Cortana on Windows 10 is getting better proactive reminders and calendar alerts

Windows 10 users on the Insider program should see some new Cortana features that should be rolling out today. These additions, which will later be made available for all Windows 10 users, are designed to help users organize their activities with proactive reminders of events along with calendar alerts.

Marcus Ash, Microsoft's Group Project Manager for Cortana, talked about the new proactive reminders, which will only be available at first for U.S. Windows 10 users:

"People often make promises to do things in email but may forget about them as the days go by and emails pile up. Microsoft Research (MSR) was pursuing an intriguing and powerful idea around this challenge—automatically recognizing when people make commitments to one another in email messages and providing reminders. We collaborated very closely with MSR to bring this new ability to Cortana to help people better keep track of their commitments."

Ash also offered more info on the new Cortana calendar alert which will be available just in the U.S. and the UK:

"Cortana, like a true personal assistant, is intelligent enough to understand how you may uniquely like to work – including the hours you like to set meetings and those in which you are most productive. So if you are a morning person like me, and you get a meeting request come through for 7 pm, Cortana will alert you that you have a meeting outside of your regular times so that you can take action quickly to move it to a better time. The same for last minute meetings – say it's 8 pm and your boss has sent you an urgent meeting request for 7 am the next day – Cortana will alert you that there's a meeting that may need your attention, so you can adjust your alarm and morning routine accordingly and stay on top of your day."

Ash added that the Cortana team will be adding more reminder and calendar features shortly.

Source: Microsoft

John Callaham
  • I'd like a send stopper if the word attached (among others) is in an email but no file is attached.
    ... Not Cortana related but email scanning related.
  • As a frequent email sender without attachments, i can confidently say that Outlook does that.
  • Yes.  It is godsend. So, why not Outlook on my phone?
  • Mail doesn't.
  • Mail needs work. Although I currently can't get outlook to work with gmail. But the online gmail client does that as well. But yes, mail needs a lot of work. Guess that's why it's free and outlook isn't Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • "Although I currently can't get outlook to work with gmail.​" There is a security setting at Gmail you need to turn off for it to work with Outlook, though right now I can't tell you which one. Just search for it, though.
  • Uh my Gmail works with Outlook
  • An what the hell is so special on this features that they are only available in the US and the UK?
  • Probably because this feature uses language nuances to understand very specific things. And a lot of the programmers probably speak English as a first language, so it's a good place to start. Also, much easier to retract it from one or two countries if it goes horribly wrong (although that's sort of the point of the inside program in the first place) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • OK. Why not Canada?
  • They haven't figured out how to code the "ay?" yet.
  • Actually, its spelled "eh". ;)
  • Will it almost be as good as Cortana on WP 8.1? On W10M Cortana no longer prioritizes my favorites when trying to create location-based reminders for common locations with me sub address information or else giving up.
  • For now, just know that nearly everything on W10M is borked. I expect that by summer, it'll be "usable" and by next fall, it'll be "good." That said, by 2017, MS probably won't be making phones anymore, so, there's that...
  • My experience is far different. Maps, notifications, resuming apps, animations, photos, messaging, email, Xbox app, universal apps; all these things are much improved. However, I have had several bugs. Occasional start screen loading bug, sms not sending (requiring a restart), and little hiccups here and there. Not enough for me to revert back to 8.1. Also, I'm assuming your basing your statements on the preview program? If so, that's not really fair. If you're on a 950, that's different.
  • L950. Worst.  Phone.  Ever.
  • Why exactly? I'm seeing pretty good reviews that cite its hexacore processor, 3GB ram, 20MP camera, qHD screen, etc. Some complain about W10 bugs, which is understandable. What about the actual phone is bad?
  • Windows 10 is what is bad.  By the way, I'm not an Insider on this device (that's what my old L920 and bought-for-messing-around-with L635 are for) so I'm on .29.  If .63 is a lot better, that's great, but as it stands, the official version of W10M is a horrible, buggy atrocity that, in addition to barely working, is ugly and inconsistent as all hell. That being said, with the obvious hardware differences notwithstanding (i.e., no on screen keyboard bugs are possible), I have essentially all the same bugs on my two earlier Lumias, so it seems to me that W10M is simply a buggy piece of garbage, independent of the hardware it's running on. Also, the phone itself is cheap feeling and creaky.  That said, my Mozo leather case is on the delivery truck, so that might help, a bit (I'll post my feelings on that when I "try it on").
  • I for one love my 950. Is it perfect? No, but since .63 and the firmware batter life is nearly as good as my 1520 was.
  • The phone is trash.  I'm glad you love it, but most people are not kindred spirits of Oscar the Grouch.  By posting stuff like this, you mght actually encourage others to go buy this horror.  That will be bad for them and bad for Windows Mobile, as anyone coming from Android or iOS will be sent running for the heels within 5 minutes of booting this thing up.
  • Disagree.. My 950XL works reliably and has all the features I want and even some nice little surprises I like but did not expect (holding the phone in landscape while in the SMS app let's you "surf" though your conversations without leaving the screen for example). Can't really speak to looks because I never got peoples obsession with how their device looks... Like... It's thin, vaguely phone shaped and it doesn't have the logos of Isis/Westborough Baptist church on it... What more does it need?
  • LOL @ your last sentence!
  • Who mentioned anything about looks? As for "my 950XL works reliably" that is total BS.  Windows 10 Mobile is not reliable on any phone, anywhere.  Period.
  • Dark Theme when??? And when will the Outlook Calendar reminder snooze issue be fixed??
  • MS actually still actively working on windows mobile? Like, I haven't heard anything for quite a Samsung galaxy, new iPhone and new updates to android are coming soon...
  • Yes. They are. There's tons of news about it everyday. Redstone, non-insider builds, etc.
  • Outlook should be update it, they must implement maps, better to do functions, well wunderlist is now on Microsoft side, why not use it in outlook?
  • Not that I can set reminders anyway, always tells me something went wrong when I try to set one...
  • I see no progress on bing search result, still sucks even when you search for ms products... Terrible.
  • Seems nice, but will it work with regular accounts or at least for Office 365 Home subscriptions? Packages aren't tracked from O365 Home accounts (even if I can see package status directly on
  • I never had much luck with the email scanning features even in Windows Phone 8.1 - Cortana never ever picked up my flight details for example, so I will be hoping these features work better. In 8.1 did it only work for your Live ID? I don't use that for email (It's just a Microsoft Account, and I use Office 365 Business for my "personal" email account) If it was specific to just your MSA and not all email on your phone (They stated it all occurred locally on the device in 8.1) then that could explain why I never saw a flight get tracked automatically
  • When will it be available worldwide??? Ah, I see Microsoft better release it to iOS and Android than to own customers. Argh.
  • Localization and the Android/iOS clients are two entirely different beasts. The Android and iOS clients are merely frontend for the same backend they share with the Windows 10 clients. Meanwhile, localization is backend work.
  • This is a welcomed improvement to an application that has grown stagnant. Too many Cortana features have either disappeared (automatic package and flight tracking) or deteriorated (horrific UI in w10m) in the last year. I look forward to many more improvements.
  • None of those features have disappeared.
  • Perhaps "disappeared" isn't the right term. They just don't work properly any more. I could go on and on with formerly smart features that have been dumbed down.
  • I have the same issue. It doesn't seem like the email scanning is working. I've toggled the permission setting without any luck.
  • Quiet hour sometimes not working, have to turn on manually
  • Yawn. Sincerely, Norway.
  • Sweet, just make her faster in mobile and everyone goes happy
  • Agreed, she seems insanely slow on W10m compared to WP8.1
  • This sounds like a useful feature. Now hopefully they can fix the email scanning in Windows 10 mobile. I told Cortana to scan my emails for flights, and 3 weeks after getting the confirmation email she still hasn't asked if I want her to track my flight. It worked perfectly in WP8.1
  • The integration that I really find to be lacking is between the calendar and people/favorite places. Even if I have an address saved both within a contact and in the Cortana notebook, I can't get that to fill in when adding an event. One or both of these integrations need to be added.
  • WOW! Cortana! When in LATAM?
  • Wow! Think this one would be windows exclusive.
  • Could use this for text!
  • Return the Quiet Hours feature that let us choose calendar to monitor for meeting times.  I got so use to the feature that I have gone to vibrate only because I forget to mute my phone after Cortona it did so automatically on 8.1.
  • If all of this just wouldn't be country exclusive all the time. Or rather exclusive only to the USA. That's the biggest deal with a lot of MSFT products. What really irritates me, is how it is even kept from other English speaking nations (like Australia or Canada). Also it is really sad, that one does not have the option to simply switch the language to English and therefore get the broader featureset. Whilst my English may not be perfect, I think I am proficient enough to handle cortana or bing having an English user interface. Same goes for the Xbox. In order to have everything in English I have to change my region to USA or UK. What are people doing that are abroad for half a year??! Basics Microsoft ... Basics!
  • Isn't this exactly what they call out Google for doing?! What hypocrites! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android