According to a report by Reuters, Microsoft's Cortana will be coming to both Android and iOS platforms after Windows 10 rolls out a new and improved version of the virtual assistant.
This updated Cortana is expected to be deployed as a standalone app, which will be made available in Google Play as well as in Apple's App Store. Plus, it will work the same way on Android and iOS as it already does on Windows.
Cortana is already being included in Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, which is set to arrive in personal computers within the second half of 2015. Sometime after that, Cortana will be released as a standalone app which can also be installed by Android and iOS users.
Things are looking up for Microsoft's virtual assistant. Initially released in April of last year, Cortana is Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri. It was named after an artificial intelligence presence in the computer game Halo, which Microsoft also owns. In that first person shooter game, this AI providers players with assistance and helpful information as they play through the different stages.
Compared to Apple's virtual assistant, Cortana can hold its own. Siri is mainly designed to answer user inquiries, like directions or tips on completing a certain task. Cortana has that same capability plus a little more. It can provide notifications and updates that are relevant to the user. For instance, if you have a schedule flight on your calendar, Cortana also provides you with reminders on what time to leave for the airport.
But what may be its biggest difference, and perhaps its most significant attribute, is its cross-platform compatibility. Apple's Siri is only exclusive to the iOS platform. The same with Google Now, Google's personal assistant which only works on Android. But with Cortana, users can install it on their devices, regardless of the platform they are on.
Microsoft is really staying true to its vision of making its products available to as many customers as possible, not only to users who are on the Windows platform. Apart from Cortana, Microsoft has already made its Office applications available on different mobile operating systems.
Still, it will not be a walk in the park, especially with regards to Apple's App Store. Apple has always been reluctant to let other apps appear on the App Store, especially those that are direct competitors to its products. For example, it took a while for Google Maps to get into the App Store because Apple already had its own Apple Maps. In the case of Cortana, it is after all a direct competitor to Siri. If Apple just loosens up a bit, Cortana may have a better chance of getting into the App Store.
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