Although Cortana may be dead on mobile (opens in new tab), Microsoft's digital assistant is alive and well on Windows 11 (opens in new tab) and will soon be making an appearance in Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab).
While Cortana (opens in new tab) was first introduced in 2001's Halo: Combat Evolved on the original Xbox, the smart artificial intelligence construct eventually came to Windows Phone and Windows 10 PCs in 2014 as a digital assistant.
Just like with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple's Siri, Microsoft created Cortana to help Windows users set reminders, search the web and more.
Now though, according to a series of new posts on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, the software giant is bringing Cortana to Microsoft Teams Rooms (opens in new tab). With Microsoft Teams Rooms, businesses can configure a meeting room with a number of devices including displays, webcams (opens in new tab) and microphones so that an organization can use video conferencing software (opens in new tab) together as a group as opposed to having to use their own laptops.
Cortana is coming to Microsoft Teams Rooms
In the first update (opens in new tab) to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Microsoft explained that “Cortana voice activation will be enabled by default on newly imaged Microsoft Teams Rooms solutions” beginning this month.
This means that Teams users will be able to shout out voice commands to their Teams Rooms devices to start a video call, change settings and more. Fortunately though, IT admins will be able to adjust this setting to disable voice activation. At the same time, Microsoft has updated the Cortana iconography that appears on the front of a room display and in the console UI in a Microsoft Teams Room according to the second update (opens in new tab).
Finally in the third update (opens in new tab), the company explained that Cortana will support additional languages on Teams devices that are set to different locale languages. Currently American English, Canadian English, Australian English, Indian English and British English are supported.
While voice activation can certainly be useful in shared meeting rooms designed for video conferencing, business users may not be too keen on having a character from a video game speaking up during their all-hands meetings.
Also check out our roundups of the best business webcams (opens in new tab), best headsets for conference calls (opens in new tab) and best video conferencing software (opens in new tab)