Lenovo and Microsoft team up to make Cortana even smarter on Windows 10

Lenovo unveiled a new technology called "REACHit" which extends the search capabilities of Cortana for Windows 10 devices. The REACHit app offers an entirely new level of contextual search, giving users the most comprehensive, seamless and natural way to find their personal digital content across any connected Lenovo PC or tablet device running Windows 10 and many major cloud services.

With REACHit on Lenovo's Windows 10 PCs, Cortana will be able to assist you far beyond its current parameter. Using a unique user-assigned Lenovo ID, Cortana personal digital assistant and REACHit Lenovo users will be able to search for their digital contents like, photos, video, files or emails in multiple file storage locations from one place. The app can even search personal cloud accounts including services like OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, DropBox, and more.

How it Works:

Cortana and REACHit lets you search your digital content using whatever details you remember – you don't even need to know the file name. Just ask Cortana and REACHit to help you find a file using voice or text input, Cortana will then search it based on specific things you remember about the last time you saw it, like:

  • Where you were
  • Who sent it to you
  • What device you were on
  • Where it's stored
  • What it's called
  • When you last opened it
  • What kind of file it is
  • Who you were with

Cortana + REACHit Key Features:

  • Allows users to search for photos, videos, documents and music across devices, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, PCs and tablets.
  • Gives users the ability to add location to searches, cross-referencing the file event with the location data to produce the most relevant results.
  • Cortana and REACHit works on Lenovo PCs and tablets running Windows 10.
  • Since Lenovo and Microsoft collaborated on this project, this results in a seamless, enhanced Cortana search experience.
  • The most natural search – express your search as you would normally speak it, based on what you can remember.
  • Contextual awareness enables you to search in ways you never thought possible.
  • Support for cloud storage providers like OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box
  • Support for email services like Gmail, Exchange, and IMAP
  • Support for calendar services* like Exchange, Outlook.com, and Google Calendar
  • Support for search across multiple Windows 10 devices

Cortana and REACHit will be available to Lenovo customers in the U.S, and China as a beta when Windows 10 launches later this summer. Public access to Cortana and REACHit will begin in the Fall. You can check out REACHit right here (opens in new tab) and request an invite to the Beta program.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

64 Comments
  • Windows 10 already the coolest OS ever.
  • I second that.
  • Its just taking a bit of time. I'm sure we'll get there.
  • I agree with you completely zapella. ;) is the coolest!
    Btw, did anyone see that the Lenovo tab or whatever it is, is upside down... :P
  • probably doing the yoga-thing :)
  • Its better windows 10 takes time and gets it right. It needs to bake well
  • There wasnt much competition... well maybe windows 7 was :)
  • Not on windows phone. It sucks here. Helloo
  • That is what I am talking about
  • well this makes up for superfish /s/
  • Just makes me even more scared because of it. Last thing I want after that debacle is to give this company any more tentacles into my data.
  • I agree. Had Microsoft just given Cortana this ability natively then ok. But through a partnership with a particular manufacturer it seems a bit off. I'm sure you have to agree to a bunch if terms and conditions and give access just like you do when signing into Gmail from Windows phone ir facebook from another website comment section but still...
    Anyway I hope it turns out great for those that use it. Currently I'm still reluctant to buy a Yoga until I see the next Surface and I will likely splurge on the Surface and do all this cool stuff with just OneDrive. I trust Microsoft more for some reason. Probably because they are having such a hard time breaking the mobile market(phone/tablet, not laptop) that I feel like they are obligated to play fair with everyone. It's a good problem for them though as they are really shaping up their portfolio and only have to nail the hardware side of things by the holidays which I'm sure they will(assuming the software is all ready by October).
  • Finally! Reason! Assuming that Lenovo needs access... The mistrust is entirely understanding because it is yet another party vulnerable to compromise. In this case, a third party.
  • Exactly my thoughts. I always liked Lenovo products but in the back of my mind is the fact that they are part of a sometimes hostile regime to those of us in the west. Therefore I won't buy one. Although, these days, it doesn't seem to matter what you get - somebodies Big Brother has their fingers in it.
  • I can already see this Cortana on taskbar taking over many of Google searches.
  • +1520
  • If ur google or apple keep the pain to ur self
  • This is disappointing. Worst exclusivity ever because it seems to require nothing fundamental to lenovo devices and restricts other Windows 10 devices unnecessarily. Please innovate on hardware (design, build quality, hardware features, etc.), support/service, and pricing to differentiate. At the very least, Microsoft should not be publicly involved to give this project credibility and counter all the other platform agnostic initiatives. Hello, fragmentation on core OS features.
  • Oh, they're just trying to be like Samsung.
  • I'm wondering what other computer manufacturers are gonna do with cortana. Like HP or DELL. Its just the beginning.
  • When it is useless software, it is called bloatware (HP's junk, Samsung's ChatOn for Windows 8) When it is useful software, it is called worst exclusivity ever. Lenovo is obviously giving Lenovo customers an incentive on the software end. Why would Lenovo make something in-house that will benefit Dell and HP customers? That's like HTC offering BlinkFeed to the Google Play Store for SamsungTouchWiz haters to enjoy.
  • Not a discussion on usefulness of software. Lenovo could put whatever incentive/disincentive they want on their own devices so long that it is not limiting OS/first party features. Could Cortana provide this type of location/time contextual search on any brand of hardware? Yes. Then Microsoft should not be involved to make it exclusive. In the context of your example, it's like saying HTC worked with Google to create BlinkFeed and no other Android smartphones are allowed to have custom skinning/launchers. The only exception that makes sense is say (whatever) feature requires some sort of hardware that Lenovo has a patent on and requires Microsoft modifications to the OS to support it as an additional feature that is not considered an integral Windows feature. For example, Nokia PureView.
  • MICROSOFT isn't making it exclusive. Lenovo developed this, Microsoft is simply allowing them to tie in to Cortana, and using it to market how cool Windows 10 can be.
  • I don't like the idea of fragmenting Cortana like that, and I really don't like the idea of Lenovo having access to the sensitive, personal data that Cortana relies on.
  • Microsoft is not simply allowing it. They collaborated on it. And it won't be "how cool" Windows 10 can be. It will be "how cool" Windows 10 (on lenovo can be and how limited it will be on Surface, HP, Dell, ASUS, Acer, etc.). If Microsoft is required to make this happen, then it cannot work with other OEMs to do similar things and still market this as an exclusive lenovo feature while hyping up the partnership. If their plan is to replicate versions of this functionality, then Microsoft did not need to collaborate in the first place with a hardware manufacturer to connect to cloud services said OEM has no involvement in.
    Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) and Microsoft today at Lenovo Tech World announced a collaboration... This deep, exclusive platform integration gives Cortana a much larger inventory of information to search, opening up an entirely new level of contextual search and giving users the most comprehensive, seamless and natural way to find their personal digital content.
     
    "Microsoft and Lenovo teams held creative design sessions, advanced hardware discussions, even late night coding marathons to deliver Cortana and REACHit."
  • @onthetreshold:
    This. Microsoft rides so high on that "We treat all platforms equally now"-train, but it's totally confusing to see that they don't have a problem to fragment the set of features on Windows devices. I don't care about that particular feature very much, but what if they start to develop something different with every (major) OEM out there? That will confuse costumers very awfully.
  • Come on. Windows OEMs have added features for years, may as well be useful ones now. When it says Microsoft teams, it probably just means some consulting on Cortana and how to integrate. Microsoft has already been working more closely with OEMs on hardware (see HP Spectre x360 and Dell XPS 13), so it's only logical they'd start to rein in overenthusiastic OEMs on the software side too. I'm all for bloatware that comes preinstalled actually becoming useful -- might not have to uninstall all of it. 
  • The link to sign up to the beta doesn't take you to a sign up page and a search of the for Cortan or REACHit do not bring up any results....
  • Try now. Something weird happened in our backend with that hyperlink. Should be OK now.
  • @Richard Devine:
    On that note: Could you make Jay Bennett look into the handling of links posted in comments from the Windows Central app? Something weird happens with these links as well: They are cut off, making them unusable.
  • Now only if Lenovo made a beautiful flagship windows phone and offer this type of software on it. I would be all in
  • WP has potential to have super powerful mobile devices with what there doing with there apps. But the wp10 is still young.
  • Hi The Spazz... I have a question about your post regarding the way you wrote: "the wp10 is still young". I see a lot of this style of mentioning a person or some other noun. Like this: "the Nadella" or "the Samsung" or "the Microsoft". I'm asking out of curiosity... I see it on lots of sites, particularly with English writing or speaking Indian readership. Is it a translation thing? Is it just UK English speakers/writers? I have wondered for years but see it every now and then. Then saw this here and had to finally ask. Please fill me in. Is it just a proper way of addressing an entity whether person or company or thing? Some people just say "Microsoft gained 10% market share, but then others might say "The Microsoft gained 10% market share".
    (and I realize that no one is saying anything close to that just yet. Hahaha) Thank you!
  • That's pretty awesome! I hope Microsoft is allowed to bring this to the Surface too!
  • Indeed. I hope they can license it to own devices.
  • Serious question .. How does this work out if you're on limited data plan?
  • Retrieving a document from the cloud isn't going to take up too much of data, so it should be fine.
  • Todays Computing is leaving some nations behind.
  • Some nation's corrupt governments are holding their people back from today's computing.
  • Not just governments but Greedy telecom companies as well.
  • No. Telecom companies can be as greedy as they like, sure, but they can only offer a service. They cannot force consumers to pay them, or prevent other companies from offering similar services at lower prices. Only governments can force consumers or prevent competition.
  • Yes, but they can charge an exorbitant amount of fee for their service effectively leaving out a huge chunk of people from developing economies access to the service. That's what is happening here in India. One of our major telecom service providers Airtel is notorious for charging too much. :\ and we consumers have no choice but to stick with these idiots as the other service providers are mediocre at best.
  • Sweet we need things like this
  • So im guessing in the future  search can expand wider like in the picture.
  • ​Anyone else notice the Edge icon on the taskbar? Not merely that it's there, but notice there is no blue box around it or the store icon. Is Microsoft dropping the tile look on the taskbar? Or is this just a Lenovo mockup?
  • Mockup.
  • Annnndddd there it is.  Microsoft doesn't get it. You can't do this stuff. It needs to be the same OS on every piece of hardware, end of story. None of this "this feature works with this OEM" "this OEM adds these programs" "this exclusive malware is only available from X". That doesn't work.
  • Indeed. This is sad news all around. If only a minor piece of this feature is exclusive or some other limitation to this exclusivity clause, then Microsoft needs to clearly communicate this like right now.
  • No Cortana 'round here yet... Try again.
  • Cool
  • Why isn't this something developed exclusively by Microsoft and available on all Windows 10 devices? I thought this was where Cortana was going with file management. Does this agreement mean Microsoft can't make similar improvements to Cortana for everyone?
  • Now is this one of the reasons why Cortana was made cross platform? Pretty useful feature IMHO. Hope lenovo starts making phones with windows too. Lenovo is doing reasonably well here in India.
  • No. From a user's perspective, it was made cross-platform (OS) so that Windows users can benefit on any device they chose. This only benefits people that choose lenovo. Cortana is also unique in that it is extensible so any third party developer interested can hook into it. Whether it be REACHit or some other app... well except this partnership jeopardizes this notion.
  • SHWINGGG! The power of 10.
  • They should extend this Feature to bring this to all W10 & W10M devices.
  • Oh look! I can see Microsoft Edge from here!
  • Bloat software
  • all about productivity now i really like the new microsoft
  • Sure, give the world on a plate of gold to an AI , any one played deus ex knows what this Is leading to...Cortana= Helios
  • Are you guys ever get happy lol?
  • what i dont like is how people command cortana , no command uses "please" , "kindly", or "mam" etc etc , dont make her slave make her partner .
  • This is awesome indeed, but there's one thing I don't really feel comfortable here - CHINA. Although we really don't have much choice, as ALL (correct me if I am wrong) computer companies, manufacture their products from China anyway (currently).
  • Great.  More crapware listening in on my activitities.  No thanks Lenovo (NSA).  Whatever is included in the operating system is all I need.
  • This is interesting just bought myself a Lenovl Flex 10 nice little machine with keyboard and when you fold the keyboard over the screen becomes a tablet computer. Mouse and touch screen and will be due an upgrade to Win 10. The only thing was that devious software Swordfish was installed but a look on the Lenovo forums cured that, well who knows with software these days. £199, what's that about $300? the only thing I didn't realise was that the hard drive is partitioned but other than that I'm well pleased.