Microsoft’s personal assistant,
Redmond first announced Cortana for Skype at its Build 2016 conference roughly a year and a half ago. It’s not clear why it took Microsoft so long to integrate Cortana into Skype although the Snapchat-like redesign from a few months back may have delayed things a bit.
Microsoft’s implementation is similar to what we’ve already seen from Facebook and Google. Cortana in Skype provides behind-the-scenes, in-context assistance based on your conversation. For example, it can recommend a restaurant, offer up movie reviews, set up reminders and even suggest quick replies if you’re short on time.
Reminders will be synched across all devices that have Cortana enabled such as your Windows 10 PC.
Furthermore, you can converse directly with Cortana in a one-on-one chat to check the weather, retrieve answers to trivia questions, get status updates on a flight and more.
Integrations like these are becoming quite common although their usefulness is still up for debate. Many people feel that chat bots slow down and interrupt conversations rather than add true value to them. Plus, some users are uneasy about the obviousness of something that is ‘always listening’ in on a conversation.
Cortana in Skype is being gradually rolled out for Android and iOS users in the US. No word yet on when it’ll expand to other countries.
Lead image courtesy Marcel de Grijs, 123RF