Satya Nadella’s mobile-first, cloud-first vision for Microsoft is finally happening. After bringing Office and Outlook for Android and iOS, Microsoft today announced it will bring its personal assistant, Cortana, to its rival platforms. Also Read - Windows 11: Release date, top features to expect, how to upgrade and moreAlso Read - Windows 11 could be a free upgrade for you provided you fall in this category
Till now, Microsoft had focused on how seamlessly smartphones running on Windows Phone work with Windows 10. That has been one of the core marketing lines Microsoft has used till now. However, with less than 5 percent of the global smartphone market share and the failure of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, that marketing angle did not exactly work. Also Read - Nintendo Direct E3 2021: Metroid Dread, Mario Party Superstars, a new Legend of Zelda and more
Keeping that in mind, Microsoft today announced a phone companion app for Windows 10 that will bring some of the best Windows apps and services to smartphones running on Android and iOS, enabling users to get more seamless functionality between their devices.
“But, we also realize that many people use iPhones or Android phones, and we want them to enjoy some of their Windows experience and content while away from their Windows 10 PC. Regardless of the operating systems you choose across your devices everything important to you should roam across the products you already own including your phone,” Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore wrote in a post announcing the companion app.
However, the bigger news today is the availability of Cortana on Android and iOS. Cortana is one of the better voice assistants available for smartphones but it had been locked into Windows Phone. Till now. Microsoft is delinking Cortana from Windows and making it available on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Cortana for Android will be available in the end of June and on iPhones later this year. However, not all Cortana features will work on the rival platforms.
“Some features require access to the system that aren t currently possible with iOS or Android, so things like toggling settings or opening apps won t initially be available in the Cortana companions for those platforms. Similarly, the ability to invoke Cortana hands-free by saying Hey Cortana requires special integration with the device s microphone, so that feature will be limited to Windows Phones and PCs,” Belfiore explained.
We believe this is a good move for Microsoft as Windows remains to be the dominant platform for PCs and this would only make the users’ experience better when they use the operating system with iPhones and Android smartphones.