 3rd party apps behaviour and thus this is good. 3) You mean bluetooth? I've only experimented with Sphero, any examples what I could look into on the RC cars for example.. 4) Well this could be good to have OS level control, but not that hard to implement within the app itself either. 5) There is an API to send SMS:s from the app, but last time I looked in to the API you could not send those messages hidden, which could be considered as a security measurment as well so apps wont be sending messages to expensive numbers. This is the first time I hear banks using this old technology still, I thought the old mobile interfaces are long gone and now everything is built on top of Web services. And about the mocking part, personally I think it is just childish and never understood the "fanboyism" on any platform. They all have their good and bad parts and none of them are really superior in any way. I'm still standing on my original point that use what you like, and don't let others opinions affect that. :)  
  • I'm agree should first fix the gap of apps and in fact I think satya nadella should be fired
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Excellent article, but unfortunately Cortana is only available in a handful of countries right now. Sure, they're some of the most important ones, but I don't think Microsoft can afford an 'Alpha' or a 'Beta' tag at launch. They have six months at best to dramatically expand the service's availability. IMO, they should release an Alpha version of Cortana in 20 or 30 countries ASAP to collect more data.
  • How about Cortana for NZ before jumping platforms.
  • You go Cortana.. Rock all the spaces...
  • Too much pie in the sky, could be and maybe's. All the superior apps Microsoft has already released hasn't drawn more people into the Microsoft ecosystem, why should Cortana? And all this assumes the native assistants on those platforms don't improve, which is hard to believe. Nice spin but not such a sure thing as presented.
  • Which superior app? That great hanging, crashing and lagging Xbox Music app? The Xbox Games app that can't compete with the previous hub? The great office apps only released on ios and Android yet? Photosynth which gets more features and updates on ios?
  • Exactly this.
  • "The great office apps only released on ios and Android yet? Photosynth which gets more features and updates on ios?" That was exactly what he was referring to, but they aren't bringing more people to Microsoft.
  • Rather is making stick in Android and IOS
  • Great text!!!
  • Okay, I read the entire article. You commenters need to STOP WHINING. Cortana will be merely a "guest" on other platforms (the article's word, not mine). Also, it's not like Chase or Bank of America; she's staying here. This is her home, and she'll be worlds better here than anywhere else (at least, she should be).
  • If Siri had been available on windows phone from day one we would all be more deeply entrenched in the Apple eco system and how would that have changed our opinions of Apple products? Now think about that from the opposite perspective.
  • The problem with this though is that Apple has zero apps on Windows Phone. So if it had Siri on it and nothing else, no, no one would really car. But Microsoft has everything on iOS and Android. So if someone is using OneDrive, OneNote, Office, etc, etc and they use Cortana now as well... Now we start to see how someone would go, "I use all of Microsofts stuff anyways, I should look at a Windows Phone because it is even more integrated into the phone and will provide a better experience." If you just look at Siri and Cortana and think they will cause much difference they wont. You have to add in everything else to see it =). 
  • That person doesn't exist. IPhone users use icloud and Siri. They don't use OneDrive and Cortana. Android uses gdrive and ok google. They don't use OneDrive and Cortana. This strategy isn't going to work, and that should be clear to anyone. It especially wont work when all of Microsoft's apps are better on other platforms, and the competitions products are exclusive to the competition and often better than anything on windows phone, nevermind the HUGE app gap.
  • Also I don't know if will work, I wish to understand why took out the integration with social networks, the rooms, the Zune hub and games hub and replaced by apps don't integrated to the phone to do updates of many bugs, there was one mistake two Microsoft apps gap they should fix that, looks like nobody at Microsoft uses their product to give feedback to the Windows phone team, number 3 why should wait forever for updates if could do like the computers or all the devices at same time instead of wait to operators to quit features and their delays? , number four Microsoft should first make Cortana for all regions and fine tune instead, of give to the rivals their product just I wish get the question if the ms Windows phone team ever used everyday Windows phone? Because the only way to know where improve is testing your work and notice their weakness,
  • But why switch when you can get the best of Apple's, Google's, Microsoft's and even Blackberry's ecosystem on the iPhone. Why do I care  it they better integrates on Windows Phone when I get better support from Microsoft on a iPhone? That the question that Microsoft hasn't answered. That (one of) the reason while Windows Phone continues not to gain traction. And that why I believe Windows 10 won't do much to change Microsoft's status in the smartphone industry. 
  • But only once MS offers WP apps that are at least equal to the iOS and Android versions.
  • The end is near! Run for the hills! Complain! But really this is a positive for MS and is keeping with their direction. It's a blow to the Windows phones fans as our platform will at some point offer no top notch exclusive hardware or software at this rate. I bet the iOS Cortana app is updated faster (to appease the many users) then the native Cortana on our devices. Oh well. It is what it is.
  • As always with WC editorials, that was an interesting read, very insightful.
  • Please Microsoft if u really care about windows phone users and u feel about their hearts please don't give away Cortana to ios and android when you gonna just listen us just once Microsoft.
  • Best said use Windows phone everyday to get why hasn't took flight yet
  • I'm all for this provided that, as a Canadian Windows phone user, I see a non-alpha or beta version long before she makes the jump to iOS or Android. While Cortana is great in the US or UK, having only two interest categories (news and weather) is a far cry from what even the commercials show. On my Win 10 TP desktop, there is no Cortana yet. I understand the need for cross-platform data but if they want windows users to not feel abandoned these are real concerns.
  • Microsoft is making stupid movement its gonna fuk everything up only bought windows. Phone coz of Cortana. N xbox one some other things don't be stupid
  • Those potential pc userbase might sound huge, but how many of them will adapt to Windows 10 even if its free AND use Cortana, talk with their PC? Ever since MS started Bing it was and is more or less a never ending Beta outside of the USA
  • Yes.
  • What is this? There are a lot of optimistic possibilities in this article. A lot of assumptions based on what people will do with Cortana on their PC with no way of knowing what they will do.
  • Indeed. Who knows if people would really start to talk with their PC? And those numbers... First Cortana and of course Bing have to improve a lot outside of the USA. For now she is mediocre at best in every other region. Bing has been like that for at least a half decade now. Cortana might be great for those living in the USA, but RoW?
  • Yeah Bing is a disaster in Chile should first improve it
  • Ever thought that releasing Cortana on competing platforms might actually help with that?
  • What an excellent article. Congratulations are in order, I thoroughly enjoyed that!
  • I agree. Fantastic article. Well written and thorough. What I'd like to see is people start saying, "Ask Cortana!" instead of "Google it."
  • Why buy an windows phone when the most of the best parts are on competitors that have better (and more) apps than windows phone? 
  • Nice article. I agree. Get Cortana out on iOS and Android. She will be most useful and integrated in WP but then I could still use her on my work phone. I wont want to give up my personal assistant because of the phone I use =). Plus, more data will only help I think. =)
  • Good effort on the article. Nicely written. Good job pushing the official talking points as well. Still completely disagree with this and frankly almost every decision MS has made over the last year or so. Might sound good in principle but it won't gain them any new customers in reality. In fact, now you can get Office, Cortana, and every other MS feature on every other device, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to buy WP unless they are like me and have issues with Apple and Google. And when is the last time something MS did went the way they thought it would? They completely overreacted to the false narrative of the "post pc" world. They panicked and have completely changed everything because of a made up theory that every tech person who doesn't like MS adopted and ran with. That's like taking advice from your enemy. Even now, you hear people talking about this new world we are in where MS no longer is the leader. You even hear people like Thurrott (who I love by the way) talking about the trouble they are in. Last I checked they still have 1.5 billion PC users. Last I checked in this new "post pc" world, tablet sales are already slowing. And by the way, they are still selling over 300k pc's a year which over a 4 year period, adds up to the roughly 1.5 billion users they have. Which makes sense because people by new pc's roughly every 4 years. But they went and panicked and now they have to play catch up, make good with all the people they pissed off with windows 8, and sell out by giving away every good thing they have to other OS's. Apple has had 5% market share in the PC market without another market where they dominate for years, never heard anyone talking about how much trouble they are in. As someone who has easily spent over 20 grand on MS products just for my personal use, I can say that I have never been more disappointed in them than I am now. Partly because of their new direction they've taken in giving away their features to others who will never switch anyway. But mostly, for being so weak minded and easily influenced into thinking they would go the way of the dinosaur by believing the crap those who wish they would go the way of the dinosaur were saying. Entirely too much effort giving to others while taking people such as myself for granted.
  • See what you are saying but Cortana OS integration on iOS/Android will never match that on Windows 10. Windows 10 on phone, tablet, Xbox and PC will never be matched by iOS/Android. Once WP is on Windows 10 and new flagships are released I think they will match the Surface Pro 3 for quality and style. Maybe, like me being Microsoft across the board, there are and will be advantages that benefit us.
  • "They completely overreacted to the false narrative of the "post pc" world. They panicked and have completely changed everything because of a made up theory that every tech person who doesn't like MS adopted and ran with. That's like taking advice from your enemy. " Whether MS is right about this or you are, this is the key question for all of Microsoft. Is the PC industry irrelevant, and if it is, how can MS compete? Maybe they overreacted with the radical overhaul of Windows, but I think they might be right over the long haul. We'll see I guess. " Apple has had 5% market share in the PC market without another market where they dominate for years, never heard anyone talking about how much trouble they are in." How old are you? I'm asking because there was NOTHING but doom and gloom about Apple for years before the iPod. They were for all intents and purposes dead as a tech company.
  • I'm 38. I guess I'm stating that since people started caring about Apple and they became the new doll of the tech world, there has been no talk of them being in trouble with that % of market share. You know what I'm getting at tho. If I had to choose between a company that has over a billion customers in one market, has a gaming market, has software all over the place, or a company that is dead if 1 of their current products suddenly stops selling. (They don't dominate any market despite what the media tries to have us believe). I would chose the former. Yet the narrative we keep hearing, even from those who should know better, is that MS is the one doomed. Do I think they could be in trouble in the future, yes I do. But it will be because of the decisions they make and the way they react to things and not because of some false post pc era. Regardless of what the format is, if its running windows, it is a PC.
  • "Microsoft will launch Windows 10 in 190 countries and 111 languages this Summer. And of course, for many of those that will include Cortana. That's huge." Sorry... but that will not be huge. Of these 111 languags, Cortana will only be available in 6! Thats a total failure! I was so happy when Microsoft promised that Cortana will be availabel in 45 languages by 2015 (they said this at the Cortana release 2014). But as time goes by I se that promise fade away. Meanwhile Siri is launched in my language (Swedish)... Another chance to beat Apple is lost. God luck Microsoft. I really hope you can deliver Cortana in all those languages this year. But knowing how the company works I have no false illusions... Cortana is great, but so was Windows Phone. And still only 3% marketshare worldwide...
  • +1
  • And Siri has been out how long?
  • Your argument is that yes, Siri is better?
  • also in Spanish Chile haven't any news but for Spanish Spain I don't understand how they want get more data if they don't activate Cortana for other Spanish, English countries and gather localized data starting from the Spanish Spain to start to shape each version of Cortana for each country.
  • "an app as opposed to an OS-level integration, access to Cortana will not be as fluid as access is to Siri or Google Now." And this is exactly why they shouldn't do it. A nerfed experience isn't going to make people impressed with Cortana. It will only make them (falsely) think she's inferior and then not use her at all. Regardless, I don't see how Microsoft makes money from a Cortana user is that user is not on a Windows device. So they stay on iOS or Android, use Cortana for free, don't switch to Windows phone because they don't have to, and then Apple and Google still collect their revenue from their own app stores. They're giving Windows 10 away for free (for a year), they give away Office, OneDrive, Skype, and, presumably, soon Cortana as well, for free. Where, exactly, are they making money anymore?
  • Windows and Office (PC).
  • Honestly the whole thing that placing her on rival platforms to get ppl over to windows is crap, most doesn't care that she can tie into the os, my guess us that she will be able to do all the sane things she could on windows that she can in the others minus a "few" things. So yeah just crap
  • Cortana should be allowed world wide for all W10 users!!!
    Going to other platforms without serving own customers first, would be ridiculous.
  • I love my WinPhone and Cortana, but had to move to an iPhone 6+ day to day because of essential apps not availble otherwise.  Obvioursly I want Cortana on the iPhone for my needs.  However, I also want WinPhone to grow in popularity.  The problem is no one I know will look at a WinPhone unless I show them my Icon with all the convincing features, and then they might think about it a little bit. My audience is simply not large enough to make a difference. I want the market share to grow for WinPhone so those  providers will build the essential apps I need and then I can go back 100% to my Icon ( or some subsequent high end model ).  To do this, people need to start thinking Microsoft on their phones, and that is exactly what Cortana will do when it is on an iPhone or Android.  So lets get it out there, and when people start to understand the power of Cortana, perhaps the marketing of WinPhones will start to make a difference.  Couple this with the new update plans for WinPhone coming from Microsoft, that bypasses the carriers, and the future is much brighter. At least, I think so ....
  • to sum up, thats what i learnt to believe too about ms' strategy. give other platforms a sneak peak, make the users want a better experience, make that better experience only possible if you go all in with ms ecosystem. BUT, w10 should be the start of making the ms ecosystem the best. no more better apps and services for other platforms. actually i could take, (only)AS A START, a parity betweeen features, functions and quality of ms services between all platforms. but after that, they MUST make their ecosystem better than rivals. no, no crap on other platforms, but more close to PERFECT on their's. IF they dont start with AT LEAST a parity of quality with w10 or in its first few months, I and many others will lose hope and more certainly leave the platform (at least temporary). with w10 they wont have any more excuses to start delivering a better experience for their own customers first. so let's dont be blind fanboys. and ofc, after that start/few months after start, they MUST start delivering a HIGHER quality on their platforms. only this way they will trully win users. cuz lets be honest, sure, they are a software company so they make some money by delivering their softs on ther platforms too, but they would make more money from more expensive softwares which are....operating systems.
  • IDK, my reason of buying a windows phone is windows phone OS
    Just that , and windows 10 is my only hope , it seems worth waiting actually
    Microsoft , do this one right please !
  • they should start restricting cortana to capable hardware only, I have a crappy laptop with a microphone so bad it makes you cry trying to use cortana, you can add a external one but that's far from perfect, and what about budget droids? there's not much to do if they have crappy mics
  • Nothing of this matter if she can`t speak a lot of languages as in 190 countries
  • Sorry folks, but this plays out that same way as Microsoft adding Xbox games, Avatars and Microsoft Office to Windows phone 7/8 as a way to bring in the flock, and we all know how that worked out. I'm afraid 9to5mac is right. Microsoft may be "hoping" that this is how it works out but plan b (which is also just as much a as it is b) is that when and if it doesn't they are competing on the phones that everyone does use so Cortana and Bing get exponentially smarter with increased queries to compete with Google. I would LOVE to be wrong about this but I'm extremely skeptical of any of the reasoning and resulting assumptions that are being made in this article.
  • WTF!!! Cortana is our strength point in WP !!! If MS make it available in other platforms then what we got left to impress people to switch to WP???
    All of MS Apps are available in ios and android, what makes me stay using WP ???
  • Cortana OS integration
    Secure OS
    Live Tiles
    W10 on tablet, phone, Xbox and PC
  • Seems crazy, put Cortana (1/2 baked cortona) on IOS and android to draw people to WP? I mean if your gonna do that, make sure it's awesome and show how good Microsoft software and services are. Not missing features!! I wish she would stay just on windows devices.
  • I honestly don't care how amazing Cortana can or will be. If we (UK) don't get Jen Taylor I am going to boycott her by keep her off on every device I own. Unless I happen to move to the US, but even then I'd still be unhappy about Jen not being an option over here.
  • I got to say, first I thought it would be a bad thing for Cortana to go to other platforms, but after reading this article I am amazed by how smart and clever people at Microsoft are
  • They have a plan for sure.
  • Awesome article
  • Cortana for everyone lets not be selfish shitheads thats whats messing this world up SHARING IS GOOD KIDS..
  • I wonder, what will Cortana reply when asks ( in iPhone) "What do you think of Windows Phone?" where she used to reply, "There's no place like home!".
  • This is great and everything except that a very small amount of computers have good quality, or even available, microphones. Many do not and many people won't do anything about that. ...and how does Cortana perform on those machines (usually laptops) with terrible microphones? Will she end up just getting shit wrong all the time? That won't be good. I want to see Cortana succeed but there are some massive hurdles ahead that won't even start being addressed until well after the release of Win10.
  • You can type in any question to Cortana too.
  • Yep, text entry input is perfectly valid and perhaps that is part of the 'solution', but its still a significant issue for that percentage that want to use natural speech input via the cheap OEM hardware on laptops, for example.
  • You're right. The garbage OEM ecosystem will make people hate her,not bother with hey Cortana, and not realize that she is even there. It is a failed strategy, but idk what else they can do.
  • My last 3 main computers have all had fairly decent microphones or microphone arrays (XPS M1530, Macbook Pro Retina, Surface Pro 3) - All at least good enough for Skype or Voip calls, and I think all good enough for any sort of voice activated features. The environment they are being used in will be more of a hindrance if it's noisy. Anybody using a headset for voip calls etc. Will be golden. The bigger barrier than devices will be the social aspect of using voice commands in public / the office. I personally don't mind it, but some wont ask their phone to set a reminder in public as they feel it's embarrassing.
  • Waste of resources imo for Microsoft to do this. It will be more of a demo.
  • Nobody on IOS or android will bother with Cortana. They don't bother with Siri after the first month. It's DOA on desktop. I love windows phone, but it is basically dead. Nothing is going to change that. They were too little too late.
  • This does seem to be true of Siri and iPhone users. I use Cortana daily and have really come to rely on location based reminders. I don't know many people that use Siri regularly.
  • Yeah, this is my experience when talking to iPhone users as well. I too use Cortana all the time (for news, sports, reminders, movie times etc). I'm guessing that they are so used to the individual apps instead. The way Cortana ties the basics together, in a way similar but better than the "hubs" of W7, is great. No apps needed for many of those tasks.
  • Is they see Cortana actually work, it might do the trick. It kind of sneaks up on you. All of a sudden the phone tells you "You better leave, because it will take you 23 minutes to get to your appointment" without you having done anything... that's pretty sweet.
  • All the moves that Microsoft is making right now by putting apps on Android & iOS & not making any strides to do so on the Windows Phone is smart move & here's why I say that...
    Think of these apps as drugs & Microsoft is trying to is trying to get people hooked on their products. By putting those Apps out there for free & to let users see how good these apps are and become addicted to them. While experts will say this is sign that their Phones are dead and that's why they are putting them on other platforms is the mindset someone would have who is falling for what Microsoft is hoping they do. By the time user's becomes more reliant on these Apps Windows 10 will be released and the Apps "drugs" will be more potent with more features, better accessibility, & functionality on the Windows platform making it more easier to get users to switch over to the Windows Phone.
    Let's face it people treat Apps like drugs & when one platform has better Apps they go running for their fix, hence why you see sooooo many people leaving the Windows Phone platform is so they can get their fix of Apps from Android & iOS. I'm sure Microsoft knows this & that's why they've been able to be so dominant in the Enterprise market for so long.
  • And what will do when drug (apps) don't work , the Android fans will find the way to crack them, Microsoft it's thinking of not rational way
  • How to Change animations of Cortana?
  • I don't usually comment on WinCentral articles, but I wanted to commend this one as an excellent long-form editorial that is really the reason I keep coming back to the site. Y'all have done well establishing your voice in the community and articles like this will only improve that. Kudos to the team. 
  • I don't mind it going to other platforms really, I still prefer Windows Phone over other phone choices for a number of reasons, Cortana being on those platforms won't ruin my enjoyment. In just want them to make sure Cortana on PC really works, and will be massively disappointed if Cortana isn't on UK phones for the official release of Windows 10. She isn't in the latest TP build on UK phones I don't think, which is fine for now, but on PC she is pretty gimped at the minute, it would be a huge step back if she isn't ready for the UK and other countries by the official launch.
  • MS is ever dishing out our pride even when its rivals like good have refused to give us so many right eg Youtube is still an issue. MS think he is father Xmas ever ready to dish out apps. Anyway maybe we will shift to android soon if Cortana will work perfect from there.
  • Fuck windows phone. I believed in it until Microsoft started doing stupid stuff like this. We dont even have an official YouTube app because they don't care about us. Why should we care about them? All that is going to happen is, Android/iPhone users will get it and say, "why would I go to windows phone if I can just download Cortana and she's almost the exact same?" Im so done with WP.
  • "We dont even have an official YouTube app because they don't care about us. "
    Of all the apps you could have used as an example that Microsoft doesn't care, that is one you could NOT.
  • The part where you mentioned that Microsoft doesn't care about us because we don't have a Youtube app pretty much shows your ignorance. Read this and search on Windows Central on this topic you'll perfectly see why your comment is full of stupidity.
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/why-is-google-blocking-the-new-youtube-app-...
  • I wonder how Google see to iPhone users, as rival or in alliance, suppose that iPhone is the biggest contender of Google how come that all Google suite be on ios? I think they had issues with YouTube and was an scandal one time that even Google had to fix the lack of access of YouTube long time ago but I wish that somebody answer the question how come that iPhone users gets all Google services and apps being Apple the biggest rival of Android?
  • I have to agree with this. It could be that Microsoft seems more poised to challenge Android in the mid to low end range of phones where Apple is rather lacking as it's seen as more of a premium higher end device. Therefore it may not pose a major threat to android in the mid low budget friendly segment where most of their marketshare is held. Microsoft on the other hand has been known in the past to hold near monopoly on many industries and with the many mobile partnerships it has acquired targeting emerging markets and mid to low budget phones, it can give Google a run for its money. That could be the reason why Google plays somewhat friendly with iOS as it doesn't pose much threat. I guess Google figures any leverage they can get over Microsoft is something they should take advantage of. Microsoft seems to want to "kill them with kindness" so to speak as it's offering many of its great services/products on competing platforms. Think Onedrive, Outlook, Office, Skype, Xbox, etc.
  • I worded it wrong, but it still makes sense if you read it slow. The other companies, Google in this case, do not care enough to make a YouTube app for us, but Microsoft will make a Cortana app for android and iOS.
  • The will make Cortana for other platforms part is still a speculation. They haven't confirmed that they will, they simply said that it an idea. It's a double edged sword. It can help them or hurt them at the same time if they do. I'm actually liking the new approach Microsoft is having offering its best services to its competitors. I can only imagine what's going through Googles mind knowing that many of its users instead of using their own products are choosing to use Outlook, Office, Skype, etc on their HOME turf so to speak while they choose to ignore WP users. It's like a BIG corporate game of chess...
  • As much as I enjoy Microsoft products, it's really no surprise when they do something contradictory to what they say. Remember "Xbox One is Kinect, Kinect is Xbox One"?
  • Bringing all their services to everyone is how MS won the first battle by developing Office for the Mac. This is a sound strategy. What they really need to do though is to start using that database of objects they are working on to allow Cortana to overlay info over items it sees through cameras equipped on the Hololens and on cameras on the xbox, phone and tablets similar to that demo where it recognized the dog.
  • Cortana is our undercover agent gathering info about the competition. This is the art of war my friends. To win you must first gather intelligence.
  • Loved the article. Running high on Positive attitude. Just hope the strategy works out as planned for Microsoft. 
  • Why write such a big article for a news that could be summarized into some 6-7 paragraphs? Cant waste too much time on reading unreasonably detailed news.. Pls don't pick up this waste long article trend from verge
  • I appreciate an article of substance.  Its a lot better then the 1-2 paragraph ones we have been getting lately about some app being updated.  Some thought and time went in to this.  To each his own.
  • This article is quite refreshing. It's very long. It explains deeply about Microsoft's strategy to be the platform for everything.
  • It's called journalism in case that makes sense...
  • This is technical news and journalism is more about economy, world news, etc. Tech news is barely a per cent of journalism my friend. Since there are more imp news to be read then they'll will loose their fan base cuz not everyone has that much free time to read big tech articles which don't make much of a difference.
    Here we're just for keeping ourselves up to date with tech news. And if you like reading lengthy stiff then read novels etc of various genres.. :)
  • As WP users we need to spread the word on WP not stifle it. Bury your worrys and step back. You will see a much bigger picture unfold.
  • With the lack of apps? Be realistic Microsoft must fix that weakness, we don't work for Microsoft, we just are consumers when ms pay for ad to my friends would do that
  • He is talking about word of mouth. Not actually advertising. It comes alot more natural than most people think. Someone asks me about my Windows Phone because it caught their curiosity Il say exactly how I feel about it. That I really like it, it does this, that, etc. Anybody can talk bad about ANY product. For all the cons you can think of for WP there is easily the same or more for Android/iOS/Blackberry/"insert Os here"/ etc.
  • When standing too close you can never see the whole picture.
  • I have been loyal since WP 7 ain't stopping now. I can see Microsoft pulling out an epic fight soon. Mark my words by getting more people familiar with Microsoft programs again they can show everyone how much better it is over here. So everyone ranting about this being a fail needs to get it together. Are you for the platform or against? If against leave now but we will miss you and hope for your return. For those that stay quell your quarrels and fight till no blood flows through your veins the team needs everyone's support right now.
  • I speak from knowing that I have converted a few people over to WP and it was not easy I finally won my wife over after many moons of trying.
  • I almost had my wife on Windows Phone, and then Bank of America shut down its app.
  • I know that selling WP to "strangers" is tough because of things like that and the overall app situation, but to your wife? Does she deposit a lot of checks? Because she can just use their mobile website otherwise, right? I haven't logged in on it, but it looks great from an outside perspective Deposit those checks for her! :)
  • My only experience with Cortana is on my pc technical preview, and so far, I am not very impressed. I understand that this is a preview and a lot of her functionality is not there yet. Basically the only response I can get from her is about the weather and playing/pausing music. Any other command (when it works) just opens a bing search. I wonder if there is a cheat sheet showing what commands currently work with her.
  • I haven't tried this on the W10 TP but try asking "What can I say?".
  • Guys, google now is on IOS. Do we see people switch to IOS for that? NO
  • This move is quite absurd. I'd just buy a droid rather than a windows phone if that happens. They already have better office and outlook apps. This is ridiculous.
  • ok I've a GREAT idea, that brings MS/Cortana to the top. Here it us: If asked Cortana,"install Windows 10 on my Android, or iOS", Cortana should easily help us the MS Windows ROM and switch their OS to Windows for them, regardless of what phn they are using. This will be a game changer for MS, specially for those who have no idea how to flash their phns. ​
  • Great I don't even have Cortana on my Lumia yet and it seems that Android and iOS will have it before me!
  • This is one of the best written articles I have seen on WPCentral for a while.  Great content and opinion piece.  Now I still say hold Cortana dear to Windows platforms.  My reasoning is not just selfish.  I don't see an impetus for Android/iOS to go to Windows Phone if they have Cortana on their phones and Cortana on PC.  Cortana is still cloud based and will give them close to the same experience.   So leave Cortana on PC and WP!
  • Okay
  • I don't see how this can hurt any current or future WP users. I choose WP for the UI. Ios and Android look the same boring... And fanboys and girls of ios or android, they are both based on the same language, Linux.
  • Exactly, I chose WP for the ecosystem integration that I knew was coming.
  • Nice read. It was very long but very interesting.
  • For Cortana to be any type of successful, it needs to be on all smartphone platforms.
  • Android user:
    -Whats up Cortana?
    Cortana:
    -Hey there... Hmm, not much, I detected a spyware and I'll recommend you to install Windows Essentials.
  • if ms should keep to their promise, by making her more superior here on windows, then everybody goes home happy
  • Dis so stupid
  • Ha ha. Well you see I have a Lumia 520. I will never buy a WP flagship for this reason. Microsoft products and services are always better on other platforms. Have an Iphone and planning to purchase my next flagship Android. Though I'll be on the lookout for that cheap 1 GB Lumia that can run Windows 10 flawlessly.
  • Cortana is for Windows and Siri is the iPhone and Google is for android KEEP IT THAT WAY Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • So while others neglect apps for windows phone you Microsoft gave your technology to the competition??? Way to go.... Stupid ass! One drvie, office, Cortana, what else u gonna give to them? Might as well give up your rat ass low end phones and just develop apps... Tired of this crap .... Time to go to the dark side (android)
  • Seriously forget iOS. Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last week or so Microsoft is in the process of wriggling it's way in to a position to clobber Google on it's own platform... Android. The deal with Samsung (and others) to preinstall Office and other MS apps/services on Android devices is (potentially) on the start. Image Cortana as a full lancher to replace Google Now on Android. As Cortana's reach grows and the backend knowledgebase and AI, it will only benefit all Cortana users... especially those on Windows devices (who will no doubt have a premium experience due to tight OS integration). Cortana will probably head to iOS eventually, but in my opinion Android is where MS will start heaving hitting. Don't get me wrong, I love Windows Phone and I love my Lumia 930 (as I loved my Lumia 800 before that, I even love my original Surface RT), and I'd truely love for Cortana to be a true knock-it-out-of-the-ballpark exclusive feature that draws people to WIndows Phone, and who knows, maybe with more people using Cortana on Windows 10 that might just happen (a bit). But for Cortana to be even more awesome-er(?), she needs to grow, and to become the default assistant on Android devices (via a bundled launcher) would acheive that pretty easily.
  • Debating if iOS should be included can be a long story and it has its pro's and con's it could be a complete article.  Regarding what you said about Android, IMO Cortana coming to Samsung Galaxy Edge 6 could be a good reason to get an Android device powered with Microsoft's search services instead of Google's. As many have pointed out there are legitimate ways to get rid of the Playstore and install Microsoft apps instead of Google's (Samsung appstore, Amazon appstore, and many other AOSP stores which don't belong to Google).  With that said, I think Cortana should not be available on all Android Lollipop devices, lets see if I am right, but it has much more sense for Microsoft to put the best features of Microsoft software on a small number of devices, for ex. Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Nexus 6, Sony Xperia Z3, not more. Why you ask? Because Samsung, Motorola and Sony haven't been paying attention to Windows Phone in the last years and haven't made devices with Windows, but if this strategy succeeds, these OEMs can begin trusting in Windows again as an OS for smartphones and this could help to increase the marketshare and atract developers.  Just my 2 cents.
  • When Is Cortana coming to Mexico? Will it be carrier agnostic? Or it will be supported on specific carriers like Telcel, Telefonica, etc. I really want to have a good reason to buy next Windows 10 flagship device with Snapdragon 810 but Cortana must be supported in Mexico, I speak english, so it doesn't have to be in spanish.  This is also true for other services, bing website in Mexico is very poor, that's why I use United States bing, and the same is what I want for Cortana.
  • This article is fantastic! Great work!
  • This was a great read!
  • Good choice by Microsoft...this will let cortana learns more and more and be the giant assistant
  • Well. That's it then. Bye everyone. Soon as I can I'm switching to Android. And just to PISS Microsoft off I'm getting a Sony Xperia Z3, and using the Sony Xperia Windows phone app to DO IT!
  • Bye then, let the door hit you on the way out!!!
  • Nice plan but highly doubtful it will change the minds of Android or Apple consumers to switch to Windows completely.
  • I just wish Cortana would come out of Alpha in Australia.
  • If it integrates well ( as much as a third party assistant could) I'd use Cortana on my Google devices for sure.  I loved her on my 1020.  My only concern is if MS ends up hurting their image instead of improving it if the iOS and Android versions don't provide enough functionality, due to not being baked in, to really justify trying to use Cortana on those OS's.
  • I hope Microsoft will bring feature parity across all country/region with Windows 10 if possible.
  • At the end of the day, if a substantial amount of popular apps on iOS/Android are still missing after Windows 10 is the predominant Windows OS, people aren't likely to give up their iOS/Android devices. I know people who send tons of snapchats and use particular bank apps or are invested in Google's apps and Apple's products. If they still can't get an equal or better (because equal might not be enough) app experience on a Windows phone at that point, Microsoft's mobile division will never grow significantly.
    Windows needs 1) the apps, 2) the idea that the app experience will be better across Windows 10 devices vs iOS/Android, 3) affordable devices that are more fluid than the competition, while having flagships to show off the best of the platform and hardware.
  • Honestly l don't like Microsoft is giving out Coratna free to other devices. It should have been kept exclusively for Windows devices.
  • Does anyone really use Cortana? The one and only feature I use is Quiet Hours, the rest of it is actually less attractive to me than the Bing search page was (I miss my Image of the Day on my phone). And I certainly can't envisage a time when I will want to say "hey Cortanta" to my laptop - it woudln't hear me over the stereo anyway. I just don't see Cortana as the huge drawcard this article assumes it to be. If Quiet Hours was a separate app, I wouldn't even have Cortana on my phone. I know at work that none of the 18 people I work with admit to ever using Siri or Google Now (it's something we've discussed), so I'm not alone here. I just can't enough people caring enough to even bother installing it.
  • I welcome my new digital assisstant overlord.  
  • I think all peoples who uses Cortana on their daily drivers loves experience so far....
    So I think Microsoft should release it on other platforms with minor charge that Google and ios can afford it...
    And should use that profit in windows phone.....
    Hope they do....
  • They never going to do that. They love iOS and Android.
  • Another wrong move from Microsoft of a long list. The last great sucess of them was the XBOX 360. Launched on 2005... And in the last years they moved projects and focus attention on the XBOX ONE, and make the 360 lose ground for the PS3. They almost kill their new console even before the launch... Now they are far behind in the current generation racing. They made a lot of mistakes on the Windows Phone, and they keep doing, but it is a great product that was launched on polarized market.  Windows Phone is the best mobile OS, but will be killed, because does not have any exclusive product. They cannot compete with iOS and Android without great games and exclusive apps. When you have a worst Office experience on the Windows Phone, the message is clear.  MICROSOFT DO NOT BELIEVE IN THEIR OWN PRODUCT!  If they do not believe why do i have to believe?  I bought lots os smartphones Lumia in the last years, because i believed in them. I conviced people to do the same.  After three years i'm felling tired. I will not buy any Lumia anymore.  My next phone will be an iPhone. 
  • Agreed!
  • Windows Phone IS an exclusive product. They follow a unique UI language whereas iOS and Android look far too similar in way too many aspects. WTH you talking about they don't believe in their own products. They are in a paradime shift with a new CEO, they acquired Nokia to better position themselves in mobile, and they have a whole new approach to doing business and remain relevant in many aspects with all the products/services they offer. Unfortunately amigo change doesn't happen overnight. Apple didn't become what they are today overnight. Heck the Macintosh/Macbook idea FAILED 3 times before it became a success for Apple. To you the Xbox 360 was the 'last' success story they had... Well here some other news for you. Even though the Xbox One in terms of overall sales is marginally behind, it is still in pace to outsell it's predecessor in less than half the time. This means every quarter they are selling more Xbox Ones then they did Xbox 360 the same times/quarter. Not to mention Xbox One has an upper hand right now in exclusive games. Microsoft would be incredibly stupid to even SPECULATE the idea of canceling the Xbox One. If Windows 10 aligns Microsoft's vision to unite phones, tablets/PCs, Xbox, etc into one cohesive experience, the competition better watch out.
  • Meant to say the Xbox One is marginally behind the PS4 in terms of sales...
  • Cortana on iPhone & android will be a lot better than windows phone and that is usual. Microsoft is always committed to provide better service to iOS and Droid, ditching WP! Go ahead MS.
  • M not agree 100% with you cause
    After the failure of Windows 8 and acquisition of Nokia I think they want to make sure profit comes first this time
    Though u r ri8 if they provide ios nd google more reliable service then its not
    Good
    They should provide it first on windows and win phones ...
  • Disagree. The article clearly mentions in the very first statement that they want to deliver the best experience in home... "Our top priority and showcase device forCortana is Windows Phone. Any discussion or commentary about us giving up or abandoning Windows Phone is crazy talk. Our top priority is to make Cortana so fantastic that it pulls customers to Windows Phone. Period…And if that happens, then we can stop early future speculative talk about Android/iOS." – Marcus Ash, Group Program Manager for Cortana.
  • Boxer analogies, overplayed? Nevermind don't sweat it
  • I'm more annoyed with the fact that Microsoft puts more work into making their apps on Android and iOS, I went on my brothers Moto X to use Xbox One Smartglass, and was amazed at how much better the app runs compared to the one on Windows! Hopefully that and other apps will get better with Windows 10.
  • This is a convincement article, and not... you not convince me... this is still a stupid move for Microsoft... it would be fine if cortana had a free trial for 25 questions and after that ONLY office 360 user could use it... or something like that
    If microsoft is trying to "impress" users of ios and android, so they'll buy a lumia, they're doing it wrong! No one will buy a lumia if they have what they want of their actual OS... that strategy didn't work for blackberry in the past, and is not gonna work for microsoft now, the only thing they are doing is freak out their actual users...
  • Outstanding editorial! Very well thought-out and written. Kudos!
  • I feel like it's a win win scenario at this point to be honest, heh. I'm alright with using my Windows Phone, and to be honest, I believe that iOS and Android are superior to Windows Phone in terms of capability. Windows Phone has been the fast, optimized, can't do much but can do certain things well, kind of phone to me. I'm in full support of Cortana migrating over to iOS and Android honestly. My main concern is that, well, she'll be preferred over Google Now or iOS (partially because if she's available everywhere and the APIs are similar, you can maybe unify some parts of your codebase over iOS and Android). If she gets developed upon enough, it might as well just kill Windows Phone's main allure altogether. But I feel like that's a win for Microsoft, especially since they're rebuilding themselves as more of a software and service company. I might move to Android, but I would still be in Microsoft's ecosystem (which is one of the reasons why I'm with Windows Phone right now). Bringing Cortana to iOS and Android can have a few results. One, it could integrate terribly with the new ecosystems and in general fall apart. Cortana then exists on just the Windows 10 platform, maybe Bing, and is kind of a Microsoft product only thing. Two, it could integrate well, but obviously without native support (because Google isn't going to support Cortana natively over Google Now, and Apple isn't going to support Cortana natively over Siri). Cortana then exists on the Windows 10 platform, and kind of on the periphery is supported by iOS and Android devices. IMO I there's a good chance this could happen. Three, it could integrate well, and is so well taken by developers and whatnot that it becomes natively integrated in a few years. If that happens, Microsoft has succeeded. Cortana (and Microsoft) is everywhere then (relatively speaking). Microsoft's real success though, is that they managed to built an AI good enough to even be debated on what platforms she should be available with. Redmond is rebuilding themselves as a service based company, and Cortana is definitely one of the developments that highlights that fact.
  • I agree with most of everything you just mentioned. I don't see Android/iOS any more or less advanced in terms of capabilities when compared to WP. The only real difference I'm seeing is apps. Although most people have been seeing Microsoft as a software/services company I see them having a more 'Apple-ish' approach and shifting themselves into making hardware. They acquired Nokia which clearly means they want to position themselves better in mobile, they have their own line of tablet PCs (Surface), and Xbox consoles. Doesn't stop there. Hololens, Microsoft Band, Microsoft stores, etc.
  • What an outstanding article. Great from a journalistic point of view. Really hope Microsoft succeeds with this new image they are trying to recreate for themselves. It can pay off quite well and deliver an unparalleled experience on any device and hopefully a better one on their own OS/devices.
  • Einstein, eh?  Why is it that people still think Einstein was a genius.  He wasn't.  He was pretty stupid, in fact.  "I" comes before "E", except after "C".  Everyone knows that.  Except Einstein, it seems.  He got it wrong in his own name.  Twice.
  • Oh, cut out the crap.
    I don't believe in a "Windows best" experience (anymore). We were promised that before. When news broke that Office will come to iOS and Android, we were told that Office will work better on Windows. But the Office versions on iOS and Android are far superior than the crap we have on Windows Phone and Microsoft keeps on refusing to deliver us a better Office on Phones.
    They dropped the "Windows best" mantra regarding Office, so I don't believe they keep it for Cortana, as soon as she is available on competing platforms. Especially if you keep in mind how hard Nadella works to please the users of rivaling platforms, instead of his own loyal customers.
    So sorry, but the "Windows best" legend is dead to me.
  • Google Now has had predictive behaviour from the start. So as long Microsoft doesn't prove it, I don't believe that "Einstein" brings anything superior to the table.
  • well it all sounds like a good, well-thought-out-long-term strategy. i have only one question. Adoption of a new OS. Microsoft seems to be putting a lot on Windows 10( and rightly so by me) but the general public have not been too quick to accept OS upgrades. For this trategy to actually work, people will have to be using Windows 10. You seem to be assuming that all the 1.5 billion people will. People are still using Windows XP for goodness sake.
  • Windows phone is dead. Microsoft fucked up again.
  • Great!! I have always been in favor of this.. Now bring her to Xbox... Because "xBOX needs help...". Buh-beep... "XBOX.....". NEVER MIND... "STOP LISTENING...
  • A great article, I am amazed at. God Job! I will hope that Cortana launches in as many countries possible and with great support. I believe execution will be key, and there is no rom for errors to make this happen. I'm a sad Windows Phone enthusiast, but I'm holding out for all I can for Windows 10. I hope they don't disappoint.
  • Hmm, it sounds logical, given the number of windows PC users. (I knew the number was large, but that large!) I've only just received Cortana myself, so have some catching up to do. 
  • Nice article, and there certainly are good points, but let's view this topic from another aspect:
    You mentioned that families are going to talk to Cortana as a family member. First, I thought how cool this might be, but a few seconds later I just thought how absurd such a future would be. I simply don't want to talk to strangers about Cortana.
    You have enumerated some arguments to completely turn off Cortana. The simple imagination of Cortana being a part of my life somehow scares me.
    But anyway, let's make Cortana a part of our lives... Anyway, they already know everything about us.
  • 1-nfc is one of most technology in the smartphones win 10 must support all nfc communication standards (I'm an electronic engineer)
    2-yes I agree with you that this might be a security issue so MS has 2 option 1-OS or Cortana might control it and do it perfectly and update the bugs regularly(not like now that we don't see update in 3 month) 2-MS make a secure way API for third party apps
    3-no I mean wireless direct that win 10 will supporting it in the future and that is the good thing
    4-look man I know this is a basic feature and easy to implement. But a good OS has basic and good functionalities so Microsoft must pay attention and figure out if someone from Ifool or hangroid want to use WP which functionality they might loose... This is 2015 not 2003 Microsoft must move fast.microsoft has own problems and must stay focus there is no need to support the others while their OS has many problems and missed many basic functionality ok??
    5-man we live in an ancient country that use 128k internet for homes and mobile operators does not support every aspect of technology and read our SMS or .... I know this is our problem not yours or MS. So I don't have complied about that.but we are not last country to use ancient tech and you must know our banks have IOS and android apps that use SMS in hidden ways somehow.
    6-yeah man I know it's childish but the others do the same thing and sometimes they are right for miss features functionality and we don't have any exclusive features. Why Apple is winning??? High technology???? No man we are better than them because they aim personality of people like this(scientists says if you are using a Apple product it means you are different and your brain is like Einstein) you are different.... You are the best... You are a luxury guy.... Yeah I know this is foolish but they make a personality for their product and we support them while our own had many problems yet... And win10 is our last hope to cure everything!!!!
  • Cortana reminds me of Personal OS in the movie Her. I can't wait to see more of the future but the future is now. Give it or take another 5-10 years and we will have a very capable AI Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The more users of cortana the better, same with other ms apps,give users on other platforms the best experience possible.   Good will is tangible and you have more chance of winning people over to your platform by getting them to think the products you provide are the best out there, maybe then some will consider a wp phone as their next choice if one in five go that way its a bigger user base increase. When they switch they will realize how much better wp is compared to android as an os, its just so much smoother and far more stable. How many get pissed off with google for not supporting wp I know I do and its the reason I no longer use most of their products.
  • Great article! But... How about Cortana in Portuguese? When? When? When?
  •   So, what happens if when Cortana appears on other devices, she doesn’t see widespread adoption because of the fact that she doesn’t have the same level of integration as the native personal assistants, Siri and Google Now, on their respective platforms? Will Microsoft continue to support the app or will they pull it and focus on their own OS?
  • In my opinion Cortana did not arrive on Windows Phone yet.
  • Honestly, I don't see how Microsoft offering its products and services to other platforms is any different than Microsoft offering its products and services to any OEM that wants to design hardware for those products and services. Effectively, Apple admitted long ago that their platform is inferior to Windows by developing Boot Camp so Apple users could get things done using Windows on a Mac. This time around Microsoft is going direct. Forget the middleman. Ultimately, Microsoft is a software and services company. Its goal is to sell as much software and services as possible, regardless of platform.
  • I can see a time when Siri would wake up my girlfriend at 3am and tell her "Cortana did it!"