Microsoft’s virtual assistant is spreading its digital tendrils into fresh avenues with news that Cortana has now been incorporated into Skype.
At least for users in the US to begin with, and those on iOS and Android phones for that matter, although doubtless these are the first steps towards a global cross-platform rollout for all Skype software.
The big idea here is that Cortana can pop up in chats (group or private) to offer intelligent suggestions along various lines. (Or, as more cynical types out there might argue, Cortana will be constantly eavesdropping on your conversations and will butt in from time to time to annoy you).
To be fair, the context-sensitive snippets Cortana will provide in chats sound quite useful in some respects, such as offering suggestions for short smart replies ('yes', 'no', 'let’s go') in order to help you make quick responses in chats. Or if you’re arranging to go for a meal, Cortana will suggest nearby restaurants.
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The digital assistant will also pick up on when you’re scheduling something like an event, and offer to remind you of the event nearer the time (across all your Cortana-infused devices, naturally).
Furthermore, Skype users will be able to chat with Cortana directly, and ask the assistant questions in one-to-one conversations, if needed.
As mentioned, all this is coming to mobile initially, as this is the first obvious step when it comes to facilitating the slicker organizing of chats and meetings – and on-the-spot queries for Cortana – but it will doubtless be bound for the likes of the PC client before too long.
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