Microsoft is broadening its reach beyond Windows to gain a foothold in the mobile computing market by making its virtual assistant, Cortana, available on Android and Apple smartphones.
Cortana is a voice-activated service that provides answers to questions asked, in a similar way to Apple’s Siri. However, Microsoft claim that Cortana is able to do much more, making it much more of a true virtual assistant.
Microsoft are attempting to catch up with Apple and other smartphones that use Android-based operating systems, after failing to build a significant market for their own smartphones following their purchase of Nokia’s phone handset division in 2013.
Not all of their capabilities of Cortana will be available to Apple and Android users through their app. For example, the voice command will not work for ‘waking-up’ a smartphone, nor activating other apps.
The upcoming launch of Windows 10 will be used to promote the Cortana app on non-Microsoft devices. Android users will be able to test drive the Cortana app later this month, with the iPhone app following later this year.
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