Microsoft is devising a new roadmap for Cortana by integrating it with various applications. Earlier in 2019, Satya Nadela, CEO of Microsoft, said that the firm no longer sees Cortana as a competitor to other prominent virtual assistants Alexa and Google Now. The company is rather working towards revamping the way Cortana is being leveraged across the world.
In an announcement on Friday, Microsoft notified users of several countries that they are pulling out Cortana support from Android and iOS platforms. Come 31 January 2020, Cortana will disappear from India, UK, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Germany, and China. However, it will continue to work on computers that run on the Windows operating system. All the data generated by users through the android and iOS Cortana application will be synced with the Microsoft To Do application.
Where Will This Place Cortana In Virtual Assistant Landscape?
Microsoft’s Cortana capabilities are way behind other virtual assistants can offer, and it seems the firm is not willing to take the challenge head-on by going silent on Android and iOS platforms. However, the organisation has taken a different route by integrating it with Office 365. With this, Microsoft wants to assist various companies in increasing their productivity and efficiency through Cortana while carrying out business activities.
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The subscription-based productivity suite will allow users to streamline their workflows by effectively leveraging Cortana’s dexterities. The evolution of Cortana in business workflows will differentiate itself from other competitors and will enable it to gain a competitive edge.
What It Means For Businesses
Until now, businesses leveraged bots to carry out some of their day-to-day activities, but with the integration of virtual assistants, it will enable firms to manage their activities effortlessly. The use cases of virtual assistants in organisations are numerous, and Microsoft is planning to pioneer the ignored sector.
Chatbots usually have limited ability and can only successfully perform a handful of processes. And in some cases, they are only deployed to deliver specific requests. But with AI-based voice assistant, firms can get things done intuitively.
Equipping Cortana will be a huge advantage for business as it will empower them to change the way they manage their tasks and offer solutions to customers.
Although, Alexa for business provides a wide range of features such as joining meetings and voice-enabled applications. Those are mostly device-oriented and not application-oriented. Consequently, it does not support applications that firms use to handle their tasks. As a result, there is nothing substantial in Alexa for businesses to gain operational resilience.
Moreover, other digital assistants have not gone down on the business side of it, thus the market is wide open for new players. Microsoft has realised the opportunity and made the first move to enhance its Office 365 suite by integrating Cortana.
Since the introduction of Cortana, Microsoft has continually made numerous changes to improve its dexterity and give Alexa and Google Now a run for their money but has miserably failed in all its previous attempts. Of the many unsuccessful attempts, Cortana’s interoperability with Alexa failed to make its mark, thus people are critical about its potential effectiveness in the future.
Microsoft’s vision is captivating, but people are unsure of its delivery. The firm will have to innovate in a way that it can really make an impact on business operations or Cortana may soon become silent in every other platform.
It will be interesting to witness how Microsoft’s competitors react to this announcement and what approach they take to add digital assistant with several products for assisting businesses in achieving its objectives.