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Cortana for Windows 10 to expand to more markets and languages later in 2015

Microsoft has revealed that the Cortana digital assistant for Windows 10 will expand its reach to more markets and languages later in 2015, following the official launch of Windows 10 on July 29.

Microsoft's Marcus Ash, the company's Group Program Manager for Cortana, stated today:

"As we've already announced, on July 29th, Cortana will debut on Windows 10 in seven countries: the U.S., UK, China, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Today we're announcing that over the coming months, Cortana will be available to customers in the Windows Insider Program in Japan and Australia, and in English in Canada and India. Later this year, Cortana will also be available to Windows Insiders in Brazil and Mexico, and in French in Canada."

Microsoft also goes over how Cortana is developed and customized for each of the markets and languages:

"Voice talent is carefully considered for each market. For example, in the Chinese market, the feedback requested a personal assistant whose voice sounded like she was smiling. And in UK, customers described their personal assistant as an "English Rose," which translated to a voice that sounds easy-going, with slightly self-deprecating modesty.""Our research has shown that aspects of personality such as humor, politeness and approach to national identity resonate differently in different Cortana markets. For example, Cortana understands how highly the UK values self-deprecating humor. Dryness and irony are traits that filter subtly into her personality, and she uses playful sarcasm in her responses if she senses you're fooling around."

Source: Microsoft

178 Comments
  • "Wen in India"
    Over the next coming months.
    There, I just eliminated half of the comments
  • Technically it's been in Alpha for India for sometime now.
  • Sigh. I guess European countries like Slovakia Germany or Czech Republic remain for 2020 or 2025? If we are lucky?
  • And African countries like South Africa
  • Was about to ask this question myself. Most of us in SA speak English anyway. and "American Cortana" understands our accent pretty well so why the delay??? can just add the words " Braai, Lekker, Boet, Dop en Tjop" to her dictionary and we good to go! No need for it to be in Afrikaans or Zulu,Xhosa or any of the other Officially Languages as of yet.  
  • You forgot jislaaik! ;-)
  • ag dammit! :-D (this one too)
  • Throw in an "Eish" as well and everyone will be happy :)
  • Germany is one of the seven launch countries... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Fellow small language European here (Sweden). My prediction is that we're gonna get it when those children in the new commercial collect their pension.
  • Same here... I prefer WP over iOS any day, but we've been able to "speak" to our iPhones for ages! Time to get that finger out!
  • Don't get upset, if you were living in Dominican Republic you may have a reason to get upset. We have NO maps, transit, groove music or bing. Cortana is just like a dream to anyone who doesn't speak english and changes the regional setup.
  • Even smaller language European here (Latvia). We probably won't get it at all :(
  • Don't compare Germany with Slovakia and Czech's Republic. Not in the same league. If you read and understood the article properly, you should know that many European countries were listed among the seven initial launch countries. Just speak for Czechoslovakia only...
  • It was just an example, no need to get uspet about it.
  • What nonsense is this? Just tailor her out for the world's different languages (in their major dialects anyway) and leave the customization for region to the computer and the apps. No matter how much "development" Cortana supposedly receives for the different regions, she will remain a glorified search engine. Still holding back on so many regions in the world is starting to become purely idiotic at this point.
  • Do you guys not read the articles or something?   Translating all that Cortana does into every regional language is no small task. If all you want is a glorified search engine, then just use basic voice support already in there, no need for Cortana. Cortana includes experiences that require some attention to regional preferences, it goes far beyond a simple translation. Its as if you guys just want an incomplete and poor Cortana experience vs what say US customers get access to. As long as MS keeps sharing these updates and keeps us in the loop, I would be happy to wait for a complete experience.
  • kiedy w polsce? lol!
  • Don't mean to sound whiny but why don't they have a default version or something for the places that don't have Cortana yet so that we don't have to change our region (messing with other things too) to get Cortana. That way it everyone gets the Cortana experience and it eliminates the "wen in ..." questions. Two birds with one stone
  • Alpha is nothing.
  • When in "beta" or final product in India, technically, the question remains :)
  • She's coming! She's coming! lol
  • You forgot to answer if will Seem Faster :)
  • Huh! That got old way fast.
  • Lovely. Now it's just a case of waiting in India. Let's hope the same holds true for Windows insiders for phone.
  • Yeah, awesome news for Brazilian fans, specially because rumors around here after a couple interviews in the /BUILD tour were that Cortana would only come to Brazil in 2016.
  • I believe it's still 2016... later 2015 for insiders and a "true" release in 2016...
  • If they are catering to the local vernacular does that mean the Australian Cortana is going to swear a lot and call everyone mate?
  • Only if she's set to 80's Cultural Stereotyping
  • Jombib I love you Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • But, we do swear a lot and call everyone mate.
  • Maybe only the swearing will not be included. It would be fun though. XD
  • But if that does happen, boy am I definitely gonna switch regions to OZ. Nothing like rubbing into your friends faces screaming "Can your Siri swear at you? Huh? Huh?"
  • For Windows Insiders, so to normal customers probably not before mid 2016.
    So here in the Netherlands i expect no sign from cortana in the next 12 months.
    Very disappointing!
  • Yepp. Shame. Ah well,back to UK :D
  • Would be nice if Cortana came to the Netherlands. It would be more convenient for me - living in Belgium - to change my region to the Netherlands, which is much more like Belgium than US/UK. And Cortana in Dutch would be cool too.
  • Even in alpha the voice recognition works quite well here in India...i don't expect her to figure out some of the weird sounding names we have...but it can get better...the area of improvement can certainly be localized stuff...maybe when Bing gets better...Cortana will too
  • But its sounds damn robotic.
  • Hey! What weird names?
  • Wen in Portugal?
  • Lol trend changed...
  • Bem podes esperar sentado se estás à espera que os inúteis da Microsoft Portugal façam alguma coisa pelos consumidores Portugueses. E mesmo se receberes a Cortana cá o mais certo é levares com a versão brasileira que te lixas. Como costume. (The above is just a rant that will only make sense to Portuguese consumers, really. If you're curious to read what's above, just use an online translator to get the gist of it =P)
  • The app world search in PT as been updated.. I don't know if they are sleeping as you say :) priorities.. We are a small market..
  • Oh they are. I know they are ;) Microsoft Portugal only serves one consumer: the State. Everyone else gets a big "go f*ck yourself". Their luck is that there are no Chromebooks around and Apple products are a rip-off, otherwise they'd probably be in deeper trouble.
  • I've been to a developers meeting at Microsoft Portugal last month and they are confident that the Portuguese (European) version will be released in 2016. No promises, but they are working on it.
    Before you doubt my words, people attending were surprised and the fellow from Microsoft PT repeated: "Cortana in Portuguese-Brazil in 2015, Cortana in Portuguese-Portugal likely in 2016, but no promises".
  • I don't doubt your words. I doubt Microsoft's Portugal word. They are as trustworthy as the Government or the Parliament. And now you take that as you will ;) 
  • In The year 2099 :D
  • Whoa reminds me about Marvel 2099
  • Lol
    So were starting a new trend now.
  • How hard is it to introduce this to the netherlands? We can even speak english!
  • Indeed same goes for the flemish part of Belgium also the frensh part could/should get the frensh cortana.
  • Like the rest of the world.... Like Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and so on
  • Microsoft wastes too much time on bullshit like smiling sounding voices and useless region specific stuff. They should release it to all markets first with the same voice. And then tweak the personalization.
  • I hate those region specific product and services (like Bing Rewards for example).
  • Just make using Cortana with English language an option regardless of the region! Otherwise most of the world will NEVER get Cortana in any shape or form. Surely one can change region but then Store won't work.
  • This x 10billion!!!!!
  • ^this +1520
  • Yep I agree as Filipinos can speak English as it is our second language.
  • I also suggested that in a uservoice!
  • If you can still use your own region, than the data about voice will have the information about where it is coming from. Now, a lots of people from diferent regions is using the US version and sending data for US-English...
  • THIS! THIS! THIS! They should at least gave option for everybody to use Cortana with English language. Make the features also available on par with US with only some very regional specific will not be available like Polls and Domestic Flight schedules. Then just give a warning that some content may not be relevant and available to your region. With this, Cortana will have broader reach and gains a small foundation to any country until the proper localization of Cortana for that region arrives. Don't let Google Now eats the remainder without competition, Siri doesn't count for now.
  • Today second this opinion!
  • That's why living in Singapore and endlessly waiting for Cortana, I said sayonara to WP and switched to iPhone. My guess is that I will get it first for iPhone than WP.
  • Or they should ask us what languages we can speak in Cortana's notebook or settings,
  • Or get Ash some more developers across the world to work on Cortana.
  • yay braziiiiiiil! /o/
  • I don't even want Cortana in Dutch, all my devices are in English anyway. I just want to be able to use Cortana here in Belgium without having to change my region.
  • Likewise for in Malaysia. Just the idea of Cortana in Malay make me want to puke.
  • How to make Cortana successful in India. all Train and flights in announcements with Cortanas voice. Cortana should give live updates thru when the train is arriving and bing maps could play a big role in it too.
    Bing rewards is needed here to with Microsoft's wallet payment system.
  • Also, people need to know that it is Cortana who is speaking. Otherwise, it would just sound like any other announcer.
  • Lets not name it now. But say like Cortana will announce it.
  • Sounds great, but what about those who live in Russia?
  • Safety is number one priority
  • "wears goggles"
  • I guess we need to forget about it. Obviously they want us to move to other platforms.
  • I live in south east Asia but I don't really want a singaporian English Cortana. Just giv me Jen Taylor and ill be satisfied.
  • Same for us in Malaysia.
  • From what I've heard most English users want Jen Taylor. Microsoft's "English Rose" is more often than not described as a "posh bint."
  • From the people I have spoken to and what I have read online, the majority of people do not want the US version. Although the UK version does sound a bit too posh though.
  • Well, I do have to admit that the English one is a much better singer than her American twin...:-)
  • Oh dear, ignoring the Philippines again? :( Even just allowing the US Cortana version will be awesome (oh, add Groove Music while you're at it).
  • Well it needs to be suggested on Feedback app and on UserVoice. To be fair, all countries that have English as their second language at least should be alpha state by now. Just use Jen Taylor's voice temporary until proper localization comes. Groove Music and Movies & TV too!!
  • I need it in Denmark :((
  • BRAZIIIILLL!!!
  • C
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  • Clippie loves Cortana
  • But it works fine in android even without changing the speech to UK english here in India.But in windows we have to change the speech
  • Lmao another thing that's better on android. I can't
  • OMG, finally!
  • Ireland?
  • I know Mark... it doesn't make sense that they are ignoring Ireland.. Cortana can understand our accents well enough. You would think with Microsofts European HQ being here we might have gotten it quicker
  • Cortana urgently needs to become available in Ireland!
  • We love her #Indians. Even if she is in alpha stage her presence is extravaganza.
  • Not sure why no Switzerland seeing as they're launching for Germany and France...
  • same reason its not available in austria either i suppose ... there is none other than ms being royally stupid
  • Absolutely! I'm a german, living in Switzerland. Why can't I use the normal german Cortana and the Swiss store (for my credit card)?! It makes absolutely no sense to me not to allow us choose the Cortana language by our own! I mean, even for the store we should be able to choose, but Cortana?! No way, that's just ridiculous! Besides that, how about people living in a country and not even speaking the language? Didn't Microsoft ever think about that? I don't get it at all..!
  • The lack of Windows Phone support in Canada has been the dealbreaker for me, personally. As a BlackBerry user, I like the productivity features, Windows integration and improved camera and app selection compared with BlackBerry (though, to be honest, BlackBerry Android support greatly improves app availability over WP). The lack of Cortana, lack of devices on carriers other than Rogers, and general feature lag has been a deterrent. With Cortana, Windows 10 Mobile (with Android and iOS port capacity), and some flagship hardware availability, I might be going to Redmond for my next phone.
  • Cortana is available on Windows Phone in Canada, it's just in Alpha
  • It's an Alpha in 8.1 but it sounds like we will lose this feature in W10 unless signing up as an insider. Yet another regression.
  • Exactly. I've been using Cortana Alpha in Canada on Windows Phone for a while now. I rely on Cortana heavily. I won't be upgrading to Windows 10 if Cortana Alpha goes away... Hopefully Cortana will be available for insiders by the time Windows 10 Mobile is released. 
  • Although I mostly agree, Cortana Alpha has been available on Windows Phone in Canada for quite some time. As for carriers, Telus and Rogers seem to be the only supporters. And even then, they have not brought a new device to Canada in a long long time. I'm still using a Rogers L920 from nearly three years ago. 
  • Bell, Telus and Rogers all have the L830. Rogers and Fido have the L635 as well. I've got the Lumia 640 XL LTE on Wind (it works on all carriers in Canada too), though the device came from the Microsoft Store at Eaton Centre rather than Wind.
  • I live in Mozambique but I prefer to use English instead of Portuguese, brazillian portuguese is not too funny, I tested siri in Portuguese nothing funny still better in american english, even fighting with accent.
  • Mozambique accent is awful (portuguese). We never understand a word that you say. And Brazilian portuguese has a 90% of market share in the Internet World. European portuguese stay on 10% of market share that is divided in Portugal, Moçambique, Guiné-Bissal, Timor Leste e Angola. The others 90% of portuguese speakers stay with Brazil.
  • This is Apple fault. She uses the old Google Translator Voice LOL
  • It still sucks that Dutch isn't available maybe our language is just to difficult to translate into Cortana :)
  • Just get some dutch student on the team and you could have it done in 3 months!
  • I just wrote the same haha. They already said they're working on it back at launch of wp8.1...
  • Probably we get it around 2020
  • A kiedy po polsku??? Na W10M szczególnie?
  • Come already to the Netherlands! Already from wp8.1 they said they were working on dutch language support. I guess it's to hard ;)
  • Yeah they said they were working on Dutch language support for the kinect on the Xbox 360..... still waiting. In other words don't hold yer breath. Microsoft doesn't care for the Netherlands. As a fellow dutchman, I will be using US Windows 10 (and mobile), so also US Cortana.
  •  Finally!! Mexico! =D... how long would it take to be in W10 for phone after this... or will it be at the same time?
  • Why can't we use the English version in not yet supported countries? Most of us can speak, understand and read English in the Netherlands. ps Chinese must be harder than Dutch.
  • You can, Change your region to US and language
  • I like to use the metric system and 24H notation. If I want Cortana on my phone I have to switch to US or UK region. I guess it'll be the same on a desktop? And when Dutch is possible I wanne have a Flemmisch version too! Verdoeme!!! :)
  • I think the UK version could have the metric system there, no?  
  • kuplu iphone, zadolbalo =)
  • IMHO all of us will move to iPhones and Androids soon :)
  • Finally Canada!!!!! I will be on USA until that day!!!
  • What about Arabic language for middle east
  • Yeah ! نعم
  • When in Indonesia? :(
  • Bring her to Indonesia please :(
  • I live in netherlands. I always have my windows in English (US) so I will be able to use US Cortana right?
  • Ja
  • yes but this usually plays hell with the apps and store. i tried setting my 920 to en us and ended up not being able to use the store because my region did no longer match the region where my payment info and account sayed i am. very frustrating
  • Yeah when in Scotland? (Dona wana be Ina UK)
  • When in Indonesia? :(
  • I personally think Microsoft are making too much work for themselves with Cortana. I'd rather have a generic American voice than a "English rose". Go ahead Microsoft, do a Northern Ireland version lol
  • ^ This. Quite frankly most people would be happy with the Jen Taylor version, she IS Cortana after all. Between that and spending time on pretty meaningless stuff like jokes and riddles, the frustration levels are rising. Just roll it out everywhere, and it's a setting that has to be enabled, and has a Beta tag warning screen. The 'normal' user they're worried about probably wouldn't even know to turn it on anyway, but the rest of us would be fine with Jen.
  • Just give it to is in the Netherlands in English for as long you cant give us a native version! Damn it Microsoft we need it to! big Time ^^!
  • Russia language please!
  • Personally I don't think we in the Netherlands are going to see Cortana at all, we don't even have normal speech in our language
  • Al fin una noticia de Cortana en Latinoamérica!!! Tal vez hasta diciembre estará disponible, pero ya es algo.
  • Malaysia pending...
  • Malaysia? Anyone? Only two of us? Okay... WHEN IN MALAYSIA?!
  • Arabic
  • RUSSIAN
  • It's not enough yet
  • Me want in Norway :o
  • I'm so happy that Mexico is on that list!! :D
  • Hope it is available everywhere in atleast an alpha form when Windows 10 Mobile officially launches.
  • It needs to be IMO or WP10 is dead on arrival.
  • WHAT ABOUT RUSSIA ASSHOLES....
  • Braziill!!!! \o/
  • Cortana needs to be available wordwide from the release of windows 10 (and especially windows phone 10). Without cortana, windows phone 10 is dead on arrival. As it stands now, cortana's current american implementation is very functional outside of the united states. I have been using it in canada for ages without any language complaints. The biggest problem with cortana worldwide is not her cultural nuances, its BING. Cortana is only as good as the results she gets from bing. Improve bing outside of the US, rollout cortana in ENGLISH everywhere, and then start working on the other languages and cultural nuances.
  • It seems they think completely in opposite direction, that's an issue. They might lose all the customers before they even release some new versions of it.
  • Finally I can use Cortana in MX Spanish, the "gringo" Cortana is handy, but sometimes she doesn't understand me (despite the fact I have marked the non-english native). So let' see what the Mexican Cortana sounds like and if she's as handy as the US Cortana.
  • Why Brazilian Portuguese always comes first when Portuguese (Portugal) is the source of the language!?!?
  • Money and market share ... We portuguese will probably kept waiting until 1 year after Windows 10 launch. Very disappointing given that they dont provide an option to use cortana in English without changing region...
  • Probably because there are way more Brazilian in the world than Portuguese... Fellow proud "Lusófono" Brazilian speaking here. :)
  • and PERSIAN...
  • Malaysia? Anyone? No one? Okay...
    WHEN IN MALAYSIA?!
  • When in Romania?
  • Guess i'll see cortana in Denmark when we're going to hit windows 12 or something :S Like someone els said, could they atleast just let everybody get the english version....
  • Just let everyone use the English version without changingsystem region.. What the hell Microsoft? First cutting down msn apps, then imposing device limits to store apps installs and now keeping people around the world without Cortana for 12 months or more? Trying to lose costumers is it? My patience is running thinner than ever, I cant even swype keyboard on WindowsPhone in Portuguese in mid 2015! and Nadella seemed to be on the right track up until the last couple weeks...
  • And no mention of Nigeria or any other African country? Well then, carry on guys. We'll be fine.
  • Will these extra countries get the full Cortana experience or will they be the alpha version like Windows Phone 8.1 currently has?
  • Dutch......Quickly please!
  • And no Russian language, as usual...
  • Come on Czech please there are 10 millions of us... I know it's ridiculous but we would really appreciate it and we would even live if Microsoft at least release it in English for Czech fans
  • They have not plans for Spanish language for Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Uruguay then I don't think they have plans to czeska republika language
  • I'm English living in Australia, shouldn't you be able to choose your personality then? If I set UK for Cortana on my phone it gives me searches in the UK instead of Australia. Please make it configurable..
  • how about givong it to users in austria already?! we speak f*ing GERMAN here why the hell are we still excluded? the keyboards, timezone, currency, and syntax for numbers, dates etc is identical to germany for heavens sake ... who is too lazy to add a two digit country code here? ... because this literally is pretty much all the difference there is -.-   this is major bullshit microsoft!
  • When Spanish language for southern hemisphere? When
  • Pretty sure our first language here in New Zealand is English, and we even had a 15% WP share a couple of years ago (although i seriously doubt it's that now). For goodness sakes Microsoft, just let everyone enable it and have a 'This is Beta and some features may not work in your region' screen upon first enabling her. Over 90% of her features still work fine, we can understand Jen Taylor perfectly fine, she can understand us, and then maybe everyone can use Quiet Hours without having to change regions (great decision that). They're obviously worried about 'normal people' reaction if she doesn't work perfectly, in which case just make it a buried setting that has to be turned on. Quite frankly, the disappointment and frustration they're getting from their Userbase over this is probably worse.  
  • Finally coming to Australia, looking forward to this for a long time and I will finally be able to change my region from US.
  • It's been available in Australia on WP8 since Denim rolled out. I know two other people, plus me, that have it on their device. None of us have bothered changing regions/languages from English (Australia).
  • I know you can get the alpha in Australia, but it doesn't do a lot of what Cortana can do in other countries - particularly the US and UK. I'm lookking forward to using the full featured version.
  • I wonder if anyone uses Windows phone in Japan :/
  • BFD, the "alpha" version of Cortana on WP8.1 in Australia doesn't even use Jen Taylor's voice and doesn't interprete speach to the level the US beta does and lacks half the features i.e. restaurants, travel.
  • Why no philippines ? no one uses Tagalog on their phones here. It is okay if they will just use American English or even British English for Cortana.
  • ???
  • Please end bonding Cortana only with few region's - IT IS ABSURD that we can't use Quiet Hours because I am in Finland or Estonia. You can bond it with language pack and that it! Why it is so hard???
  • I love it.
  • And for Portugal. For when? I hope not too long.
  • When in Philippines? It is cool if Cortana can also speak Filipino :)