Looking forward to Cortana voice interaction in Windows 10

Microsoft is hosting a big event today to unveil the latest build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Rumors and speculation suggest that one of the announcements will be the integration of the Cortana voice assistant into the Windows operating system.

I’m looking forward to that–but I think Microsoft needs to do it in a much more pervasive and comprehensive way than has been hinted at thus far. I wrote a blog post about my vision of Cortana on Windows 10:

Microsoft is hosting a media event later this week to unveil the latest public build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview. There is a wide variety of potential features and updates Microsoft can unleash, and Microsoft has hinted that this new build will focus heavily on the consumer experience. The one thing I’m looking forward to most, though, is Cortana.

Why will we use Cortana?
When Apple first introduced Siri, I was torn on whether that was a novelty parlor trick or a feature with actual value. The jury may still be out for many people, but I use Siri all the time. I ask Siri what the weather is like today. I ask Siri to play music. I ask Siri to answer trivia questions. It’s not “Siri” exactly, but I also frequently use the voice input for “typing” text messages or web search terms. It’s just faster and easier than typing on a small virtual keyboard on an iPhone.

The experience on a desktop or laptop PC is obviously very different, but I’m confident that an interactive voice feature would be very useful. Ideally, you’d be able to use your voice for navigating Windows and for most common tasks.

I’ve never really understood the revolt over removing the Start button in Windows 8, and I’m not a huge fan of the new Frankenstein approach to the Start button / Menu in the Windows 10 Technical Preview, but Cortana could effectively render the entire concept irrelevant. Instead of using a mouse, touchpad, or finger to click or tap a Start button and scanning all of the available options to select the one I want, I can just say “Cortana, open OneNote,” or “Cortana, play the album Purple Rain by Prince.”

Read the full post on TechRepublic: Bring on Cortana for Windows 10!

4 thoughts on “Looking forward to Cortana voice interaction in Windows 10”

  1. Cortana seems like the smarter big sister to Siri and makes Google Now seem like the dog that can only play fetch…..

    1. I don’t have much experience with Google Now, but so far Cortana and Siri seem pretty close in terms of accuracy and effectiveness. Microsoft is trying to do a lot more with Cortana, though. I would not be surprised to see Apple broaden the scope of Siri and bring those same sorts of interactions to Mac OS X that Microsoft is doing with Cortana and Windows.

      1. Tony I couldn’t agree more. It seems that although Microsoft was late to the game of the personal assistants they definitely did not come unprepared. While Google now and Siri are more linear at the moment Cortana is more conversational. This is something I see moving from the tablet and phone OS and into the desktop OS in months to come among several platforms. With the transitioning of these personal assistants into the wearable market I expect the intelligence of the assistants to explode as well…

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