One the first day of Microsoft’s annual conference for software developers, the CEO of the company Satya Nadella, promoted the potential of “conversational intelligence” as he suggested a long-term vision for Cortana, as a central element of Windows 10, and its development as a “digital concierge” for online communications. He expanded on the ability of bots in the tech world, explaining to developers at the event that “bots are the new apps”.
Currently Cortana is not as well-known as Siri and OK Google, however Microsoft has uniquely made it available on desktops and laptops via Windows 10, rather than the usual smartphone/tablet voice-activated assistance. Microsoft has also acknowledged that PC’s are not as popular as smartphones and tablets, in the current tech market, and released a Cortana app for Apple iOS and Google Android smartphone/tablets.
Microsoft has stated that Windows 10 is currently running on 270 million devices, and a free upgrade will be offered this summer with new features. Microsoft is aiming to have 1 billion devices running on Windows 10 in the next few years. Windows 10 has been advertised by Microsoft as the operating system for any device ranging from PC’s, handheld devices, Xbox game consoles and Microsoft’s own HoloLens augmented-reality headset.
Upgrading to Windows 10 will allow Cortana to have extended abilities, such as offering reminders and answering any queries users have, without even having to unlock the screen on portable devices. Microsoft is also aiming to expand their biometric software, “Windows Hello” which will allow users to use fingerprints and facial recognition to access a wider range of apps and online accounts. Interestingly, the Windows 10 upgrade will also allow users to write or draw their own notes, which will be displayed on the device screen, rather than the need to type.