Microsoft may have left Cortana as a standalone app and AI voice assistant, but the technology will live on its popular office suite and now Microsoft is giving us a glimpse of what Cortana’s future will look like.
Instead of having an AI assistant trying to capture every aspect of life and answer all kinds of random questions, Microsoft is instead going to prioritize Cortana’s efficiency and effectiveness by focusing on office productivity and giving it the ability to use its diverse suite of productivity tools and perform tasks such as writing emails, scheduling meetings, and searching for files or colleagues. Seriously, who needs a secretary when you can let your phone do everything for you (not that I’m busy enough to even warrant a secretary).
Microsoft has had a version of dictation in its desktop Outlook and Word apps for a long time, but this will be the first time it brings any of these features to its mobile app, while also expanding its reach beyond just those two apps. . All someone has to do is select the new microphone icon which will make its way into the apps and then chat away – although there will be some guidelines on what the voice assistant should ask to make it work in a more optimal way and make sure it can do your job as fast as possible.
I definitely think Microsoft has a lot of value here if they can get it right. While Alexa, Google and Siri have proven to be better voice assistants, optimizing the technology around a specific set of tools and features should improve efficiency and accuracy and hopefully allow more people to take advantage of the technology without it. you have to repeat things over and over before you just do the task yourself.
Microsoft plans to bring the feature to Outlook for iOS this month, with Android support coming soon.
Last updated: June 10, 2021