Microsoft executive vice president, Microsoft AI and Microsoft’s resignation Division Head of Research Dr. Harry Shum less than a week, Microsoft’s blockbuster announced that its voice assistant Cortana (Chinese name: Microsoft Xiaona) strategic contraction, will be in 2020 The iOS and Android platforms will be withdrawn on January 31, but the US market will implement this initiative later. Currently, it is only implemented in 8 countries including China, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Spain, and India.
A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement:
Cortana is part of our broader vision of bringing conversational computing and productivity to all of our platforms and devices. To make Cortana as useful as possible, we’ve integrated Cortana deeper into the Microsoft 365 productivity app, and part of this evolution involves terminating support for Cortana mobile apps on Android and iOS.
It’s unclear how long Cortana will continue to run in the US after January 31. The Microsoft spokesperson just told the outside world that the US still supports the feature.
Cortana is Microsoft ‘s AI attempt
Originally launched in December 2015, Microsoft introduced Cortana for iOS and Android, which was originally designed to connect Windows 10 PCs and mobile phones. Despite a major redesign, Microsoft has not been able to compete with other vendors’ voice assistants on the mobile side and elsewhere.
Cortana is now embedded in devices such as Xbox, Windows 10 systems, and Invoke speakers. Previously, in Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft promoted Cortana, but with little success.
Currently, it serves hundreds of millions of devices, but in the market, it is not as popular as Amazon Alexa, Google assistant and Apple’s Siri.
Cortana is the world’s first personal assistant to be released by Microsoft . It “can understand the user’s preferences and habits”, “help users to schedule, answer questions, etc.”. Cortana is arguably Microsoft ‘s attempt in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
What Microsoft wants to achieve is that the smart interaction between mobile phone users and Xiaona is not simply based on a stored question and answer, but a dialogue.
It records the user’s behavior and usage habits, uses cloud computing, search engines and “unstructured data” analysis, reads and “learns” data including text files, emails, pictures, videos, etc. in the phone to understand the user. Semantics and context to achieve human-computer interaction.
A very simple example is that if the schedule displayed on the phone is about to participate in the conference, then no action is required and Cortana will automatically bring the phone to the conference state when it arrives.
This is also the beginning of Microsoft ‘s research from personal computers to personal computing.
Waterloo is “integrated”
However, in the past year, Microsoft ‘s Cortana has lagged behind Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
In January 2019, Microsoft CEO Satya NaDELLa revealed that the company no longer viewed Cortana as a competitor to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
“You should be able to use it on Google Assistant, and you should be able to use it on Alexa, just like the way you use our app on Android and iOS, at least that’s where we want to be.”
In effect, Microsoft has partnered with Amazon to integrate Cortana and Alexa, and when the partnership started, Nadella compared digital assistants to Web browsers that needed to interoperate and access similar information.
According to the New York Times report on August 30, 2017, Microsoft and Amazon launched a collaborative process to better integrate their voice assistants – Cortana and Alexa.
Left: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Right: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
The New York Times said that according to the cooperation of the two companies, users will be able to access Cortana’s services on Alexa devices, and vice versa.
However, the initial integration of the two will be a bit embarrassing.
For example, if someone uses an Alexa device, they will have to say “Alexa, open Cortana” to enjoy Cortana’s voice assistant service, and users who use the device that accesses the Cortana assistant service must say “Cortana, open Alexa.” In this way, the cooperation between the two companies at this stage can only use the more basic functions and services on their respective platforms.
It’s now clear that Nadella sees Cortana as an application or service that can run on multiple platforms, rather than a tool for Microsoft to grab mobile device users such as mobile phones.
Microsoft still needs to convince Google that Cortana integration is a good idea.
A noteworthy time node is in the second half of 2018, when Microsoft moved Cortana out of the AI research department and joined its experience and equipment team, which marks Nadella’s focus on Cortana as an assistant across multiple products and platforms. .
This also means that since then, its strategic contraction has already taken place.
What do you think of Microsoft’s move?
The full support note for the Microsoft UK site is attached at the end of the article :
To make your personal digital assistant as helpful as possible, we’ve integrated Cortana into your Microsoft 365 productivity app. As part of the development, we will discontinue support for the Cortana app on Android and iOS in your market on January 31, 2020. At that time, Cortana content (such as reminders and lists) that you create will no longer work in the Cortana mobile app or Microsoft Launcher, but will still be accessible via Cortana on Windows. In addition, Cortana reminders, lists, and tasks are automatically synced to the Microsoft To Do app, which you can download to your phone for free.
After January 31, 2020, the Cortana mobile app on your phone will no longer be supported, and there will be an updated version of Microsoft Launcher with Cortana removed.
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