Get ready to meet Cortana, your new digital assistant
Cortana is one of the best digital assistants out there and it’s giving a tough competition to Apple’s Siri and Google Now. While Facebook is busy preparing the launch of M, its digital assistant with a human touch, Microsoft is betting on the future in AI.
Speaking at the O’Reilly Next:Economy summit, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hinted at a better Cortana in the upcoming years, that will be grow to replace the UI of web browsers.
Cortana was introduced originally on Windows Phone and it has grown to become a major part of the new Windows 10 operating system. “‘Hey Cortana’ is in my vocabulary. Having that become more pervasive is my pursuit,” Nadella said, praising the Cortana.
But, replacing the web browsers isn’t what it looks like. Instead of completely replacing the traditional web browsers completely, digital assistants will replace just the browser user interface.
Instead of using the web browser UI for exploring the web and performing searches, your digital assistant will do all these jobs for you. Realizing the potential of Cortana, Microsoft has decided to make it a cross-platform app and released its beta version on iOS and Android.
Cortana is your clever new personal assistant.
Cortana will help you find things on your PC, manage your calendar, track packages, find files, chat with you, and tell jokes. The more you use Cortana, the more personalized your experience will be.
To get started, type a question in the search box on the taskbar. Or select the microphone icon and talk to Cortana. (Typing works for all types of PCs, but you need a mic to talk.)
Here are some things you can say to Cortana:
How old are you?
Tell me a joke.
Show me the latest NBA scores.
How many calories in a boiled egg?
Put swimming on my calendar for tomorrow.
Change my 3 PM event to 4.
What’s happening this weekend?
One of the things Cortana can do for you is to give you reminders. For example, type or say, “Remind me to call Alex at 2 PM.” Make the meeting recurring if you want to.
The reminder will appear at 2 PM, along with any info you’ve added to it.
Extra bonus—if you have a Windows phone and are signed in with the same Microsoft account, any reminders you set on your PC will be automatically synced to your phone.
Set Cortana to hear you anytime you say “Hey Cortana.” Select the search box on the taskbar to open Cortana home. Then selectNotebook > Settings and turn on Let Cortana respond when you say “Hey Cortana.”
Cortana is only available in certain countries/regions, and some Cortana features might not be available everywhere. If Cortana isn’t available or is turned off, you can still use search.