Microsoft introduced the Windows Phone 8.1 update to us during the BUILD Conference earlier this year. The update is expected to roll out on the existing Windows 8 phone later this month. One of the most interesting feature about Windows Phone 8.1 has been the addition of a Siri like voice assistant called Cortana to it. The feature is very much a cross between Siri and Google Now and brings best of both the worlds including flight tracking, voice search, toggle controls etc. Cortana is currently in beta and has already received several updates, making it probably the most rounded voice assistant.
Microsoft may well be planning to bring Cortana to other platforms including iOS and Android. This may not be beyond the realms of possibility as Microsoft recently brought Office to iPad as well, with Satya Nadella, the new CEO of the company making it clear that Microsoft aims to bring their services to as many platforms as possible.
In an interview with Search Engine Land, Marcus Ash, a member of the Windows Phone team, confirmed the news that bringing Cortana to other platforms could well be a possibility in the coming time:
We want to scale Cortana internationally and across devices. The Android/iOS question is interesting. We’re asking, would Cortana be as effective if she didn’t have access to the details on your phone? We’re still trying to get Cortana adopted on Windows Phone and figure out what it wants to become there. But we’re actively talking about this.
However, just after the interview was published, that seemed to indicate the possibility of Cortana coming to the other platforms, Ash quickly took to his Twitter account to verify that his words have been misinterpreted and that, there is no immediate plan for such a move.
1. Our top priority is to make Cortana great for #WindowsPhone customers. Get her out to more countries, continuing to push innovation.
— Marcus Ash (@marcusash) June 14, 2014
Ash stressed that the immediate focus is to improve Cortana and make sure it is rolled out in other countries outside the US. In a series of tweets, he also revealed that the Cortana rollout in UK will happen within weeks, as well as that no matter what happens in the future, the best Cortana experience will be possible on a Windows Phone only.