MICROSOFT IS bringing its Cortana voice assistant to Outlook for both iOS and Android.
According to The Verge, soon Cortana will be able to read emails aloud, thanks to direct integration between the two apps. You'll be able to ask for your most recent emails, or for emails from specific clients.
At present, Cortana is being tested within Microsoft, and when it's half-baked enough to garner vaguely positive feedback, it'll be rolled out for the public to moan about.
It looks set to be the shape of things to come, as Microsoft for iOS and Android boss Javier Soltero, who ran things at Acompli, is now overseeing the entire Cortana platform and reporting directly into the AI department.
Although Cortana and Amazon's Alexa are soon to be able to access each other, like some weird schizophrenic robot, the two are continuing to develop in isolation too. Cortana recently stepped onto Alexa's turf by adding support for IFTTT and a range of native smart home integrations.
Microsoft has opted to eschew a direct rival for Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple Homepod, instead of leveraging its huge existing ecosystem of Windows devices and its partnership with Amazon to enter your home.
What is less clear is whether there is any clear dividing line between what Cortana is for and what Alexa is for.
Yes, Cortana is more in tune with office-based activities, but there's still a massive overlap between the two, and with Alexa for Business in the offing, it does seem like the agreement doesn't have any rules as such and so we may well see both companies vying to offer the same skills, with only killing off Google Assistant and Siri as the end game.
Then, like spiders-after-f*cking, they'll probably eat each other. µ
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