Cortana is far from dead as Microsoft plans to make an 'Intelligent OS' with Windows 10

With the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) wrapping recently many people have been worried about Microsoft's Cortana assistant. After all, Amazon's Alexa and Google's smart services dominated the show with plenty of new product announcements and – more importantly – large partnerships with home accessory makers (notably absent: Apple).

Despite that, however, Microsoft did have some big announcements including Synaptics and Qualcomm for reference boards and integration into home products. The Qualcomm announcement is significant because it lets manufacturers of smart home devices add Cortana without any work – it comes built into the reference board.

Additionally, Ecobee, Geeni, Honeywell Lyric, IFTTT, LIFX, TP-Link Kasa and Honeywell Total Connect Comfort are all on board too. Indeed, my Cortana already has Ecobee and IFTTT integration letting me control my thermostat through my Android phone or Harmon-Kardon Invoke speaker.

But the more significant news that was not announced is what's coming next for Windows 10 and Cortana.

Despite not having a smartphone to serve as a proper vector for Cortana Microsoft is repositioning the smart assistant for the PC. Looking towards Windows 10 Redstone 5 in fall 2018, and Redstone 6 in 2019 Microsoft is beginning to weave Cortana and artificial intelligence (A.I.) through the shell of Windows 10.

The IFTTT trigger service is coming to all Cortana users in early 2018. It's currently in beta testing.

The IFTTT trigger service is coming to all Cortana users in early 2018. It's currently in beta testing.

The goal is simple: make a "globally intelligent" OS.

The idea makes sense. Combine machine learning with A.I. and dig it deep into the operating system Cortana can be a very proactive assistant. Forget asking Cortana to play a song, but rather "Hey Cortana, can you read me the last email Zac Bowden sent me" actions and much more.

And no, this is not "Clippy 2.0". This is more about hooking Cortana deeper into the native app experiences rather than a floating icon that nags you.

And despite people requesting Microsoft to just put Amazon Alexa into Windows 10 the task of making that happen – and working through Amazon – is much more work, with likely little in return. Alexa as an app on Windows 10 will not be better than Cortana as an app on iOS for similar reasons: lack of OS integration.

Cortana's moving to the Action Center in 'Restone 5'.

Cortana's moving to the Action Center in 'Restone 5'.

Some of these changes with Cortana are now just beginning. Cortana Collections is one aspect, but also Zac Bowden's recent article detailing Cortana moving to the Action Center is another. Another case is making Cortana more conversational via text since people tend to type more on a PC versus voice on a smartphone.

The future of Cortana will become evident later in 2018, but for now, Microsoft's plans involve building Windows 10 – and Windows Core OS specifically – around Cortana, not without it.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I feel like voice assistants will only become the norm when you can actually have a conversation with them, as it stands it is far too disjointed and just simply easier to search for what you want.
  • and when they speak languages other than English...
  • Or speak English in countries where English is widely spoken but not the main language (eg the Nordics)
  • I agree and I'll add that I think it would be in Mirosoft's best interest to forget everything that Amazon and Google are doing and focus on the future.  If you've seen the movie Her you get an understanding of what im talking about.  In stead of an assistant that has basic but useful skills; they should focus on one thats a true assistant.  Microsoft should be focusing on making Cortana so intelligent that we rarely have to use a mouse and keyboard to get things done.  If they can pull this off they will leap frog the competition but im sure Microsoft will find a way to screw it up.
  • For kicks the other day I cruised websites of different places working on A.I.’s that you can chat with. On one university website I tried talking with it and it was quite chatty, if a bit disconnected from the actual conversation, but I did see an intentional and adaptive attempt at gathering information and a remembering of what we had talked about when the conversation was steered back that way. When asked philosophical questions or questions based on moral principles it showed what seemed to be at first insight, but really I think it was just mirroring what it learned from interactions with others, which is both interesting and worrisome if they ever plug something like this into something where it has the means to make decision for us, lol. But the interesting thing is how it learned and adapted the conversation. A.I. is still far from a free thinking thing like we see in movies, but it’s only a matter of time until they can be programmed to seem intelligent. Think about gaming in recent years, they have gamers enthralled in story lines and chat strings that are very immersive, how much would it take to bump that up a few notches add into the mix powerful servers and adaptive language patterns and translation software? Maybe it is way more complex than that, but they have come a long way. I think we will see more and more in this area in the next few years.
  • Not to be negative but... Alexa on Windows has some advantages over Cortana on iOS/Android. Some manufacturers are packaging it with their machines. No phone manufacturer is putting Cortana on their phones. Second, the popularity of Alexa will just make people wanna use it more on their pcs than Cortana on their phones. Most people I know don't even know what Cortana is. Almost everybody I asked knows Alexa. Third, number of skills. Not even close. This being said, I would love nothing more than for Cortana to succeed. And I'm sure there are areas where Cortana would shine more than Alexa, maybe in business settings. I don't know. I even think Microsoft kind of missed a chance by not making her easier to be used on the new Xboxs. (maybe through an integrated mic on the controller or on the console, or something) Also, if Microsoft is successful with always-connected devices, then that would make Cortana more relevant. At the end of the day, the reason I'm on this website is because I want Microsoft to succeed. The company just makes it so hard to believe in them sometimes.
  • Alexa has one big problem: Google. The idea that without its own OS Alexa is going to be able to get into cars, PCs, and everything else ahead of Google is probably wishful thinking. For Windows 10, we already have Alexa (and skills) coming to Cortana making any replacmeent talks seem moot, tbh.
  • Cortana has one big problem: the new Microsoft.
  • Call it by name: Satya. 
  • Hang on Dan, IFTTT is available for Windows? How? Where? Spill the beans, I've wanted this for ages. How do we get IFTTT working on W10 as you have done?
  • I jumped on that IFTTT bandwagon as soon as I loaded up on AI devices during the holidays.  Used it one day, then uninstalled all of it and deleted my account.  IMHO, that IFTTT is completely useless.
  • IFTTT was announced at CES for Cortana. In beta testing for Invoke right now (small beta test group that I may/may not be a part of).
  • Daniel, we know you're the ever eternal Microsoft optimist and they can do no wrong.  However, Cortana will never succeed.  We can control our washing machines, lights, security systems, themostats, media centers, plus a ton of other things with Alexa.  You'll never be able to do that with Cortana.  Microsoft will toy around with Cortana for a few years then abandon it like they did with Media Center, Windows Phone, Kinect, Band, Zune, etc.  They have good vision, but implementation and developer support is horrendous.
  • Bingo
  • Wrongo
  • On-the-spot-o
  • "Daniel, we know you're the ever eternal Microsoft optimist and they can do no wrong. "
    This has literally nothing to do with what I articulate here. I don't judge whether it's right or wrong, literally just telling what they are doing. Some of you have a real issue differentiating between me reporting/explaining a strategy vs. endorsing it. I laid out the facts: no smartphone = a problem. Here is what MS plans to do about it. Whether you agree with it or not is not my concern.
    "We can control our washing machines, lights, security systems, themostats, media centers, plus a ton of other things with Alexa. "
    I have Ecobee, Nest, Hues, and IFTTT right now on Cortana. Not sure what your above statement means. You act like getting integration is some herculean feat that Microsoft cannot overcome, even though they are are adding more and more services.
  • He probably doesn't live in the US... I think a lot of the frustration comes from people outisde the US, where the other assistants are so much superior.
  • Not only do I live in the US.  I'm an IT Director, I have a Surface Pro 4, XBox 360, XBox One, was a huge fan of Windows Media Center. I had every imaginable mobile OS from Microsoft from Windows Mobile 5.x and on.  It was very enlightening when I made the switch from Windows Phone to Android and saw how much you can do with a "real" smartphone instead of the Windows Phones which could do nothing more than make phone calls by the time they abandoned it.  Same with Cortana.  Alexa is by far more useful than Cortana can ever hope to be.
  • Okay, my bad. But interersting to hear that even in the US Cortana lags behind Alexa. Outside the US (like here in Germany) it's a no-brainer. I thought the US versions would be relatively on par.
  • I feel the same way. I have a professional interest in Microsoft working with a large portion of their products on a regular basis, and of course use many of their products myself. Over the years I see a lot of the same things. Some of the product teams execute really well and create great offerings that last, o365 and Xbox to name two. However, Microsoft is its own worst enemy at times, because they are big slow, and often too later to react. Regularly they producer good products that are either late to the game, and never catch up ( e.g. windows phone), or they don't give it the proper nurturing in the beginning (e.g. Cortana). Cortana came out a full 7 months before the echo, and compare how Amazon has used that time to that of Microsoft. One was a strong evangelist for their product, and the other sat on one hand watching everyone run past. Even Google leap frogged MS even though assistant wasn't released until 2 years later. Microsoft has to find a way to operate better than they typically do when they come up with new innovative ideas. It's far more difficult to remove an entrenched player even if you have a superior product. Many times it never happens.
  • IFTT and eecobee are nowhere to be seen yet for the average consumer, however.
  • This article is labeled as a „commentary“. A commentary isn’t supposed to neutrally report/explain something, so of course there’s a lot of subjectivity included here. I have no problem with that, it’s what I expected when I clicked on it, but I don’t see why you would deny that this article mainly reflects your own opinion. And, no offense, but you absolutely judge and say that it‘s the right strategy, you just use different wording, like „The idea makes sense.“ “Alexa as an app on Windows 10 will not be better than Cortana...“ <– opinion.
  • Daniel, you say Microsoft wants to make a globally intelligent OS. What's that exactly? What are the escenarios?
    Besides, most of our information is not on the PC, but in the cloud. A digital assistant doesn't need OS integration to access the email, in your example.
  • Iam sorry I clicked the wrong button and report your comment Daniel. I wanted to reply just this: "you just got owned by mvierling" Great post by the way
  • Alexa is already in cars. Probably not in the way you are thinking, with integration to turn on the air conditioning, heated seats, etc, and maybe never will be. Unfortunately if Amazon won't, MS likely won't either for the same reason, no mobile OS with car stereo integration like Android auto or apple car play. They already have their foot in the door while MS and Amazon are still looking through the window. If you think MS could develop an auto app, well so could Amazon, and it will be the clear front runner if they do for all the same reasons it is the front runner now even if it isn't the most sophisticated ai. Well, lots of stuff in tech history failed that was better than the winning format. MS is so far behind that I just don't see them catching up considering how slow they usually are. This all feels a lot like windows phone all over again. A great product with too little progress too late.
  • Here in the UK, Cortana has zero skills. Zero.
  • Yep, and still no mention of a change in that regard. So we can assume none of this stuff is coming to most of the world, otherwise MS would be making a big thing of it since they know this is a major bug bear and the primary reason for low Cortana usage. Oh well, it's not like we expected much, the disappointment continues...
  • Because Satya´s mind and mission is not cut in that way. By now we have te picture:He is Great in clouds and online software, but not a wild innovator that launches aggressive campaings to gain support at the comsumer level. He avoids that fights. 
  • Here in Sweden, Cortana doesn't even want to talk to me unless I lie to her and tell her I'm in the US.
  • Same in South Africa -  where Google works just fine.
  • Yes. I'm not optimistic about the long term for Cortana because they are falling so far behind right now - just like they did with Windows Mobile. They arent getting the partnerships, the integrations, the developer support Google and Amazon are getting. They've even lost some they had. I bought Insteon home automation stuff back when Cortana first came out. Insteon and MS made a big announcement about integration. Now Cortana integration has been pulled. The Windows apps gets no updates. Now they support Apple Home Kit, Alexa and Google assistant. No Cortana. 
  • I tried the Invoke speaker, but it only had Spotify - no Pandora?  The sound was loud, but still mono, and no dynamics (flat EQ).  It was also too tall to put anywhere but on a low table or on the floor.  I returned it in a week.  Cortana is great for controlling windows tablets like the surface (I have the Acer Switch 3) with voice, but now they want to make people type stuff in?  What about the Intel NUC that has dual front facing mics and devices with detachable keyboards?  That's a step backwards, but at least they added voice typing option to the on-screen keyboard that Android has had for years.  (Now I have to disable my Adblocker to read and leave comments?  WTF? Windows (Ad) Central will become less 'Central' to my world if you want to feed me ads all day.)
  • Windows Central is losing so many readers secondary to MS's mismanagement of phones. Now, WC has to rely on an overabundance of ads to pay the bills. Do you remember when WC was all about Windows Phones? They had to rename themselves when the mobile OS market share began to slip away in an effort to stay relevant.
  • As long as it's still possible to hide and/or disable it.
  • Disable it is better, the problem is, it is not just an easy click and if it is going to intergrated more into the OS i expect MS will make it even more difficult.   
  • Just set your region to anywhere outside the US, that'll almost certainly reduce Cortana to insignificance. It works for us non-US types perfectly.
  • Will Windows Core have a mode where it looks and operates just like Windows 7? If they are going to call it Windows, that is what people will expect. That is the Windows that sells. Trying to make Windows a mobile OS is a mistake, that path has already failed with Windows 8 and Windows 10. They need something new for that vision. Cortana is irrelevant on Windows. Digital assistants are a mobile thing, not a desktop thing.
  • "Will Windows Core have a mode where it looks and operates just like Windows 7?".  You must be joking.
  • Most normal people I know bemoan the shift from W7 to W10. I have a colleague (in his early 40's) who's set up his W7 workstation to look like W98; I can guarantee you he's not looking forward to the W10 shift coming in the next few months at work... In maybe 5 years we'll have moved on, but right now W10 is popular only with a minority; face it, people are inherently conservative, and few places as much as with tech, perhaps specifically because of it's very evolving nature...
  • Most people bemoan change. What's your point?
  • Merely that pushing W10 on people that want W7 isn't necessarily a good idea, regardless of progress. MS simply have no understanding of how to sell the future, and actually make people want their latest product. I'm a firm believer in progress and at the forefront with upgrades, but my W7 work laptop runs rings around my W10 home laptop when it comes to stability... That sort of thing MATTERS to normal folk!
  • I know people who bemoaned moving from 7 to 10 until they actually used 10 for awhile, and now they love it. MS can't live in the past because some people are afraid of change.
  • You seriously don't get it? Wow.
  • I can see you don't quite get Windows Core OS. That's on us and we'll try to explain it better. You're referring to the shell, not the OS itself. We're talking about the OS, which will be modular. The shell aka Cshell is composable hence its name. There will be multiple "experiences" with it including gaming, mobile, productivity, collaboration and "classic". Windows Core OS is not about looking like mobile. That's just ignorance. It's about making an OS adapt its UI to the given task at hand and the hardware it is running on without having to recompile a special SKU for it. What you are making the mistake of is referencing Andromeda - the first instance of Windows Core OS that is mobile, but you ignore or forgot Polaris (desktop). Simple mistake. You're attempting to reference the classic shell, which will be Windows 10 based, not Windows 7 because as you know, no one really cares about Windows 7 anymore.
  • I understand Windows will be modular. I was asking if they will have a simple desktop mode that operates similar to Windows 7. You can try to make the argument that no cares about Windows 7, but that is rediculous. Windows 7 was replaced 6 years ago now and Windows 10 struggles to surpass it. No mobile device has ever been successful with Windows. It is tough to even find a Windows tablet these days. Cheap Chinese devices are your only option. When people hear Windows, they think desktops and laptops. If they want to sell mobile devices, it is time to drop the Windows name. It is a hindrance.
  • >No mobile device has ever been successful with Windows
    It's not like they sell millions of laptops and tablets every year...
  • They don't sell many tablets and laptops are PCs...
  • Laptops and Tablets are mobile devices.
    In terms of technology, "Mobile" just means you can bring them with you on the move. Hence "Mobile Phone". Since you can move and bring a laptop/tablet around with you, it's still a mobile device. Just not in the way people have associated "mobile" these days. Also in terms of it being hard to find Windows tablets etc anymore, majority 2in1 laptops on the market today are basically tablets with an optional keyboard.
  • Phones are usable while in any kind of transportation, therefore, they're called Mobile devices. tablets are usable while in motion, therefore, they too are categorized as Mobile devices; Mobility means 'the ability to move or be moved freely and easily' thus devices that are capable of functioning while in transportation are defined as Mobile devices, Laptops aren't big or heavy nor have to be plugged into a power cord in comparison to desktops. 
    PC means Personal Computer it is not a reference to any form factor of any kind or device and tablets can also be considered as a PC. Your incapability to know the definition of anything doesn't make other peoples common sense or facts wrong, it simply makes your arguments invalid and points out an ignorant troll in a comment section ranting on about technologies that you can't even comprehend with the minuscule intellect which you boast of. go on and deny it, this all you can do, denial is your life because you just "can't handle the truth". go play with your toys and believe in a day when your ignorance becomes the commoners choice of a tool but until then stay foolish, stay a clown. I'm sure there was plenty things to laugh at however there is only like a handful of the likes of you here, luckily in the world of sophisticated technologies and societies we'd see less ignorant people but that doesn't mean never : ). thy shall be named 'denial', the path to self-belief of being righteous and wiser than everyone as well the fastest path to self-ridicule.
  • Everything you mentioned above is true in theory and wrong in practice; enjoy life in your bubble.
  • Windows tablets are everywhere. It's called Surface Pro.
  • That is isn't a tablet. Even Microsoft calls the Surface Pro a laptop.
  • Want a lesson in denial? oh, wait you're just gonna deny that as well :^)
  • Its a hybrid that clearly can function as a tablet. It can also function as a laptop. It depends entirely on what app you are using and how you are using it. I use mine at home about 90% with the keyboard off exactly the way I used my iPad - as a tablet.
  • I am sure your use isn't the norm. Windows tablets are not big sellers, even if you count Surface.
  • (Cough) Surface (Cough)
  • Traditional PCs with removable keyboards. You can't even get one at tablet sizes. They start at 12.6" because anything smaller doesn't work well with Windows. You couldn't even buy a decent 10" Windows tablet in 2017 let alone a smaller one.
  • I own a 10.1 tablet running Windows 10 that I use as my main device whenever I'm away from home, when I'm at home I set it up for my calendar/schedule activities while using it with my wireless speakers for music. I don't what kind of $#!t you are on but I'm pretty sure I've been using this for over 2 years now : ) without any issues, so why don't you go troll somewhere else cause you preferring Win 7 doesn't make it better than Win 10, after all, Windows 7 isn't even secure cause I'm sure 98% of those ransomware attacks were on Windows 7 and its not an optimized system to run on touch devices. your inability to adapt to newer technologies isn't a problem of a technology it's simply your inability but that doesn't mean that everyone else is going to stick to the old notion; companies that intend to profit wouldn't risk it, in a world of security issues; the average user who prefers hassle-free devices with weekly security updates wouldn't prefer Windows 7 either, today's company employee who'd prefer having their documents/photos of work-related things synchronized free of hassle on native software wouldn't end up with Win7, give em a week on both systems Win7 vs Win10 and they'd prefer Win10 for its natively avaible data syncronizing features and hassle-free inbuilt security. why do I say this ? and how can I say this ? its because I've used PC's from Windows 98 to Windows 10 and I prefer organized, optimized, secure systems that can help me take my office work home when and if ever I have to as I've done so in various needs quite free of hassle. Windows 10 as a system works for the people who ditch that feeling of believing they need to stick to an old system/UI just because they are used to it and aren't being open-minded for change which is inevitable, same story when windows 7 came out and people didn't want to leave Windows XP or Vista(while having such low %) but eventually they die out cause without support it becomes obsolete and no manufacturer is going to risk it on their end.
  • You realize your use isn't the norm? Windows tablets, even if you count 2in1s, aren't big sellers at all. You can barely even buy a true tablet with Windows today. You are stuck with ~$100 Chinese devices. The numbers are terrible for Windows tablets.
  • Agree: Windows was a bad name for a consumer device. Microsoft doesn't realize that even today. Disagree: 1. Windows on tablets is non-existant. First tablets aren't big category. Second, both Microsft and Apple are strong in this segment, much stronger than they are on the phone in the terms of market share. Third, if you exclude tablets that people buy as toys for their kids, Android is almost non-existent on that form. 2. Windows 7 was not surpased by Windows 10 - that is expected. Most of Microsoft's clients are enterprises. They have never in the history made such a big roll out of a new OS that you could even expect something like that (not sure how Microsoft thought it can happen either).
  • Microsoft isn't strong in tablets. Surface and 2in1s aren't tablets and even if they were counted as tablets, it still doesn't add up to strong sales. They are PCs. They are used like PCs. Have you ever seen anyone using a Surface without the keyboard?
  • I use my SP4 as a tablet about 50 % of the time, just saying. I still consider it a pc with tablet functionality, though, and not the other way around...
  • Let me know when you want to type a whole document on your Android tablet, Tablet touch is usable in certain conditions which include, taking photos and editing them with simple adjustments. creating/dragging/dropping chart objects with the exception of typing the values in on the keyboard or using the onscreen keyboard which is going to reduce the screen space thats available so that is not exactly a comfortable way of doing anything productive.., using the touch to selecting between sheets/ different instances of Office documents (Excel, Word, Powerpoint), scrolling down or up on documents, explorer activities of which none are really feasible because all the tablet features are meant to be simple actions never productive input where document work or lengthy web surfing with the use of searches will always rely on keyboards since you can't really be productive on a tablet without a virtual keyboard that can exactly predict your input with features like WordFlow(Windows 10 has it and I use it on my tablet alot more due to this), in either way if you want to use a tablet wtih office work there will always be the case of screen space if the virtual keyboard is on, but using a physical keyboard makes it efficent to work with so denying that its a tablet just cause it has a removable keyboard is simply nonsense logic which only a person who doesn't know about device categories would be able to say this kind of nonsense.
  • I use mine without the keyboard more than I use it with the keyboard - especially at home for personal use. 
    They do have one major problem as tablets - apps. Its the same problem Surface RT had. They is a severe lack of good touch oriented apps for Windows in tablet mode. Still, for we surfing, email, netflix, playing music, and all that stuff, they are great tablets. 
  • you do know tablets are Dying. lol  
  • Exactly Pallentx.   I would have never sold my surface 3 if I could have the texture app.  However, they never updated it to work on windows.   Sad,  I use that app ALOT while travelling so I had to sell my surface and get an ipad.  i could use my surface for everything except texture.  Reading magazines while travelling is something I do alot to pass the time,  As does my wife.  We both had 3s,  now we both have ipads.  We have contacted texture numerous times about this since we still use our windows 2 in 1's alot.  But we get the same canned response.   re install the app.   Oh well.   Surface is a great device,  just did'nt meet our needs as far as tablet duties go.
  • Please cite your evidence that Windows is a bad name for a consumer device. If you don't think Microsoft tests and surveys and watches consumer preferences and thinking you are very much mistaken.
  • Windows tablets don't exists outside the United States. Microsoft don't sell it's Surface line outside their borders. Phones with Windows 10 were never available either. It was hard to even get a Windows 8.0 device. Microsoft should have made the thing that makes Windows and PCs so popular: Sell just the OS and allow people to install it in whichever device they hace -if it meets the minimum requirements obviously- 
  • Where have you been all these times 🤵?
  • First off, no offense meant to anyone or any place/nation. He's been in a place where there's no internet or decent/branded electronic stores that have been making sales of PC's for at least 15-20 years, I think he might be living on an island alone and since I recall the boom of "when in India" that went on about on these tech sites related to Windows 10 mobile updates sometime back in the day, I do recall reading that India has Microsoft stores so i guess India is out of the question ? I could do a lot more explanations and come to an endpoint with the help of a long post but with all the logical and economical stances I'm going to make a rough guess of either this person is from the SEA regions or somewhere in a sandcastle along the lines of Egypt? not saying that Microsoft has stores all over the world but that doesn't mean they don't cover most countries as possible, heck Nokia stores feature Windows Mobile 10 devices and even I got mine from a Nokia store back in the day, so how is it possible that this person lives in a country that doesn't even have a Nokia store ? since if there was a Nokia store they'd obviously sell Microsoft products there as well, as they've been doing that forever even before Microsoft acquired Nokia. which means this person is in a place close to Kunlun (of course it would be from Marvels iron fist, I mean)
  • I agree. Google did it right and are now reaping the benefits. Microsoft's strategy for the last decade has been terrible. Not sure how they come back now.
  • reaping the what? reaping the oreo benefits I bet...yes i've bought into android to see what this new fad is about oreo with a device that runs stock Android 7.1 and to my expectation as obvious since I've used these droid systems before, the company promises to provide 8 updates and I'm going to be waiting what another 1-4 months ? for a system every android user must be reaping that benefits right about now ? .. welp fantasy land here we go. over 70% of Android users are still in the dark while using their outdated android systems that aren't even on android 6. Luckily I still use my WM10 as my daily driver and I still get updates, I hope android 8 is levels better than Android 7.1 cause this is quite a bad system in comparison to WM10 when it comes to ram usage and optimization and here I was expecting Android to be better with all the folks screaming out how amazing it is than WM10.. I fail to see how Android is better when its stock apps are so useless that i have to go to the play store and get other apps that which I have to pay for all over and I can't even disable most default apps which are useless android so good 10/10 : ) , it's so good that my next device is going to be "This is not the phone-dromeda you are looking for" from Microsoft. :^) better than superficial fandroid systems.
  • Android versions don't matter and haven't for years. You are speaking in Windows terms. It doesn't matter if you are using a 5 year old version of Android, apps still work and your device is still supported by Google Play. You are comparing a singular, locked down OS with an open OS that can be and is heavily modified by the OEMs. Each version is basically a separate entity and Android version really doesn't make much of a difference. It certainly hasn't hurt sales. Android outsells Windows nearly 5 to 1.
  • That's just complete nonsense
  • In the UK I can buy any of the surface line by simply going onto their store. As a student I can even find it on their UK student store. So you're not correct at all there. Also Microsoft aren't the company to do 2in1's. Plenty of companies have followed suit with their own branded devices, some even better and cheaper than the Surface.
  • I am in Canada and I owned surface'es,  as well as many different Windows phones.  So,  I have no idea where you are getting your data from,  but it's far from the truth ahumeniy.  
  • It makes no sense. Where are you going to buy a cell phone without OS?
  • @bleached You really really really need to open your browser and go to and read about everything that Windows 10 is before you make any further comment about Windows 10 on this site. You are woefully uneducated in what Windows 10 is and how it works. After you do some real homework and studying on what Windows 10 is as an operating system you will realize that you are wrong in 90% of your trolling comments on this site and that it is the future and a proper OS for this time. Windows 7 was a milestone to getting to Windows 10 though it was a great OS for its time it was only a stepping stone to something better. It is already changing the way the industry as a whole (not your dumb consumer crap that doesn't make a difference or pay the bills). It is a solid, secure, and easy to use OS. Just from a normal end user. I have found that more regular users are able to fix their own problems with the way the OS is now than they ever could on Windows 7. So for you to say that people need a crappy windows 7 type experience is straight ignorance on your part so like I said go read and educate yourself.
  • Been around Windows for decades now. Windows PCs are what sells. Desktop interface and legacy desktop experiences are where Windows excels. Everything else has been a flop. I don't see how you can argue anything different. The numbers are readily available.
  • Windows 10 has been far from a flop like I said go educate yourself. Your "decades" of experience don't mean anything if you don't understand the fundamentals of IT and technology and that is that technology is always changing and improving. Like I previously stated each iteration of Windows had a fundamental building block to get the OS to this point and continues to grow into something better. So stop trolling people on this site with your ignorance and go educate yourself because you are wrong. You say "the numbers speak for themselves" well the "numbers" show that Windows 10 is the most secure OS and will be the most widely adopted OS to date.
  • Windows 10 missed its mark by 40%. How is that not a flop? 400 million less users than Microsoft's goal! It failed on tablets and smartphones. You can't buy a Windows 10 wearable or speaker or smart TV. Nothing for automotive. If you want to use Microsoft's ecosystem, you are stuck with competitors devices for everything but your PC. How again is that not a failure? Is this what Microsoft envisioned in 2014 when they were working on Band, Windows Mobile and their other now dead services? All due to them missing their mark with Windows 10.
  • You are solely focused on the consumer space which is not what Windows was designed for those stats are only relevant in the consumer space in the combined consumer and enterprise spaces which is where you should be pulling your stats from Windows 10 is right on the mark. The so called tablet and wearables are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Sure they are nice to have if you are a consumer but Microsoft is a software company first and foremost (imagine that its mind blowing) so their focus is software. Windows 10 is the foundation of that software and all of their modern portfolio is built around enhancing your experience with and through the OS which is something that couldn't have been done on any previous OS so all of your points are moot because that is their end goal. So again go educate yourself before throwing out useless idealisms and statistics that aren't relevant to the roadmap of the company.
  • It's funny that you're focusing on the business side; businesses are the LAST to switch to W10. Huge work and investment to make a business-wide switch; I'd guess businesses in general are only now (and grudgingly) starting to make the switch out of the necessity to upgrade hardware...
  • This is also not true businesses aren't always the last to switch over. It takes them longer to transition yes but that is because there is a lot of variables when it comes to changing OSes and it takes time. Businesses love Windows 10 because of the collaborative features and seamless integration to all of the services they are generally using. Use case: A developer has a Windows 10 machine. They login, they now have SSO to all of the services they use daily. Such as VS, VSO, Teams, and O365. They don't have to sign in multiple times or save their credentials (which creates a security risk). It improves their security posture and their workflow. This is just one example there are multiples if businesses stuck with Windows 7 these kinds of features wouldn't be available seamlessly and easily like they are now.
  • That isn't because they dislike Windows 10. It's the same for all softwares and companies. One of the first things I learn in my recent studies is most companies will stay behind a few versions on [Software] so they can make sure that the newer version doesn't have crippling bugs that will damage the company. Instead they play the waiting game for a while, use the older software for an extra year or two while the newer version gets more updates and the bugs are more ironed out. It's reasonably expected that companies are only just jumping to windows 10. It would be unusual for a company to just dive into the unknown as soon as a new OS or software comes out when they don't know what issues lie on the other side
  • Completely agree with you on this that's one of the things I was meaning with a lot of variables.
  • After Microsoft loses consumers, what market starts to decay next? As people get used to other platforms at home, it is only a matter of time before they move more into enterprise. Why did Microsoft make Windows 10 if all they want is enterprise? They could have just stuck with Windows 7 and not wasted all that money and time developing an OS that isn't necessary at all for businesses.
  • This is the most ignorant statement yet. The Windows market isn't decaying to that degree on the consumer side nor will it. Yes normal compute tasks have switched more to phones and tablets than PCs but there will always be a place for them. Now Windows decaying in the Enterprise is laughable. That won't happen I can tell you have never worked in IT because of you had you would clearly know that there isn't anything out there that offers the Enterprise market the ease of use, security, central management, and robustness Windows offers. Many companies have tried to knock Windows off the top but MS has done it right and it is not something easily done. Especially now days with their Modern portfolio of offerings. With services like Windows Defender & ATP, Office 365, Visual Studio Online, Auto Pilot, Azure AD, Intune, OMS, and the thing that is the foundation and seamlessly connects the end user to all of those services is Windows 10. Now companies are able to collaborate easier and better than before with office 365 and Windows 10. They are able to stay more secure with Windows defender and the coupling technologies like device guard, credential guard, and exploit protection. All stuff that isn't as nice or isn't even available in Windows 7. Windows 7 is a very unsecure OS compared to Windows 10 all of the built in protection in Win 10, that you don't have to go to a third party for, is insane. And to top it all off the servicing model is great for Windows 10 none of this we have to change an os every 10 years to get new features its a continuous upgrade every 6 months or so that will always give u new features. All around Windows 10 is best for Ent and Consumer.
  • For the last time, let go of Windows 7. Wishing it back won't make it true.
  • I haven't used Windows 7 since the Beta for Windows 8. I am not talking about me. The rest of the world hasn't bought Windows 10 on anything but PCs. Windows 7 could have done that.
  • To put this more clearly: Windows 8 and Windows 10 are failures because they did not increase the number of device sales. The numbers would be basically the same if Microsoft still just sold Windows 7 devices. They would still only be selling PCs to people who need PCs. Same situation as today. No progress.
  • Dude. If we still only had Windows 7, sales would have tanked a lot more. All Surface devices and other modern laptops and 2-in-1's are thanks to Windows 10. Fortunately Microsoft started to modernise Windows in time and now has a brighter future not only on the desktop.
  • None of those devices sell well. Windows is still almost exclusively on traditional form factors. People buy new PCs because they break or slow down. Sales would be similar with Windows 7 today. People buy PCs because they need to, not because they want to. Just look at the sales numbers for tablets. Microsoft has 0.4% in the US. Windows 10 is a huge flop. It brought no new markets to Microsoft, just the legacy PC sales that would be the same either way.
  • Dude...
    Windows 10 is competing against a plethora of smarphones. As you know smartphones are being used these days for day to day activities more than a traditional PC. And ppl don't mind to upgrade their smartphones every year or every other year. This hs reduced the sales in PC segment. Still Windows 10 managed to get installed on 600 million devices in 3 years time.
    In the era of Windows 7 the adoption rate ws high becasuse there were no substitutes for PC.
    And whthr a device is flop or success is not based on its sale or milestone. If that's so Mac would be the biggest failure.
    So don't compare windows 10 adoption rate to that of windows 7. There's a huge difference the time then n the time now.
  • You either don't understand how technology works in a company stand point or you're just full blown trolling. So you're saying if Microsoft stayed with Windows 7. No AI advancements, no touch advancements, no technology advancements, just the same old, same old... That all their sales would stay consistent? Other companies will have continued their advancements. As companies like Samsung, Apple, Android, Sony etc continued to grow and get better, consumers would have moved from windows completely to go to the next best thing that is new and does more. You seem to be stuck in this mindset where Windows 7 was the best of mankind and everything else is just a was end should be ignored. If Microsoft did what you so wish they did, they'd be dust compared to what they are now.
  • @bleached Here's an epiphany for you since you love Windows 7 so much you know that if Windows vista (which is commonly regarded as a failure) never existed there wouldn't have been a Windows 7? That is because Windows Vista was a milestone to create Windows 7 just like Windows 7 and Windows 8 was a milestone to create Windows 10. Yes Windows 8 was a general failure but without the technological advancements of creating Windows 8 there wouldn't have been Windows 10 and without the iterations of Windows 10 there won't be a future operating system that is better. Its called progress, milestones and roadmaps these are all things you need to look at and stop trolling this site with your half baked knowledge.
  • When did I ever say I loved Windows 7? I haven't used it since Windows 8 beta. I am just saying that Windows isn't right for mobile devices. It hasn't worked yet at least. Maybe it is time for something new. This isn't about my needs.
  • "Been around Windows for decades now" Remember when I said that the human race as a whole unreasonably cling to things? I wonder if we would have electricity today, or insulated houses etc, if our ancestors were all "Let's stick to the legacy sticks and stones, because we prefer it over this.. New stuff"
  • I am not saying Microsoft shouldn't do that. I am saying that Windows isn't the future. They need something new without all that baggage. The name is a hindrance to adoption of anything outside of traditional PCs.
  • You say that majority of people prefer windows 7 to windows 10 but again that's just your opinion. I mean, sure windows 7 was highly loved in the market but it took years for it to reach that point. Windows 10 is now being used by the newer generations of users in schools etc. People are slowly getting used to windows 10 and either love it, like it or at least can handle it. Heck I even know some of the older generation who like Windows 10 because it has more functionality. The fact is the human race as a whole love to cling to stuff. But that's not a reasonable opinion to have with technology when the whole principle of technology is it will always change and advance. Expecting a company to try keep a minority happy because they want Windows 7 is company suicide as it'll cost them more money to keep that afloat and less resources will go to advancing their OS and technology, and keeping up with their competitors.
  • Agreed Windows 10 is a more functional and easier to use OS that even none tech savvy people can use easily. Unlike Windows 7 which isn't very user friendly and is actually very clunky in comparison to Windows 10.
  • Nope, nobody cares about win7.  Windows 10 has steadly been replacing 7 since its lanch.  As of last month, 7 & 10 have the same market share.  10 will continue to climb while 7 continues to fall to XP levels.
  • And you said you can't teach, you lied... You can teach good my friend.
  • Don't bother explaining it to him, Dan. He's an old, broken record :P :D
  • I know you have no counter argument, but all I am saying is Cortana is screwed if it is reliant on a mobile version of Windows selling. Assistants aren't that useful when you are typing on a desktop in Word. Especially when your Echo is sitting next to you and doesn't require your PC being on.
  • Ask Cortana to set a reminder for one year to revisit this topic and we can see ;)
  • O M G, so gonna do that right now~ =3, I got Cortana all over the place. didn't ditch WM10 yet, waiting for not so phone-phone to come out while I did get an Android 7.1 device(with oreo support in the future) only to be surprised yet again at how bad the system(stock) is vs user statements including that I have to wait 1-4 months more to get the Android 8 update on it.
  • I'd look into safe custom ROMS as yeah, most stock Android OS's are terrible. I've only ever been able to be comfortable on samsung's stock OS.
    Hopefully there will be an advancement in the mobile industry for windows, have always missed my old lumia. Only time will tell :)
  • Can't do that, unfortunately; Cortana isn't available in my region.
  • "nobody cares about Windows 7 anymore" I believe you genuinely don't understand how wrong you are on this point, and it's fair enough for a person moving and working in tech circles; in the wider world, most people are still partial to the familiar interface and functionality of W7 - us techies are definitely the odd ones out!
  • Windows 7 is for boomers, afraid of change. No one I know (cept for my grampaw) uses it .
  • Nobody uses Windows at all unless they have to. It up the future. It is time for Microsoft to move on. Too much baggage. No new markets will come to the Windows name.
  • No new markets? I mean Windows is the most utilized OS in the world i guess I don't understand what new market that a PC os would go into but ok lol. Your arguements are getting weak as you continue to troll this site. Your failing at even trolling now that you have failed to present a good argument to prove your points here.
  • Android surpassed Windows in useage a little while ago. It isn't even close in sales. I am just saying that Windows has not been able to penetrate the tablet or phone markets let alone all the other peripheral markets. Despite all the effort put into Windows 10, it hasn't increased sales or scope. Windows is still just a legacy PC platform despite it's aspirations to be more.
  • But Bleachy, you told me only a few weeks back that desktop computers are yesterday's news and no-one is interested in them? So no point in a desktop focussed form of Windows anymore, at least not for you, right?
  • I am saying that is the only place the name Windows will work. It is time for Microsoft to move on from the Windows name if they want more markets.
  • As far as me, from the Netherlands, is concerned, Cortana isn't even alive yet. It doesn't work as it should, or in fact at all unless you opt to set your Dutch Windows up with English (US). I don't care for Cortana as long as Microsoft refuses to get it working worldwide as it does in america
  • So, I wonder with decoupling Cortana from Search will let them roll out Cortana more widely. Currently, Cortana is basically Bing with AI. That's why it's not available in a lot of places, but by shifting it away from search, they can avoid that maybe?
  • One can only hope! Not having it widely available so many years after launch is just sad...
  • I agree with Dan, even though after reading this post that I realized when you decouple the AI with the search then the AI is more capable of freely assisting you within system tasks that aren't tied to region related searches or activities mainly so this actually could be the logical outcome of it.
  • Cortana is still limited and will always be as long as Microsoft keeps it limited to a few countries. What will guarantee that Microsoft will enable Cortana in more countries? This is where siri, Alexa and Google are way ahead.
  • The difference is between Siri and AI are tied to web service.  Cortana strength is assistant.   "The idea makes sense. Combine machine learning with A.I. and dig it deep into the operating system Cortana can be a very proactive assistant. Forget asking Cortana to play a song, but rather "Hey Cortana, can you read me the last email Zac Bowden sent me" actions and much more."
  • No, the difference is that all the other assistants are available.
  • Any news on when Cortana will be actually useful outside of the US? Even in the regions where Cortana is technically available, she can't really do anything. No smart home, no Spotify integration, no skills at all....
  • This ^ Cortana was pretty good years back under 8.1 but now is the laughing stock of the tech world. Outside the US she is embarrassingly bad. Is this new version going global?? know-like Google, Amazon, Apple and EVERYONE else do??
  • US Cortana is actually pretty good. But the German one ist the opposite! Alexa is much better in German but also more limited then the english version. They should support those languages better then they could win the crown back! More skills, more service integrations like Spotify, LinkedIn and so on
  • Where is the ecobee skill exactly for Cortana and Invoke? Don't see it in the connected home or skills area.
  • Did you try resetting your device?
  • May be a part of beta's coming though.
  • No... Is that what I need to do?
  • I'm not convinced. In fact, I think it's more likely they are burying Cortana to the point where there is no more "personality", particularly if our nearly exclusive interface with Cortana is text -- which, for me, that's not true -- so that we won't even notice when Alexa becomes the assistant.  I suspect Cortana will soon disappear into nothing more than the core aspects you mentioned, but they are merely the 'hook' Alexa can use into the backend so that Amazon's backend and Microsoft's just intermingle. I continue to maintain that if Microsoft was actually SERIOUS about Cortana they would fix the fact that Cortana suffers from multiple personality disorder.   Cortana should be aware of EVERY input source she's receiving on and EVERY output source she has access to.  When I walk in the room and say, "Hey, Cortana",  and then follow with "Turn on the Xbox", she should immediately recognize the command has a unique target output and stand all other devices that heard and COULD respond and only respond by turning on the Xbox.  If I say "Show me the weather", she should recognize that I could get that result displayed on all four devices that HEARD the command and either determine which device I meant based on how strong the input was (mic sensitivity) or, barring that, ASK me which device to put it to.  THAT is a truly useful assistant and demonstrates a more aware approach.  It's just stupid to tell me I have to buy yet ANOTHER device to handle inputs/outputs when I already have plenty of devices. Cortana needs to be integrated, needs to become "omnipresent".  Until SOMEONE does that with their assistant, all of them are just rubbish.
  • MS has a patent that describes that exactly that.
  • My personal belief is that Microsoft saying they are playing the 'long game' is a way if saying they are waiting for real intelligent AI to become wide spread. Many of these personal assistants are nothing more than a voice input for hardware. I picture the end game for Cortana is more similar to the deep learning AIs Microsoft has made over the past years. These would learn the users patterns and actually be able to have a realistic conversation with the user. Hopefully they wouldn't be so easily corrupted by 4chan when released.
  • Microsoft really messed up when they didn't have far-field microphones built into the Xbox One S and X. They removed the Kinect which was the perfect foothold to getting cortana into the living room. I seriously expected the XOX to have these microphones after already being disappointed with the XOS not having them.  I do not understand for the life of me how MS did not do this.
  • We're hearing of a new device for Xbox that addresses this. Not much else to say right now.
  • Serious question, not snarking. Don't you get tired of the hearing of things without anything decent ever being released? To keep it related to this editorial, I mean Cortana is what, almost 4 years old? What is there to show for all that development? I disable the damn thing because I find it more annoying than useful. Look at the progress Alexa made in almost the same amount of time. It seems that Microsoft ***** around with these things without really having a direction or focus, changes direction 2 or 3 times, big things are in the works, interesting- perhaps even innovative functionality is shown off... Then NOTHING happens... But something is always in the works, they'll have something to show, Coming Soon™, etc. Obviously every company has hits & misses, strategies change, but Jesus. Windows phones, hololens, band, groove, cortana, UWP, windows core os, PWA, c-shell, windows on ARM, folding surface phone... All of these products have either failed to deliver, been canceled, or are in the works. Yay, they made Surface a brand with middling to moderate success- the surface pro 3 came out almost 4 years ago, it's just iterations since then. (No, I'm not including a thin & light laptop or a $4000 AIO that no one buys, I'll give a moderate amount of credit to surface book, grudgingly). Sorry to go into my own rant, but reading things like the above comment just annoy me. I do like your writing Dan, not trying to attack, just more a sense of frustration from someone who a few years ago thought MS actually was an innovative company, which has failed to deliver on most everything they've showcased in the recent past. Am I too jaded or has MS actually done something worthwhile in the last say, 24 months? Xbox X... I guess...?
  • "Serious question, not snarking. Don't you get tired of the hearing of things without anything decent ever being released? "
    Like, what? Scorpio? Delivered. Surface Book 2? More than delivered. Surface Laptop? Awesome. Surface Studio? Mostly good. Surface Pro 2017? Awesome. OneDrive? Still working great for me. Windows 10 getting constant updates and new features? Yup. Xbox 4K gaming and backwards compatibility with games from 17 years ago? Done. Seeing Centennial deliver great apps like Elements 2018,, and all the new PC games in the store? Love it. PC growth is steady. 2-in-1s growing. Gaming PCs lots of growth. Surfac sales holding steady at $1B. Xbox Gold going up each quarter. Oh, and Windows Mixed Reality, which is a blast to use. So, yes, I think you're too jaded. Or rather, you're too wrapped in the minutia to see the big picture.
  • Oh please... Your examples are a mix of non-news (Scorpio that would have to come sooner or later and Onedrive which is just... there) and tiny niche products ( used by 20 people in the world and Surface Studio affordable to 20 people in the world). Cortana has been here for years with hardly any improvements to show for it and hardly any new territory covered. No way any normal user needs to get exited until MS ups their game in an order of magnitude!
  • Dan, while you highlight many of Microsoft's successes  your response does sort of reinforce the point other are making. Most of the things MS is making money on are the same things they have been making money on for decades (and yes they are still making a ton of money); but where is the new innovative (not just evolutionary) stuff that actually makes it to market in a timely fashion? It is great that MS is going to expand the capabilities of Cortana on the PC. The sad fact though is that Cortana on WP 8.1 was at least as capable as Cortana on W10 PC and it certainly appears that MS has made very limited progress on Cortana since then. They certainly have had time to improve Cortana on mobile (iOS and Android) but it is stagnent there as well.  The number of homes with smart speakers is expected to be at 70 million in the next five years. That will  be 70% of the number of homes with a PC; but it is a market that if current trends don't change, MS will own a couple percent of. This is a market/product driven almost entirely through software innovation. Something Microsoft should be able to excel in. Unfortunately I think that that the market is already sewn up by Amazon and Google.  As a MS shareholder I am pleased with how they are doing in the short term to mid-term; however as a MS fan I am concerned with their long term viability. MS has never really had to move quickly in their core business (Windows and Office) because they had no real competition. Those segments are still doing well from a revenue perspective, but do have limited growth in new users. Unfortunately where new product segments are concerned, MS does not seem to be able to compete with companies like Amazon or Google in time to market, effectiveness of the launch, and generating excitement in the marketplace  
  • Don't forget surface  television. A guy can  dream.
  • It'd actually be nice to hear/read a real answer to this. I'm the biggest MS fan that I know. 100% bought in. Top to bottom. But yeah I feel like this too. Hearing about cool stuff. Then waiting. Seeing cool promotional videos with amazing renderings..then waiting. I mean their strategy works on me. Keep me starved. So I'll eat anything. But I absolutely would LOVE to hear/read a real response to your post. My ONLY guess is we'll hear that first and foremost "they're a software company". So the cool innovative "stuff" is just kinda stuff they throw together to see what happens. It's not meant to compete. Or we'll hear what we already know. They're not "consumer focused". Well dammit I wish they were.
  • If we are to follow the pattern MS has laid out in the past, Cortana will be a thing of the past despite all the coming soon we always here from Redmond! Personally I'll believe it when I see it!
  • I bought a cheap Windows tablet for my living room so I could hook it up to the Microsoft Hub and use Cortana with it. Still waiting...
  • Cortana's biggest strength is its W10 OS integration that no other digital assistants can compete.  Its deep integration with Edge as well as the future PWAs are important productivity features which Alexa and Google Assistant have no business with it.  Cortana is already on the 600-million PC devices with 150-million active users according to MS.  That number can only grow with the expanding W10 user base (eventually 1 billion plus?).  The competitors, however, have only 39-million combined speaker devices in the US at present.  The W10 devices can grow to 800-million by the end of this year or probably 1 billion next year.  The Cortana base is huge and MS can promote it through the W10 business and industrial market and later expand into the consumer space with more devices coming.  It provides productivity and AI values not only on the W10 PCs but also in the business world and homes.  There are things we like to see them happen in the Cortana world: -  Cortana does need more low-cost speakers to help to penetrate into homes.  The upcoming $30 Xiaomi Yeelight is a good example. -  Cortana and Alexa partnership is a good interim solution for Skills support.  There is no conflict between the two with different Wake Word. -  Cortana speaker needs optional models with a display and quality speaker. -  Is HomeHub app coming at all?  It could be a powerful solution to turn all the W10 devices into hands-free Cortana device instantly.
  • Yes, Cortana can do more beside, "Find nearest Starbuck".  I want to be able to ask Cortana: 1. Find nearby Starbuck 2 Order me Caramel Frap ahead of time, including MS Wallet paid in advance 3 Arrive at Starbuck, pick up my frap 4 Sign in to Starbuck wifi 5 Open my OneNote
  • Android has at least a billion devices today with Assistant and that number grows by 300 million every quarter. Devices that are with you all day everyday, not just when you boot up your old school PC or laptop. Not to mention the $30 speakers you can buy today, not "soon". Microsoft has no chance in this fight. They will half-@ss it and drop support in a year or two when it doesn't catch-on at all. Not sure why anyone still supports Microsoft. There are so many better products available today.
  • "There are so many better products available today" Name one that is integrated with W10 OS.  MS will be focused on developing Cortana on the W10 platform where its strength lay.  They own it.  Cortana integration with Edge and the future PWAs provide powerful productivity values for the W10 users.  Don't get mixed up with the current consumer digital assistant devices.  Cortana would cover more grounds that can enhance productivity on the PCs, consumers, commercial and industrial products and services.  I have a few Echo devices installed at home along with Cortana on my two desktop PCs and one laptop.  I constantly evaluate and compare their usabilities and features.  After Spotify and Cortana integration was activated couple weeks ago, Cortana quickly became my favorite voice control for the Spotify.  It is more responsive and accurate than Alexa.  Both of my desktop PCs are connected to a set of premium speakers (Bose Companion 5) which produce superior sound than all the Echo speakers.  So now the Cortana-Spotify-Bose speakers become my daily music system.  I can switch to other Echo speakers connected to the same wifi network via Spotify app if needed.  But I seldom do that.
  • It doesn't matter that Microsoft wants to integrate Cortana into Windows 10.  The only people using Windows anymore is the workplace and guess what.  We in the workplace don't want a digital assitant that we talk to or that talks to us.  No one will use it and Microsoft will abandon it.
  • Just like they half-@ssed WMR with the poor software IPD implementation. For those of use that get headaches from the current batch, now have to wait on version 2.
    Dan, I appreciate the article, nothing against you, but I've coined a new term, busy-talk. Lately MS is like the biotech that constantly has a bunch of forward looking statements about what they want to do, what they want to trial, how they anticipate fda approval. Whereas Google and Amazon are biotechs that have received fda approval and have turned their approvals into actual products. The current state of where Cortina is at is simply busy-talk. Meanwhile, MS waits for fda approval...
  • That might be true for the 1% of the World that has a version of Cortana that can actually do anything useful (the US). For the rest of the World, Cortana will remain just as useless as before and probably will fall even further into the pit of nothingness where she lives. By the time Microsoft realises there's an entire World outside 'murica, everyone will be so deep into Alexa and Google Assistant that no one will ever even care about how deeply Cortana might be put into Windows. Because she'll be running on the OS of the computer people more and more only use to work.
  • If it can't catch on in America, why would it catch on anywhere else? Why waste money expanding a failure? You succeed and expand, not fail and expand. That makes no sense and isn't how it works for anyone.
  • Yeah let's keep all the eggs in that one big basket of fail. The US is less fertile ground for MS's mobile ambitions than Europe where WP had double digit market share in many countries.
  • This right here! For some reason MS has a very unhealthy infatuation with one of it's least sympathetic markets...
  • "That might be true for the 1% of the World that has a version of Cortana that can actually do anything useful (the US)."
    True. But, if Bing is the limiting factor to rolling out Cortana, and Microsoft is now decoupling Cortana from Bing, that may mean the assistant is less reliant on Bing local results and more reliant on your data. Also, not to be a US-centrist, but Apple controls a small minority of the smartphone market. Reconcile that with its press coverage compared to Android. Fact is, US market matters a lot.
  • 1. I hope you're right about the Bing independence.
    2. Your Apple argument makes no sense; the iPhone is leading in most 1st world markets (more than 50 % marketshare in Denmark) and Apple are making a huge profit for each phone sold; their success has no particular connection with the US market, and their profit model is not comparable to Microsofts...
  • That's a strange argument. If Bing is the limiting factor, why has Alexa a much wider availability. Alexa works with Bing, too. And that doesn't explain why functions like Spotify integration und smart home aren't available outside the US. These things have nothing to do with Bing.
  • It works great in it works OUTSIDE the US!
  • In some other countries yes
  • Really? Most Canadians I hear from say it's terrible up there as well...?
  • nope.  works great for me.  My son uses it ALOT.   I am travelling from my hometown to st john's today and I just used cortana to check highway conditions, weather and travel info.
  • I hope Cortana gets much attention she needs from their company. Anyway, I believe in the future of multiple AIs working together and communicating with each other like we see in the movies. The world is big enough for Cortana, Siri, Bixby, etc to be together. Did I missed something? Google now doesn't have a proper name, so err, no thanks.
  • I appreciate your positive attitude to life and to MS. Personally, I have no faith in MS its abilities to pull anything off. Apart from azure and office 365 I don't see any real vision, urgency or commitment on MS part to make products successful. They have lost the mind and hearts of consumers and oems., And without mobile they simply lack the product that brings all other products together. I'm afraid its all too late, I only see a future for MS in business and that market will slowly disappear as kids who have grown up with android, apple and chromebook reach the workplace.
  • It's not really positive attitude, just seeing what they are working on. But, putting that aside, sure Microsoft absolutely needs to win you over. That's their job, so let's see if they do.
  • The title of this article is "Cortana is far from dead as Microsoft plans to make an 'Intelligent OS' with Windows 10". Seems to me like you are concluding here that MS's plans will have a positive outcome that will turn the tide. That's more than just reporting on "what they are working on". To be clear, with Cortana being "dead" people do not mean that MS has stopped working on it or has no plans for it, but simply that in spite of any plans MS may have, the fate of Cortana has been sealed. Of course MS will deny this and of course they will continue to work on cool stuff. And they will declare that they are in it for the "long haul" and that all this AI stuff is "just beginning". But we've seen this story unfold before and it does not have a happy ending. So if today, based solely on some kind of deeper integration into a desktop OS that is to be finished more than a year from now (an eternity), you already come to the conclusion that Cortona will make it, then yes I would conclude you are being overly positive. But that is your right of course. It's clear from other articles that this is how you want to position Windows Central compared to other Microsoft sites. There's no need to apologize for that.
  • Dan, thanks for bringing some reason to all the negative Cortana hype the last few weeks. This is not to say that Microsoft doesn't have serious work to do, but I can't believe how many people (including many tech writers) don't understand the Cortana strategy. Everyone is far too caught up in all the current voice assistant hype.
  • I really really really want a system that actually does useful stuff for me. Right now, all of these assistants are just glorified search engines, with a shinier interface. Having something on the level of Samantha for "Her" (right at the beginning, when she organizes his emails, drafts full email responses, ignores the stuff that doesn't matter, etc) would be amazing. In short, I'm really jealous of the next couple generations.
  • " Right now, all of these assistants are just glorified search engines, with a shinier interface."
    110% this. It will get better, but for now, what everyone is going gaga over is (1) improved voice recognition (2) google search. That's it. Oh, throw in some pre-programmed canned phrases to "trigger" something. This is not the future. This is the improved past.
  • Cortana has VERY little presence in most of the world and even less usability; US Americans have a real hard time understanding that they're not all of the world...! Having said that, I see next to no interest in voice assistants among non-techies, and even techies are relatively indifferent. The artificial intelligence has to improve massively for voice assistants to become truly useful, and even then the social stigma of talking to yourself/voice commanding your devices are almost insurmountable;. Lots and lots of people still talk into their phones instead of relying on hands-free headsets to avoid looking like a weirdo; talking to a machine would be a much, much tougher sell...!
  • Here in the US, Alexa is everywhere. Not just techies.
  • This article is such BS. Cortana is a consumer facet. While AI might live on, Cortana's dead.
    Fanboys like Rubino and Ward fail to see that the company is now controlled by Wall Street. Wall Street is only concerned about profits and growth. That's "cloud first", every consumer is wound down. Still expecting to hear Sega is buying the games division.
  • Let's revisit this in early 2019 and see where we stand, shall we? Care to place a wager or does snark not have a bank account?
  • Make it 2020.  They've been approved to work on it for a year.  When the CBA is done after FY18 and investors see how much is being wasted, it will be shelved.
  • Cortana dead? It has never been alive in NL!
  • Neither was sobriety, hellllloooooo /s
  • I heard Windows Phone isn't dead
  • I heard Zune users are still complaining. These things are not connected.
  • Them all being Microsoft products isn't enough of a connection?
  • I think it's all really interesting. As much as I have lost alot of faith in Microsoft and backed off their products, I am still going to observe what they do next. If they do it right, I will be back to using their stuff again. I think we are on the brink of big change, and we need it. Whether we think of computing or phones/mobiles, things need to change not just for progressions sake, but because things, especially when it comes to phones....are just getting....boring.
  • They are getting boring because they are so good now. There really isn't anywhere for them to go without significant technological breakthroughs. Folding screens aren't significant, just a slight variation of what we already have. It will still be a touchscreen slab. It will be quite a while before that is changed.
  • "And despite people requesting Microsoft to just put Amazon Alexa into Windows 10 the task of making that happen – and working through Amazon – is much more work, with likely little in return. Alexa as an app on Windows 10 will not be better than Cortana as an app on iOS for similar reasons: lack of OS integration." Main difference is, Windows is far more Open than Android and iOS ever will be, and, if Microsoft put the effort to put Cortana on those two, what makes you think Amazon wouldn't put the effort to make it the standard Windows OS search? Having direct access to people's PC? Are you kidding me? The dream of any company like Amazon.
  • yeah but they should start to push: - smart speakers - smart home devices (fridges, washing machine, thermostat, security...) - smart tv - car in dash with windows 10/iot/cortana
  • Remember that article says " windows mobile is not dead" and after it does...
  • "Additionally, Ecobee, Geeni, Honeywell Lyric, IFTTT, LIFX, TP-Link Kasa and Honeywell Total Connect Comfort are all on board too. " - That is actually not true for more than 95% of the world
  • Don't worry everyone, just wait for Surface Cortana 🙄
  • The goal is simple: make a "globally intelligent US-oriented" OS. Just ignore the rest of the world.
  • Global in relation to the OS, not geographical. C'mon.
  • My primary concern for this global push is potential security risks down the line, can they unequivocally say this technology will not be maligned under some guise of ill advised security over privacy mantra? If anything the Spectre and Meltdown flaws have indicated, the answer will be no as long trade offs are made between security and convenience there will always be disasterous consequences. Such as the TPM flaws in ECU chips in cars, if that doesn't frighten you it should especially with the push for autonomous vehicles. No matter how hard manufacturers try to make products secure, they will be fundamentally insecure as long the emphasis is on convenience over security. Case in point, thieves are stealing cars without access to your keys in your house, by using a signal - relay and replication method. Where they simply dupelicate your digital key fob, relay it to another device which unlocks the car and they drive away. The emphasis must and must always be on security not convenience of cost. Personally I would be taking a good hard look at these reference boards before letting any of these devices come into my household.
  • Btw, Cortana will be hidden/given new super important tasks for at maximum less than 5% of the world’s population (and most of these will not even know where/what Cortana is). At the same time will Alexa, Google Home, Siri and other start to control people’s homes with everything from fridges and lamps to music BUT magically will the world one day forget about what they have grown to use and start to use Cortana…? Why?
  • So its like Bixby for Windows10?
  • AI, as of now, is very over rated. I mean, as you said in the video, playing a song is not that big of a deal. Only if they are able to make them (AI) smart enough to reply to random questions and understand random phrases (and not just a set of commands), it will truly be an "intelligence". Until then they're just gimmicks.
  • The future is one system that crosses home and work.  Google now dominates mobile, Alexa dominates the home, Cortana/Microsoft have access to the work side of things.  If Microsoft are not careful they will see thier golden egg (business) start crumbling before their eyes. Amazon and MS did a deal last year so that both assistants can talk to each other, a smart move as they can leverage off each other.  You are right and it is exciting to see what MS does with voice and AI in the operating system, however, I feel that they need Amazon a lot more than Amazon needs MS, together though they can (if done right, and its a big IF when talking about MS these days) dominate both home, work and mobile.  Let what Google does. 
  • Anyone else having issues getting the comments to load on Windows Central now on Edge? I clicked on View Comments and the down arrow like 20 times before switching to Chrome just to leave this comment.
  • Glad to get ecobee integration. Now how about Logitech Harmony and the ability to use the invoke as a mic for Xbox via some sort of Cortana skill tpf replace the sunset Kinect.
  • Dan, any idea if Cortana or devices like Invoke will get their own section in the Feedback Hub? It would be interesting to see the compilation of all the Invoke feedback that is submitted.
  • Not sure. There's a private Invoke testing group that is doing this now with its own board FWIW.
  • That how they srated out cutting win 10 mobile loose as well...
  • I feel your understanding of these markets, services, and devices are very elementary.
  • Cortana is dead for consumers because Microsoft is dead to consumers. Microsoft has, for better or worse, quit being a consumer company when it quit mobile. That may change with some new form-factor. Everyone is talking about the post-smartphone world and, maybe Windows has a new opportunity. I don't see them winning that one either but I would love to be wrong.  I liked Cortana on Windows and Windows Mobile (Lumia 950). It was dog slow compared to Google Assistant on Android (LG V30) and I gave up on it. I don't see them having much mindshare unless things abruptly change. Nobody but techies are even talking about them. 
  • Honestly, I can't believe Microsoft cares enough about anything (other than Azure, Office 365, core Windows 10 and SURPRISINGLY Xbox One) to make it work if it's bleh at launch and people respond negatively at first. See: Windows Phone, Windows 10 Mobile, Zune, HealthVault, Surface 3, Band, Xbox Music, Groove, Cortana being really stagnant compared to other AI in the last 4 years.
  • It's sad that Cortana is zombied, she was near the top a couple years ago.  Now she can't ID music, wasn't at CES and hasn't learnt a new native skill in a long time.
  • If they are going to do all these changes then please make it all work together. xbox on cortana needs to live. If Sataya has invested in gaming then its a must to have cortana alive and well on XBOX. I miss my xbox being my hub with cortana. Since the xbox update cortana can't change my channels anymore. They should add a sms app and mail app so that you can easily respond instead of picking up your phone or surface to respond to an email or text. One last thing that needs to happen is if i have 4 devices in my room there needs to be a way where only 1 of the four devices responds not alll of them. THis is so annoying. There needs to be some sort of way to pick a default device. 
  • There's a story within this story: The fact that it had to be written. Microsoft is starting to develop a record of abandonment. In the past 3 years or so, they've abandoned a lot of products. Windows 10 Mobile, Band, Groove, Kinect, and the entry level Surface line (Surface 3 being the most recent entry) have all been more or less abandoned in the past 36 months. They've developed an atmosphere of distrust and lack of faith. I no longer buy videos on Movies & TV because I have no faith that that service won't announce they're ending sales and support. I don't have a Windows Mixed Reality headset because I have no faith that they won't abandon that next week. Yes, Microsoft has had some consumer products that have maintained support. The Xbox still seems to be a product Microsoft is committed to. I suppose one could include the Surface Pro line, but Microsoft has a big enterprise push with that. So it sort of straddles the line of consumer and enterprise. But their abandonment rate of consumer products is almost certainly among the highest in the industry today. I, a die hard Windows 10 Mobile user and former Windows Phone MVP question if I should even bother with Andromeda or whatever comes out. It's not because I don't think it will be great. I think it will be epic. It's because I question if Microsoft will support it a year after I buy it. If the Harman/Kardon Invoke didn't have BT capabilities, I wouldn't have bought one. I had and still have no confidence that Microsoft would continue to support it. I knew that at least if they did abandon it, I'd at least have a good BT speaker. And this gets to why I don't blame anyone for questioning if Cortana will stick around. Information like what's in this article is helpful in countering those questions and provides a look at the long-term plans for Cortana. However, I think it's very telling of a bigger picture that it needed to be written at all. I could get into why I believe that this issue is a major problem for Microsoft, but that's a whole other discussion entirely.
  • 100% agree with you. I loved Windows Phone, it was a breath of fresh air next to Android/iOS, same with band versus what's on the market now. Microsoft has definitely painted themselves as a company that can't be trusted and one you can't put any faith in with their commitment to anything consumer oriented. As so many speculate, the future Microsoft will resemble very much what the IBM of today is, purely a enterprise services company with little to no consumer-facing products to speak of. They could've been much more but they screwed up in more ways than I can count in so many areas that if they want to exist in any capacity going forward that enterprise is their only fallback and all their products and services now will be geared in that direction.
  • There's a story within this story: The fact that it had to be written.
    100% THIS And there have been a lot of these types of articles lately. Strangely enough only on Windows Central which seems to have taken it upon itself to do the damage control for each misstep MS makes.
  • Nice article. Do you have any perspective with respect to cortana in the enterprise or prosumer market? If Cortana can derive insights from an Azure instance running some cloud services for a company, maybe it can help that company with Business Intelligence. I'm thinking Azure services, powering company developed apps and back office systems like Dynamics, and supplying information for a front end like PowerBI.  I guess I'm asking if you think there will be a delineation of Cortana between consumer and enterprise markets, or are they one in the same?
  • All I can say is that as much as we all dread having an Alexa app assistant, it would probably support all of her features no matter which country you're at. Cortana will grow for US, sure, aa she has been, but what about the rest of the world? Cultural localization is hard, but enabling already integrated services is too?? And if localization is so hard, why do Google and Amazon already have it? MS needs to step up their game with that. Change their approach. I'm the first one that will love when Cortana aska me.if I want to eat a choripán, but in the meantime a compromise can be reached
  •  Not sure where all this hate for Cortana is coming from in many of these posts, it's not like Microsoft dispatched Cortana to ruin your family name, or anything malicious. The fact that Microsoft is improving the feature is a good thing right? Or should any business just quit trying to improve their product because a few people say negative things and sling mud trying to make the OS they are sponsoring look better? It feels like we are back in grade school dealing with insults designed to invoke peer pressure. If that truly is the aim, to win over people to another OS, people will respond far better to bringing positive points to your own conversation than trying to pick a fight in someone elses.
  • "notably absent: Apple" They’ve been absent for the past ten years. Doesn’t seem to have done them much harm. 
  • for me, asn i have both  alexa/echo and cortana/invoke. i would like the ai, to not have to have a triger word, each statement. how about, an ongoing set of statements, and when finished, just say off, and it goes away...i have echo triger set to computer, so i say "computer set timer for 5 minutes" and it does. but why can't i continue with other instructions, without the triger word. cortana is worse, as you have to say "hay cortana" each time. no options of changing the triger word.  it is not smoothe enough...anyway, alexa, is a bot better then cortana, at this point. i hope that changes. the invoke sounds way better the echo...
  • I am in the UK and Cortana has been around for 4 years. Many features aren't even available in the UK. Fewer features still in the rest of Europe and it dribbles down to no features at all in most of the rest of the world. An AI that understands Manchester MA is of little value in Manchester UK.  Outside the USA people say "Cortana - what is that?" in the same way as people never heard of Zune, never saw Band until Microsoft ditched it. Most of Europe does know about Windowsphone because a well-known mobile brand called Nokia used to make them. However, those have disappeared too.  All this Cortana will make Windows 10 an AI operating system in RS 5 may well be correct. If it takes 4 years after that for some features to be available in the UK then it's not going to mean very much except in the USA.  I am pleased Cortana isn't dead at Microsoft. Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, Google is doing AI globally.
  • Cortana on Android is not available for my country, I live in Mexico and all iOS devices support Siri and all Android devices (even tablets that cost $50) support Google Assistant with the new Android update. What is wrong with Microsoft? Cortana is definitely not important for Satya Nadella.
  • Well, i buy the Invoke speaker  is just $99.00 is Harman Kardon ,sounds great.  Microsoft can teach more skill to Cortana let's think that Cortana is in 1st grade like everybody begins  on school  so now continue with 2nd,3th,4th 5th  up to reach 12th not over yet this business is just beggining so MS don't lose the grip again.
  • Daniel, I saw you reference Cortana on Xbox One, S, and X a couple of times. It seems like they run a neutered version of Cortana on Xbox in general (lack of calendar support - besides reminders - amongst other things). Can you elaborate if there is going to be a feature parody amongst the different devices that run Cortana or will it continue to be compartmentalized.
  • I know cats and dogs that are more intelligent than Cortana.
  • Its dead before arrival in too many places. I could use Siri (if could stomach Apple),can use Google and soon Amazon here in NZ but Cortana is a crippled Windows only if you set your PC region to another country irrelevance. My Android phone says 'Not Available in your country" and there is no way around that
  • lol I used Cortana on my cell phone and surface pro 4.
  • Oops! An interview with a Millenial
  • I use her (Cortana) in the Netherlands on my Galaxy Note 8 over Bixby and Google Now. She's not officially available in the Netherlands, yet, but you can Google it (there are work arounds, outside the Google Play Store, if you're comfortable with that). Love the fact she works great with my Windows 10 desktop and Surface Pro 3, for appointments, setting reminders and alarms. She could be better with a official native Dutch version, but I'm okay with how she's working now. Hope Microsoft keeps pushing her, would love for this company to remain a player in the consumerspace, even though they forced me on the Samsung Galaxy series ;)
  • MS always has incredible ideas and plans but they're slower than the competition to implement. All of the great things they want to do with Cortana will probably already be available on other platforms by the time consumers get access to them. Sure, they have a solid base with the OS but a lot of non-tech people never actually use Cortana on the PC so until they find a way to break form and actually engage everday people they're going to remain an afterthought. They need to do more to gain mindshare while adding features and expand into more markets worldwide. All of the plans and concepts in the world are useless if users can't actually use the features MS talks about, and having the features out there without advertising them beyond the tech press wont do much while Alexa and Google Assistant are running away with the market. MS needs to do a lot to even be added to the conversations that often exclude them these days.
  • I don't know. We were told the same thing about Windows Phone for years...