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Microsoft could give Cortana to iOS and Android users


News by Luke Jones on Saturday June 14, 2014.

microsoft news · windows phone news · software news · luke jones

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Microsoft officials have revealed that the company is considering making its Cortana personal assistant multi-platform and releasing it on both iOS and Android. Officials speaking at the SMX Advanced search-marketing conference in Seattle said that Redmond is weighing up the pros and cons of giving the system to Apple's and Google's rival platforms.

No timeline for such a move is in place and indeed Cortana may stay the exclusive piece of software we initially thought she was. However, the prospect of Microsoft farming her out to rival operating systems shows the company is thinking of bold strategies to secure more mobile market share. There are two ways of looking at it to determine if this is a good idea in the future for Microsoft.

The company says that Cortana is better than Apple's Siri and Android's Google Now and when it was launched we presumed it would be a defining Windows Phone feature. Cortana could become the software that entices people away from Apple and Android in the long term, something WP has that rivals do not.

However, the reverse of that is that Cortana fails to drive more Windows Phone adoption and becomes a forgotten piece of software to the wider consumer base. If Microsoft can get the system onto Apple?s iOS and Android, the company can say, "here is our PA, it is better than the baked in version on your device, compare them to see". It would be a brave move but one that could give the company a large number of users on another platform using its software. In turn, impressed users could well seek out Windows devices in the future. The problem with this scenario is that Cortana needs to be very good, which it does at least seem to be.

Microsoft has shown in the past that it has no issue sending out its software to other platforms. Redmond has issued Bing apps for Android and Office has arrived on iOS and Android, so perhaps Cortana showing up on those platforms is not really far-fetched at all. It would still be an eyebrow raiser, but it would not be a surprise.

source: CNET

 
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